Dying by the Sword: The Militarization of Us Foreign Policy (Hardcover)
Dying by the Sword explores the US's evolving foreign policies from the Founding era to the present in order to ring the alarm on the US's increasing reliance on "kinetic" global diplomacy. Monica Duffy Toft and Sidita Kushi find that since the end of the Cold War and especially after 9/11, the US has initiated higher rates of military interventions, drastically escalating its usage of force abroad. Lacking clear national strategic goals, the US now pursues a whack-a-mole security policy that is more reactionary than deliberate. The book explores every major era of US foreign policy, combining historical narrative with anecdotes from US foreign policy officials, case studies, and evidence drawn from the Military Intervention Project (MIP), which measures the extent of US reliance on force. Each chapter highlights the ways in which the US used and balanced primary tools of statecraft--war, trade, and diplomacy--to achieve its objectives. It showcases, however, that in recent decades, the US has heavily favored force over the other pillars of statecraft. The book concludes with a warning that if the US does not reduce its reliance on kinetic diplomacy, it may do irrevocable damage to its diplomatic corps and doom itself to costly wars of choice. If this trend continues, it could spell disaster for the US's image, its credibility, and--ultimately--its ability to help maintain international stability.
Sidita Kushi, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Bridgewater State University. She has served as a research director at the Center for Strategic Studies, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, where she led the Military Intervention Project. Monica Duffy Toft is Professor of International Politics and Director of the Center for Strategic Studies at The Fletcher School of Tufts University. Before joining Fletcher, Professor Monica Duffy Toft taught at Oxford University's Blavatnik School of Government and Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. While at Harvard, she directed the Initiative on Religion in International Affairs and was the assistant director of the John M. Olin Institute for Strategic Studies.