Should the U.S. use its military and financial power to act as the world's policeman?

In a Nutshell



  1. Unstable regions can be havens for terrorists.
  2. Nations cannot grow and develop with constant threat of warlords and terrorists trying to gain power.
  3. Humanitarian aid often cannot reach its intended recipients.
  4. Genocide and atrocities can be avoided or lessened.
  5. Citizens and governments are hesitant to invest in unstable countries, and they may be reluctant to donate hard-earned money to charities for which the money may not reach its intended targets.
  6. Militant ideologies could expand without us, threatening the lives and resources of democratic countries.
  7. Living with oppression and a constant state of terror throughout an entire population is worse than the risk of a few deaths.
  8. It could eventually lead to a united, stable world.
  9. We can protect U.S. interests (trading partners, military allies, countries with needed resources, etc.).
  10. No other country in the world has the power to play this role.
  1. It could increase an already growing anti-American sentiment around the world.
  2. We could make many wrong decisions (e.g. when we armed & financed Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden).
  3. U.S. soldiers would be put in harm's way and could lose their lives in the process.
  4. Civilians would be killed on many of the missions.
  5. Much of a country could be destroyed in a liberation attempt, as modern weapons can be very destructive.
  6. The financial cost of being a world policeman is extremely high, and the world economy would be brought to its knees if the U.S. economy continues its spending path to bankruptcy.
  7. People from other countries have different cultures & values; thus, we must respect the rights of those citizens to determine their own government.
  8. Acting as a world policeman is not an enumerated power given to the federal government by the Constitution.

Related Links

U.S. Global Leadership: A Euphemism for World Policeman
World Policeman: If Not Us, Then Who?

Is anything missing? Is any of the material inaccurate? Please let me know.

Written by:
Joe Messerli
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