Al Qaeda is an idea. John Kerry is a clueless buffoon. Justin Bieber needs to be banned from the United States, you know, to send a message. Free speech for the dumb. Putin knows what he is doing. The F-35 is a scam. The CIA is off the reservation. This is not a Munich moment.
One of the worst consequences of America’s Asian and European alliances is discouraging prosperous and populous states from defending themselves. Europe has eight times Russia’s GDP—why is it relying on America at all? And why isn’t it moving forces into Eastern Europe if the continent’s security is at risk?
Similarly, why is Japan, a wealthy state which until recently had the world’s second largest economy, expecting Washington’s help to assert control over contested islands? Why does South Korea, with 40 times the GDP of North Korea, presume the U.S. will forever maintain military forces in the peninsula? Alas, these countries are responding rationally to America’s incentive for security free-riding.