God, Realism and the Limits of Power (The National Interest)

(As published with The National Interest.)

Last week, The American Conservative hosted a half-day conference on foreign policy “Realism & Restraint,” together with George Washington University’s political science department and the Charles Koch Institute. One of its panels was dedicated entirely to “What Religion Means for U.S. Foreign Policy”: a timely recognition of religion’s role in the global anarchy of 2015.

Realists believe war can be a necessary evil in the defense of core interests; Abrahamic religion affirms that God and morality constrain the legitimacy of violence. At the same time, some say that religious motives blind actors to their true self-interest, threatening to overshadow and prolong deadly and intractable wars. (Read more…)

Image: Flickr/Jason Ballard