Foreign Affairs Are Not Your PhD Thesis On Foreign Affairs

Over at, great Daniel Greenfield dissects the blunders of American foreign policy. Blunders which all resulted because “experts” wanted to try out their theses in the real world. A very good piece on technocrats’ fetish of treating human beings as laboratory tests.


“Think of a mistake that we made in international affairs. At the time that we were making it, a phalanx of foreign policy experts was standing behind it. It might be a lonely orphan idea today, but last year you could have thrown a rock at a roomful of PhDs without hitting a single person who disagreed with it.

When the Tahrir Square protests in Egypt were in their heyday, I had trouble finding any foreign policy people who would even entertain the idea that we should continue backing Mubarak. Back then the revolution seemed inevitable. But I correctly predicted Islamist takeovers and counterrevolutions that would topple them because I didn’t see international relations through the lens of a grand theory.

Scott Walker’s claim that foreign policy is about leadership, not expertise, is being mocked now by media types who were relentlessly regurgitating all the expert truisms about the Arab Spring. But he’s right. Foreign policy expertise does not translate into foreign affairs competence. Leadership does.” (from the article)


Read the article here.