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How Trump Brought Home the Endless War

Every generation delivers its own update to the worry, as old as democracy, that military crusades abroad will come back to damage freedom at home. The Founders of the United States, haunted by ancient Rome’s descent from republic to empire, resisted establishing a standing army. At the end of the First World War, the American Civil Liberties Union formed in opposition to mass arrests and deportations carried out by the Department of Justice. In our own time, it seemed apparent, until recently, that the main blowback of the war on terror would be the surveillance state inaugurated by the Patriot Act of 2001. Yet, while troubling, mass surveillance did not prompt most Americans to think that their country had become fundamentally unfree. The link between foreign intervention and domestic repression retained an almost metaphorical quality, as when Secretary of State John Quincy Adams warned, in 1821, that if it became

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