How ‘Smart Guns’ Could Eventually Help Shape US Foreign Policy

by PIERRE BIENAIMÉ  |  published on January 8, 2015

On Nov. 3, 1969, president Richard Nixon addressed the nation, at one point laying out what he said had “been described as the Nixon Doctrine,” a three-point foreign policy “to prevent future Vietnams.”

The third of these has cast a long shadow over the US’ foreign affairs. Nixon called for the US to “furnish military and economic assistance when requested in accordance with our treaty commitments.” Instead of losing blood and treasure in tomorrow’s wars, Nixon suggested, the US could simply arm its preferred side.

The problem, underscored by the Obama Administration’s long-standing hesitance to give guns to secular militants fighting the Assad regime in Syria, is that weapons can fall into the wrong hands, tipping the scales of a conflict in unintended and unforeseen ways.

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