From The New Republic:
Only occasionally do the categories used to organize presidential debates and talk-show roundtables reflect the world as it actually works. Case in point: foreign policy, defined, for the purposes of a campaign year, as a narrow set of invariably perilous scenarios, the solution to which always seems to involve blowing something up. Sanders himself is guilty of playing into this facile paradigm. A year into his improbable experiment in populist revolution, he’s laid out the basis for a robust, even radical foreign policy vision and doesn’t appear to realize it.
In his recent book-length study, Democratic Militarism,..."
Northwestern University political scientist Jonathan Caverley attempts to determine “when voters in a democracy will support belligerence in pursuit of international political gains.” Especially “in wealthy democracies,” he writes, “the preparation for and conduct of military conflict has largely become an exercise in fiscal, rather than social, mobilization.” And after a thorough comparative analysis of various historic examples, his conclusion is that “economically unequal and heavily capitalized democracies are more likely to threaten, initiate, and join small wars; and will often fight them in ways that make winning less likely.” (In this case, ”small” is a technical term meaning voluntary and asymmetric, not a characterization of the costs, human and otherwise.)
The stated aspiration of Sanders’s foreign policy is to extricate the United States from its “perpetual warfare” footing. And the best approach to accomplishing that goal may be the one Sanders has already embraced: reining in the power of the financial sector and reversing the immense redistribution of wealth that its global expansion enabled.