The Realist Prism: Rethinking the Cost of U.S. Global Leadership

In George Lucas’ dystopian 1971 film, “THX-1138,” the protagonist is pursued by police after attempting to escape from a futuristic totalitarian city-state. However, the city has only budgeted a certain amount to cover the costs of the pursuit. In the penultimate scene, as the officers are about to recapture the renegade, the comptroller’s office informs them that because of cost overruns, the chase is to be terminated. “Economics make it necessary to terminate any operation which exceeds five percent of its primary budget,” the officers are told. With the specter of sequestration — which on Jan. 1, 2013, is set […]

Keep reading for free right now!

Enter your email to get instant access to the rest of this article, get five free articles every 30 days, and to receive our free email newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having your own personal researcher and analyst for news and events around the globe. Become a member now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of 15,000+ articles
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday
  • Daily links to must-read news, analysis, and opinion from top sources around the globe, curated by our keen-eyed team of editors
  • Weekly in-depth reports, including features on important countries and issues.
  • Your choice of weekly region-specific newsletters, delivered to your inbox.
  • Smartphone- and tablet-friendly website.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you — right now for just $1 for the first 30 days.

More World Politics Review