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Right Does Not Make It Right

September 29, 2015

A crucial difference exists between the right to say the most awful things—to use the N-word, deny the Holocaust, advocate for the Islamic State—and the rightness of saying these things. It is the difference between a constitutional right to free speech and what we consider morally appropriate speech. 

Freedom of Navigation Assertions: The United States as the World’s Policeman

September 10, 2015

In line with its ‘‘Freedom of Navigation’’ program, the United States conducts ‘‘operational assertions’’ by sending naval vessels to violate what it considers to be the excessive maritime claims of other states. Efforts have been made to legitimate this program to the public and elected officials on both liberal and realist grounds: Freedom of navigation is an important component of the liberal international order while also central to the exercise of U.S. naval power. However, it does not follow that military assertions, which create a security risk and are inconsistent with liberal principles, should take precedence over diplomatic and multilateral steps. Rather, the program has faced little scrutiny to date due to its relative obscurity.