Ted Galen Carpenter

Ted Galen Carpenter is senior fellow for defense and foreign-policy studies at the Cato Institute. Dr. Carpenter served as Cato’s director of foreign policy studies from 1986 to 1995 and as vice president for defense and foreign policy studies from 1995 to 2011. He is the author of nine and the editor of 10 books on international affairs

Latest by Ted Galen Carpenter in Chronicles

Results: 40 Articles found.
  • Lessons From Libya: How Not to Ruin Syria
    June 2018

    Lessons From Libya: How Not to Ruin Syria

    In the aftermath of the U.S.-led air and missile strikes on Syria for the April incident in which Bashar al-Assad’s government allegedly used chemical weapons against innocent civilians, calls are growing for the Trump administration to deepen U.S. military involvement for the explicit purpose of ousting Assad.

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  • Taiwan, China, and Unnecessary War

    Taiwan, China, and Unnecessary War

    While America’s attention remains focused on the North Korea crisis, another dangerous East Asia confrontation has re-emerged. The People’s Republic of China (PRC) is taking new steps to intimidate Taiwan and force the island’s leaders to move toward political reunification with the mainland.

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  • September 21, 2017

    Killing Due Process in the War on Terror

    One striking feature of the U.S. Constitution is the number of procedural rights guaranteed to individuals accused of criminal behavior before they can be deprived of life, liberty, or property.

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  • The Saudi-Iranian Blood Feud
    June 2016

    The Saudi-Iranian Blood Feud

    Tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran, which have frequently flared over the years, reached full intensity this winter when the Saudi government executed 47 regime opponents, including the prominent Shi’ite cleric Nimr al-Nimr.

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  • March 2016

    North Korea: A New Perspective

    Reports that North Korea tested a hydrogen bomb in early January caused consternation bordering on panic in both Washington and the East Asian capitals. That reaction appears to have been a bit excessive.

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  • March 2015

    Washington’s Foreign Policy Folly

    A basic requirement of a wise and effective foreign policy is the ability to establish priorities and make tough choices. Unfortunately, U.S. officials seem increasingly incapable of accomplishing such a task.

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  • Intransigent Diplomacy
    July 2014

    Intransigent Diplomacy

    There is a disturbing pattern over the decades in Washington’s negotiations with countries deemed to be adversaries. It is a tendency to adopt a rigid stance marked by unrealistic demands that make achieving a settlement virtually impossible.

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  • June 2014

    Endorsing Demise

    There is a distressing history of foreign insurgent groups manipulating U.S. political figures, policymakers, and opinion leaders into supporting their causes.

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  • November 2013

    Trading Liberty for Security

    Until recently, much of the public seemed to accept passively the executive branch's assertion of nearly unlimited authority to imprison or kill accused terrorists without trial or even independent judicial review.

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  • October 2013

    Killing Due Process in the War on Terror

    One striking feature of the U.S. Constitution is the number of procedural rights guaranteed to individuals accused of criminal behavior before they can be deprived of life, liberty, or property.

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  • July 2013

    Our Dangerous Foreign-Policy Freeloaders

    During the late winter and early spring of 2013, yet another crisis involving North Korea occupied the attention of U.S. officials and much of the news media. Not only did Pyongyang conduct a nuclear test, but the government of Kim Jong-un issued shrill threats against both South Korea and the United States.

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  • Syria's Jihadist Rebels

    Although Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and other hawks have urged the United States to put “boots on the ground in Syria,” the Obama administration thus far seems determined to resist such calls.

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  • Failure to Launch

    North Korea’s failed missile launch has created a pervasive sense of relief and a little smirking in U.S. and East Asian policy circles.

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  • February 2010

    Conservatives Leninists and the War on Terror

    One long-standing hallmark of Western conservative thought is the emphasis on the rule of law. Earlier generations of conservatives understood that, without such constraints, liberty would be imperiled and a free society would ultimately descend into tyranny.

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  • August 2009

    Needed: A North Korean “Plan B”

    For years, the United States and East Asian nations have proceeded on the assumption that a diplomatic solution to the North Korean nuclear crisis is feasible. A settlement would entail Pyongyang’s renunciation of its nuclear ambitions in exchange for diplomatic and economic concessions by the other participants in the six-party talks.

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  • China Ups the Ante

    Despite professions of friendship and cooperation in Washington and Beijing, U.S.-Chinese relations in the Obama era are off to a rocky start. The most prominent cause of tension was an incident in early March in the South China Sea.

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  • April 2009

    NATO at 60: A Hollow Shell

    When NATO marks its 60th birthday on April 4, there will be much celebration. Proponents will hail not only the alliance’s longevity and past successes but its goals in the coming decades. Their optimism is based, in part, on statements by the new government in NATO’s leading power, the United States.

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  • October 2008

    Obama on Foreign Policy: A Mysterious Work in Progress

    The central theme of Sen. Barack Obama’s campaign for the presidency has been his call for “change”—albeit often with few details about the nature of that change. There is certainly a pressing need for change in U.S. foreign policy.

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  • John McCain on Foreign Policy
    July 2008

    John McCain on Foreign Policy

    Over the years, John McCain has acquired a reputation as a maverick Republican. Independents and even some Democrats who loathe George W. Bush’s foreign-policy record seem to believe that McCain would be a significant improvement.

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  • May 2008

    The Surge “Success”

    In recent months, supporters of the mission in Iraq have been in high spirits. They insist that the “Surge”—the strategy of deploying an additional 30,000 U.S. troops, which President Bush announced in December 2007—has turned around the dire security situation. The Bush administration, they believe, has finally adopted the right approach to Iraq.

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Results: 40 Articles found.



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