I wasn’t at Netroots Nation this year, so I had to attend this panel by internet. As I keep saying, the noninterventionist argument is self-limited, and dissonant with the empirical evidence of the post-Cold War period; I think this panel reflected that.
A progressive dialogue on defense must necessarily delve into matters of force, firepower, footprints, and their limits as policy tools, not just their possibilities. Liberals invented the multilateralism exercised in Libya and now Syria; they have traditionally engaged the realist dialectic to produce strong defense policy. There’s no reason to stop now.
Progressives should be particularly encouraged by the prospect of a broad nuclear disarmament treaty in a second Obama term. That would be the holy grail of pacifist politics — worthy of a Nobel Prize at least.