Monday, November 23, 2009


Test question: where does this blog's title come from?
Answer: Shakespeare, Henry IV, part 2.

The dying King Henry IV tells his son "Be it thy course to busy giddy minds with foreign quarrels."

I don't recommend that as wise policy for the U.S. government, but history is full of examples of leaders who used foreign policy problems to distract public attention from domestic issues.

Shakespeare's insight, which I share, is that there are linkages between domestic politics and international policies. Political calculations always hover, at least in the background, when foreign policy decisions are being made. Sometimes those concerns greatly influence decisions, sometimes not.

When, how, why, and with what consequences are the questions I want to examine as we study U.S. policy.

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