Do Your Generals Speak Economics?

Why the military can't fix a broken foreign economy — and possibly shouldn't be asked to.

FP_podcast_article_artwork-1-globalthinkers
FP_podcast_article_artwork-1-globalthinkers

Why has the United States' aim to do good in the world so often gone wrong? And if it has done so poorly, should it keep trying? Asking if American meddling in global affairs makes the world a better place is at the heart of this debate. But instead of debating whether the problem is that the United States uses the wrong tools or that its ambitions are too grand, maybe the question should be: What if the United States focused on creating jobs abroad rather than fighting wars?

This week on The E.R., our contributors talk about what the military knows (and doesn’t know) about economics, what government catchphrases actually mean, and whether to believe the myth of the resource curse — and what should be done about it.

Rosa Brooks is a senior fellow at the New America Foundation and teaches international law, national security, and constitutional law at Georgetown University. Follow her on Twitter: @brooks_rosa.

Why has the United States’ aim to do good in the world so often gone wrong? And if it has done so poorly, should it keep trying? Asking if American meddling in global affairs makes the world a better place is at the heart of this debate. But instead of debating whether the problem is that the United States uses the wrong tools or that its ambitions are too grand, maybe the question should be: What if the United States focused on creating jobs abroad rather than fighting wars?

This week on The E.R., our contributors talk about what the military knows (and doesn’t know) about economics, what government catchphrases actually mean, and whether to believe the myth of the resource curse — and what should be done about it.

Rosa Brooks is a senior fellow at the New America Foundation and teaches international law, national security, and constitutional law at Georgetown University. Follow her on Twitter: @brooks_rosa.

Kori Schake is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, where she focuses on military history, and a former foreign-policy advisor to Sen. John McCain. Follow her on Twitter: @KoriSchake.

Ed Luce is the Financial Times‘ chief U.S. commentator and columnist based in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter: @EdwardGLuce.

David Rothkopf is CEO and editor of the FP Group. Follow him on Twitter: @djrothkopf.

Subscribe to The E.R. podcast and other FP podcasts on iTunes here.

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