Why Americans Should Care About the Current Rules-Based International System

Today, Veteran’s Day, I came across the twitter thread below, which I thought was apropos. The thread does an overview of WWI, and how it lead to WWII. What’s important in my view is that an international system based on the rule of law versus the rule of the jungle has been the key to peace. An international system characterized by the rule of the jungle–where might makes right–likely leads to war and military conflict–one that we should assume would involve the U.S. (Ludes lists the number of people that died in both wars, breaking them down by country.)

I hope you take the time to read the thread. It’s fitting for our current politics and also fitting for a day when we should reflect on those who gave their lives to serve their country.

One thought on “Why Americans Should Care About the Current Rules-Based International System

  1. But underlying the president’s position lies an assumption that is now worthy of close consideration: that the United States defends Europe, and stations troops on the continent, based on an impulse that is either fundamentally charitable, anachronistic, or both. As a result, it follows that we’ve been played by allies enriching themselves under our protection. Trump seems to believe that such altruism merits gratitude; the French, he observed, were “starting to learn German in Paris before the U.S. came along.”

    The truth, however, is that the U.S. helps Europe because in so doing it helps itself. Twice in the first half of the 20th century, the United States went to Europe to end wars that had engulfed the world. These were not acts of charity, but of national self-interest. Following the second world war, American leaders resolved not to permit such catastrophes to reoccur. Their solution was to remain in Europe, commit to its defense, and deploy troops there as a way to keep the peace. The bargain has been straightforward: America gets bases and a guarantee that we won’t have to fight alone; European allies get protection from the world’s foremost military. All get stability and peace on the continent.

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