Gene Healy Says 'Don't Do Stupid Stuff' Is Smart Foreign Policy Advice


White House

The United States paid a heavy price in the Iraq War: some 4,500 U.S. troops killed, tens of thousands more with traumatic brain injuries, hundreds of limb amputations, $1.7 trillion in direct budgetary costs so far and nearly half a trillion to come in veterans' care and disability. Given that history, perhaps there's something to be said for President Obama's latest foreign policy maxim: "don't do stupid stuff." At the very least, you wouldn't think a "first, do no harm" approach to foreign policy would prove quite so controversial. The D.C. commentariat gripes, but Gene Healy writes that it is sound, even noble, foreign policy goal, one that can help us avoid further sacrifice of American blood and treasure—even as we try to extricate ourselves from past stupidities.