The American foreign-policy elite seems to have no idea what it's doing. Americans may believe the government — especially the foreign-policy side — is at least minimally competent, but when one surveys decisions from the last few decades, one has to wonder. The current crop of policymakers, like earlier ones, know what they want to do: make the world safe for American leadership — or, less euphemistically, American hegemony: No rivals for American influence or access to resources and markets can be tolerated. As President George H.W. Bush said, "What we say goes." Even by that standard, writes Sheldon Richman, the policy architects and executors look incompetent — or unbelievably cynical. No better evidence exists than the policies that led to the so-called Islamic State and President Barack Obama's response to it.