Paper tiger trap

Larison demolishes David Kopel's arguments:

A government doesn’t reveal itself to be a paper tiger by not intervening in conflicts in which it has no stake and doesn’t have a real interest. In fact, jumping into conflicts where there are no U.S. interests is a good way to create the impression of weakness later on, as there will be enormous pressure to get out immediately when something goes wrong (and something always goes wrong). One way to avoid appearing as a “paper tiger” is not to make every conflict the business of the U.S. government.

(Photo: Terry Border's art piece, "How to catch a paper tiger")

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