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Trailer: American Umpire


Published: October 17, 2016

Since World War II the United States has engaged in more foreign interventions than any other nation. Presidents of both political parties have asserted that the U.S. must umpire the world’s conflicts and that if it doesn’t, the world will not be safe.This policy helped create a more peaceful, prosperous, and cooperative world in most respects, but also came at a cost in blood, treasure, and moral uncertainty. American Umpire raises the question, should we continue this policy or is it time to revise it?

The first half of the film highlights America’s origins as a neutral republic and its transition to an interventionist superpower after World War II. The second half of the film engages experts in a dialogue regarding the possibility of changing course. American Umpire is designed to launch a thoughtful, civil conversation with the general public about the future of U.S. foreign policy.

American Umpire offers a balanced alternative to the partisan hyperbole of the 24-hour news cycle and Internet free-for-all that starkly paints foreign policy choices as either war mongering or isolationism. It features informed voices across the spectrum, from former Secretary of State George Shultz who thinks “if the US steps back from the role it’s played since WWII, the world will come apart at the seams,” to academics like Barry Posen of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who believes America must devise a new framework of “restraint” and expect allies to take greater responsibility.