America’s War Habit

The articles in your special issue “Needed: A New Foreign Policy” [July 16/23] exaggerate the potential for a public challenge to militarism and the readiness of the public even to do so. Unfortunately, US exceptionalism and militarism have created an addiction to war, and the American public doesn’t seem to know or care about the need for cuts in defense spending and overseas bases and deployments. Twenty years ago, then–Secretary of State Madeleine Albright was featured on a Time magazine cover in a flight jacket under the headline “Albright at War.” Albright personified this addiction when she arrogantly proffered: “If we have to use force, it is because we are America. We are the indispensable nation. We stand tall. We see further into the future.”

Melvin Goodman
Senior Fellow
Center for International Policy
Washington, D.C.

Originally posed in the Nation Magazine Letters From the August 27-September 3, 2018, Issue