War will exist until that distant day when the conscientious objector enjoys the same reputation and prestige that the warrior does today.
—John F. Kennedy
IN 1981, IN THE MIDST OF A WIDE-RANGING CONVERSATION DURing a night flight across the Atlantic, I got one of the biggest foreign policy insights of my life. Ever since I heard it, it’s filtered my observations of the behavior of virtually every country in the world, particularly ours.
I’d gone to Uganda in 1980 to help start a program to feed the tens of thousands of people starving as a result of the 1978–1979 war, started when Uganda’s neighbor to the south, Tanzania, finally said “Enough!” to the atrocities perpetuated by Ugandan dictator Idi Amin and invaded ...