The autors provide a strategy for resolving the eyhical dilemmas between interests and values faced by Washington. They propose maintaining an "arm's lenght relationship"with authoritarian regimes, emphasizing that the U.S. must not operate internationally in ways that routinely pollute American values.The degree of appropriate cooperation with an authoritarian regime should vary depending on the severity of the security threat the United States faces in each situation, how valuable a given ally is in meeting that threat , how odious is the ally's domestic conduct, and whether there are reasonable alternatives for achieving U.S. strategic objectives. It is a strategy based on ethical pragmatism, which is the best way to reconcile America's strategic interests and its fundamental values.
In Perlious Partners, we examine the official justifications for the U.S. partnerships with corrupt, often brutal, autocrats and assess the credibility and sufficiency of those justifications. We look at both the benefits and costs of blood, treasure, and values to the American republic of more than a dozen specific associations.
Galen Carpenter & Malou Innocent
Ted Galen Carpenter is senior fellow for defense and foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute. He is the autor of 8 books and the editor of 10 on international affairs, including The Fire Next Door: Mexico's Drug Violence and the Danger to America; Smart Power: Toward a Preudent Foreign Policy for America; and Korean Conundrum: America's Troubled Relations with North and South Korea.
Malou Innocent is an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute. She was a foreign policy analyst at the Cato Institute from 2007 to 2013. She is a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, and her primary research interests include Middle East and Persian Gulf security issues and U.S. foreign policy toward Pakistan, Afganistan, and China.