The Public Interest

Our fractious foreign policy debate

Fred Baumann

Fall 2004

TREE decades after the Vietnam War, American politicians are still making foreign policy decisions in its shadow. In fact, on one level, debates such as those over the recent war in Iraq can be viewed as hinging on how one interprets the American experience in Vietnam. Was that war merely a case of overreach or was it the typical case—that is, was it what happens whenever the United States undertakes military interventions more dangerous and open-ended than, say, Grenada?

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