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November 11, 2007


John Savage

As a foreign-policy realist, I wonder, too, if Noah isn't making the mistake of applying principles of individual morality to foreign affairs, where they may not make sense. For example, the concept of the balance of power may require us to turn against a former ally because it's become an aspiring hegemon, whereas before a different power was on track to be the hegemon. By usual standards of honor, that's disloyal and dishonorable, but the balance of power only works if we behave that way, does it not?

I may try to write up a full post considering some examples that demonstrate the difficulties of applying the same standards of morality to national vs. individual action. Great discussion, though.

John Savage

Just to make my position clear, I tend to believe that if there are any valid reasons to stay in Iraq, "honor" is not one of them.

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