Genoa—Internationalism has many different meanings, but constructive global citizenship should always be at its core. An internationalist foreign policy for the developed countries would use their wealth, economic might, and military power to promote a better, more peaceful, more prosperous world for everyone.

Unfortunately, the kind of policies American commentators typically label internationalist today do not fit that definition. They feature micro-meddling in the internal politics of sovereign nations large and small to support “pro-American” politicians. They include the practice of waging militarily unwinnable and internationally unpopular counter-insurgency wars in unreceptive countries. And they require the stationing of U.S. troops in self-contained foreign bases that bind Washington to the whims of local despots. Subordinated at best, are a host of truly internationalist goals like supporting locally rooted democracy, sustainable development, human rights, environmental protection, and arms control. These worthy aims frequently...

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