Feb 14, 2022 • 52M

China & the Stupidity of War

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Bob Zadek
Bob talks about the issues that affect our lives on a daily basis from a purely libertarian standpoint. He believes in small government, fewer taxes, and greater personal freedom.<br /><br />America has lost its way, but it cannot and does not need to be reinvented. Our founders were correct about their approach to government, as were John Locke, Adam Smith and the other great political philosophers who influenced them. The country’s first principles are economic and social freedom, republicanism, the rule of law, and liberty. Bob believes we must take the best of our founding principles and work from them because a country without principles is just a landmass.
Episode details

As Americans tune into the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, some may be wondering about a different sort of competition with the host nation, China, whose size and growing military power make them appear as one of the most significant threats to the long-standing international order of *Pax Americana*.

John Mueller is a senior fellow at [the Cato Institute](http://Cato.org) and one of the world's foremost experts on international security, terrorism, and foreign policy. In his new book, *[The Stupidity of War: American Foreign Policy and the Case for Complacency](https://www.amazon.com/Stupidity-War-American-Foreign-Complacency/dp/1108843832/ref=asc_df_1108843832/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=475789621852&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=2850844568086103520&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9032082&hvtargid=pla-1073802049119&psc=1),* (Oxford University Press, 2016), Mueller contends that China is not in fact a serious threat to the United States, nor the remarkably durable peace of the last 75 years. The greater threat, he says, comes from treating China as an adversary, and provoking them into responding in kind.

China may have the second largest military in the world (after the United States), spending more on its military than Russia or Saudi Arabia. However, in a recent Cato report, Mueller lays out the many reasons why conflict would be in neither the U.S. nor China’s interest. His answer to the brewing tensions – “complacency” – may seem like a strange word to use in this context, yet he makes a compelling case that American military might has been used for harm more often than good since the end of World War II.
So why do certain elements within our government and military beat the war drum? Is it possible that there are special interests involved in making the threat seem larger than it really is? At a time when China is flexing its muscles in the South China Sea and our relationship with Russia is increasingly strained, Mueller's book is a much-needed voice of reason urging the U.S. to de-escalate.

Mueller returned to the show to help me and my audience understand what the pretext for alarm is this time, and why we shouldn’t take the bait and go to war (again) this time around.