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Subscriber Exclusive: The Case for U.S. Restraint in Ukraine and Taiwan

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The Taiwanese navy launches a U.S.-made missile

Exactly a year after the United States withdrew its forces from Afghanistan—ending its longest war—Washington is once again playing an important role in two major arenas. The first is in Ukraine, where continued U.S. military support maintains Kyiv’s chances of repelling Moscow’s advances. The second is more of a cold war, in which the United States is increasingly focused on containing China’s rise and influence. How should America conduct its foreign policy in this new environment? The classic debate in international relations tends to pit hawks against doves—in other words, a debate over whether to conduct a muscular and proactive policy or a more restrained one that shuns long-term entanglements.

FP’s editor in chief Ravi Agrawal spoke with historian Stephen Wertheim, who makes the case for U.S. restraint. Wertheim is the author of Tomorrow, the World: The Birth of U.S. Global Supremacy. This interview is available on demand to FP subscribers only.

Listen to this conversation

Why Stephen Wertheim of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace thinks the United States is overextending itself in Europe.

Stephen Wertheim—author of Tomorrow, the World—voices concern over Washington’s role in the war in Ukraine and where it’s heading.

Why Stephen Wertheim, senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace,  advocates for mutual coexistence between China and the United States.

Stephen Wertheim, a realist and proponent of U.S. restraint abroad, on why it is the United States that must continue to follow the “One China” policy.

Stephen Wertheim

Senior fellow, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Stephen Wertheim is a senior fellow in the American Statecraft Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the author of Tomorrow, the World: The Birth of U.S. Global Supremacy.

Ravi Agrawal

Editor in chief, Foreign Policy

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The Case for U.S. Restraint in Ukraine and Taiwan

August 24, 2022

There’s a longstanding debate in international relations over whether to conduct a muscular and proactive foreign policy or a more restrained one that shuns long-term entanglements. How should America plan its foreign policy? FP spoke with historian Stephen Wertheim, who makes the case for U.S. restraint.

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