Why Foreign Interventionism?

by | May 1, 2020

What is the point of US foreign interventionism?

Why are US troops killing and dying in faraway countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Somalia?

Why does the US government have 165,000 troops stationed in more than 150 foreign countries?

Why is the US government enforcing economic sanctions and embargoes against the people of Iran, North Korea, Cuba, and other countries?

Why are US officials waging trade wars against foreign nations?

Why do the CIA and the Pentagon assassinate foreigners?

Why are US officials provoking conflicts with Iran and Venezuela?

Why is regime change a core feature of US foreign policy?

Why do US officials partner with tyrannical foreign regimes?

Why does the US government tax hard-pressed American citizens in order to send money to foreign regimes, including dictatorial ones?

Why does the US government initiate wars of aggression against countries that have never invaded or even threatened to invade the United States?

Why do US officials spend taxpayer money on foreign interventionism?

Why do US troops inflict death, suffering, and destruction in foreign lands?

What are US troops dying for in faraway lands?

After all, let’s acknowledge the obvious: No nation-state is invading the United States. No nation-state has the money, resources, personnel, equipment, and supplies to cross the ocean and invade and conquer the United States. There is no possibility of an invasion and conquest of the US by Canada or any Latin American country.

Therefore, what is the purpose of all that US meddling in overseas countries? We don’t like foreign regimes meddling in American affairs. Why should US officials be meddling in the affairs of other countries, especially when the meddling involves the infliction of death, suffering, and destruction?

Consider Switzerland. It doesn’t have troops in the Middle East and Afghanistan. It doesn’t send foreign aid to regimes. It doesn’t assassinate people. It doesn’t initiate wars of aggression against Third World countries. It just devotes itself entirely to defending Switzerland against an invasion. And no one ever jacks with the Swiss.

In fact, have you ever wondered why US officials call the Department of Defense by that name? I can see why Switzerland would use such a name. But the US? it seems to me that the more truthful name would be the Department of Foreign Interventionism.

The Swiss model of non-intervention was actually the founding foreign policy of the United States. This was reflected by John’s Quincy Adams’ profound Fourth of July, 1821, speech to Congress entitled “In Search of Monsters to Destroy.” In that speech, Adams observed that if America were ever to abandon her founding foreign policy of non-intervention, “She might become the dictatress of the world: she would be no longer the ruler of her own spirit.”

In fact, that was one of the reasons why the Framers and our American ancestors had such a deep antipathy for what they called “standing armies,” by which they meant large, overgrown military-intelligence establishments, or what President Dwight Eisenhower would later label “the military-industrial complex,” or what we call today a “national-security state.” The Framers and our ancestors didn’t want a “standing army” large enough to engage in foreign interventionism.

Where to go from here? Isn’t the answer obvious?

Reprinted with permission from Future of Freedom Foundation.


  • Jacob G. Hornberger

    Jacob George Hornberger is an American attorney, author, and politician who was a Libertarian candidate for president in 2000 and 2020. He is the founder and president of the Future of Freedom Foundation.

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