What the ‘Restrainers’ Get Wrong About U.S. Alliances

Soldiers from NATO countries attend the opening ceremony of a military exercise in Pabrade, Lithuania, June 8, 2015 (AP photo by Mindaugas Kulbis).
Soldiers from NATO countries attend the opening ceremony of a military exercise in Pabrade, Lithuania, June 8, 2015 (AP photo by Mindaugas Kulbis).
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Proponents of a U.S. grand strategy of “restraint” are perhaps most well-known for advocating the end of America’s “forever wars” and reducing the country’s military footprint in the Middle East and Afghanistan. But the so-called restrainers have also questioned the rationale for maintaining the United States’ extensive networks of alliances in Europe and East Asia, and particularly the presence of forward-deployed American troops in those regions. On the Trend Lines podcast this week, WPR’s Elliot Waldman was joined by Thomas Wright, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, for a critical look at the ideas and assumptions underpinning restraint. Listen […]

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