One of the dangers of a U.S. foreign policy consensus is that once it’s formed, there are enormous market incentives for analysts in Washington to formulate smart-sounding ways to operationalize it, rather than to question it. We see all of these dynamics on display now when it comes to U.S. policy on China.
U.S. President Joe Biden hosted 49 African leaders during this week’s U.S.-Africa Summit in an effort to improve ties damaged by the four tumultuous years of the Trump administration. Biden administration officials announced a raft of initiatives as a signal of Washington’s intent. But it is unlikely the summit alone will overcome lukewarm attitudes in African capitals toward Washington.
War is hell, but for large and politically influential defense contractors, it is also good business. This is fueling claims among some NATO allies that the U.S. is profiting from the war in Ukraine. There is no denying that U.S. defense contractors are benefiting, but accusations of war profiteering are simply off base.