Commentary of the Day

Stuart Koehl, on Gordon G. Chang:

A credible foreign policy is one where nobody has to guess what your country will do in a given circumstance. That could be very good, or very bad. For instance, under Jimmy Carter, we were pretty sure how the U.S. would respond to any provocation or challenge-cave. The Romans, on the other hand, had a very credible foreign policy: mess with us, you die. The followed this policy religiously, and as a result, soon they did not have to employ it all that often. In the 19th century, the British had a similar approach: mess with us, and soon your country joins the other pink splotches on the map. Pretty soon, they didn’t have to do it very much, either (of course, by that time, they had already taken most of the good stuff).