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America Should be the World's Policeman

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As its sole superpower, the United States has assumed the role of world’s policeman. Citing a moral responsibility to uphold freedom and democracy around the world, America intervenes in foreign conflicts and wields unprecedented global power. But should America invest its resources and energy in global policing? Or should the strongest nation on Earth turn its focus inward and respect the autonomy of its neighbors? 

The Debaters

For the motion

Max Boot

Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations

Max Boot is a military historian and foreign-policy analyst who has been called one of the “world’s leading authorities on armed conflict” by... Read More

Michael Mandelbaum

Christian A. Herter Professor of American Foreign Policy at The Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies

Michael is the author of The Ideas That Conquered the World: Peace, Democracy, and Free Markets in the Twenty-first Century (2002), The Case for Goliath... Read More

Douglas Murray

Founder & Director, The Centre for Social Cohesion (CSC)

is a bestselling author and award-winning journalist. He is also founder and director of the Centre for Social Cohesion (CSC), a non-partisan think-tank... Read More

Against the motion

Ian Bremmer

Founder and President, Eurasia Group

Ian Bremmer is the president and founder of Eurasia Group, the leading global political risk research and consulting firm, and president of GZERO... Read More

Ellen Laipson

President and CEO of the Henry L. Stimson Center

Ellen joined the Henry L. Stimson Center in 2002 after nearly 25 years of government service. She served as vice chair of the National Intelligence... Read More

Matthew Parris

Former British MP, Writer for writes for the Times of London and the Spectator

Parris was born in South Africa and educated at Cambridge and Yale. Parris was a British MP who worked for Margaret Thatcher in opposition and became... Read More

Where Do You Stand?

For The Motion
  • No nation or international collective has effectively upheld international law; without American enforcement, the world would fall to chaos and violence.
  • America must safeguard its own interests and security by intervening in global conflict and working to construct strong governance where it does not currently exist.
  • America has a moral obligation to uphold the values of democracy and human rights around the world.
Against The Motion
  • America faces dire need at home, and should fix itself before looking abroad.
  • America does not have the resources or cultural knowledge to serve as global policeman, especially in areas that do not directly benefit American interests.
  • Regional autonomy and global leadership must be considered; America does not have the right to intervene anytime, anywhere.

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The Research

The Research

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January 28, 2008

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Eben Kaplan
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