"We must learn from the last two decades of war and loss," says Joe Kent.

Editors’ note: The following is adapted from remarks that were delivered at The American Conservative’s foreign policy conference, held on December 2, 2021, in Washington.

I come to you as a retired soldier who spent most of his adult life at war or training for war, and I would not have it any other way. I say that because we will always face threats and so need to use or project some degree of power to keep our nation safe. In saying that I am not committing to perpetual war, I am simply acknowledging human nature.

I advocate for a restrained foreign policy for one simple reason, it works. To protect peace, we must be able to project power; we can only do that when we are strong at home, when we produce what we need, when our borders are secure and we are poised for action, not bleeding at the ends of the earth.

To understand why restraint is the way forward we must be honest about why the post-9/11 wars failed and made us weaker as a nation.

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