March 1, 2011

Delusions of Grandeur

On The Creeping Militarization of U.S. Foreign Policy
  • Christopher Coyne

    Associate Director, F. A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics
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This paper analyzes the political economy of the creeping militarization of U.S. foreign policy. The core argument is that in integrating the "3D" approach—defense, development, and diplomacy—policy makers have assigned responsibilities to military personnel which go beyond their comparative advantage, requiring them to become social engineers tasked with constructing entire societies. Evidence from The U.S. Army Stability Operations Field Manual is presented to illustrate the wide scope of responsibilities assigned to the U.S. military. The tools of political economy are used to analyze some of the implications.