Saturday, September 10, 2016

How would a Libertarian President deal with threats, like North Korea?

What is the Libertarian/Christian  view on "National Defense"?

My dad asked an interesting question today. Essentially he asked:
How would a Libertarian President respond to U.S. National Defense issues (e.g. ISIS, North Korea, Iran, etc.)?

My answer is simple: Broken Window Foreign Policy
The emphasis should be on Short, Mission Specific, Police Actions that target single offenses, and not long term offenders. The emphasis should not be on open-ended occupations with a goal of nation building.
More on that at the bottom of this article. Let's walk through the thoughts on this step by step.

The Libertarian Platform on National Defense

The first few sections of the LP Plank #3, Securing Liberty, gives us information about the party position on National Defense. LP.Org (bold added by myself for emphasis):

3.0 Securing Liberty
The protection of individual rights is the only proper purpose of government. Government is constitutionally limited so as to prevent the infringement of individual rights by the government itself. The principle of non-initiation of force should guide the relationships between governments.

This means that the USA should almost never be the one to initiate force onto other nations, no matter how "good" our intentions. If other nations want freedom like ours, their people must rise, revolt, and institute their own freedom like our founding fathers did for us. We would be willing to offer insight or advice to those asking for our help, if it serves the interest of our peace, but will not fight their fight.

This falls in line with Christian ideology too. The most loving thing we can do for people is to let them handle their own lives. We can offer advice or counsel when it is sought, but we should not be enabling other's poor choices. Not when it's one-on-one, and not when it's nation to nation either.

3.1 National Defense
We support the maintenance of a sufficient military to defend the United States against aggression. The United States should both avoid entangling alliances and abandon its attempts to act as policeman for the world. We oppose any form of compulsory national service.
The evidence is out, the verdict is in. After decades of "nation building" and "international policing", the world is far less safe.  The primary reason the Iraq experiment failed, is that the people did not want the democracy bad enough to overcome the obstacles making it happen themselves.

When the USA enters into conflicts inside other nations, we destabilize the region and allow violent bully factions to take over. This is because the inner will of the people had not built itself into the will to overcome. Scared people will just run to power for protection. One bully is replaced by another bully.

If the people of a nation want new leadership, they'll need to make it happen. The USA should not have been involved. Not to give weapons, not to fight, not at all.

Only in rare instances, when a thirst for a democratic republic can be proven, should we offer advice or counsel (but usually not weapons).

I cannot find a biblical reason for Christian's to endorse the US Government playing policeman of the world in this manner. Individual Churches and Christian's should absolutely go and offer help to the needy, but military force used on behalf of non US Citizens is an abuse of power. *I'm open to adjusting on this point (foreshadowing of things below), more on that in a moment.

3.2 Internal Security and Individual Rights
The defense of the country requires that we have adequate intelligence to detect and to counter threats to domestic security. This requirement must not take priority over maintaining the civil liberties of our citizens. The Constitution and Bill of Rights shall not be suspended even during time of war. Intelligence agencies that legitimately seek to preserve the security of the nation must be subject to oversight and transparency. We oppose the government’s use of secret classifications to keep from the public information that it should have, especially that which shows that the government has violated the law.
Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Lord Acton

On the surface, the #USPatriotAct seemed like a good idea to a scared nation.

"Protect Us!", the people cried.

So Fascist Dictator... I mean President George Bush instituted arguably one of the worst pieces of legislation in US History (#ObamaCare running a close second). This act gave the US Government power to over-ride your Constitutional rights in the name of safety.

Here's the problem... No human can be trusted with that much power. No human except Jesus, but he's not back yet. Until the return of Jesus, no human or group of humans can be trusted with that power. That's the reason the US Constitution exists in the first place.

Non-US Citizens are not afforded rights under the US Constitution. So some of these rights don't apply when gathering intelligence about a foreign enemy or from a foreign enemy who has publicly declared war on the USA.

We should work to gather intelligence, but never at the expense of US Citizen's Constitutional Rights... never. You want to prove a US Citizen is guilty, they deserve a public trial by jurry. Even if you are the NSA leading the prosecution.

*This is why I do not belive in US Citizen's being put on a national "No Fly" list until an open court jury trial found them guilty of terrorism. I'd rather ten got away than one innocent be persecuted.

3.3 International Affairs
American foreign policy should seek an America at peace with the world. Our foreign policy should emphasize defense against attack from abroad and enhance the likelihood of peace by avoiding foreign entanglements. We would end the current U.S. government policy of foreign intervention, including military and economic aid. We recognize the right of all people to resist tyranny and defend themselves and their rights. We condemn the use of force, and especially the use of terrorism, against the innocent, regardless of whether such acts are committed by governments or by political or revolutionary groups.

It's time to cut off all funding of government money to all nations outside the USA. Humanitarian aide sent to other nations should be handled by private people and organizations, not governments.

US Military Force should be used for the defense of US Citizens, and the defenseless innocent.

Christian history proves that the Church is at it's best when it is out there doing the work of the Church outside the walls of the Church.

Schools, Hospitals, Science, and most of the wonderful benefits of modern western society were the result of Christians working in the world. It's the Church, not government intervention, that will benefit people's lives (one-on-one, and nation to nation).

What about ISIS, Iran, North Korea, and Other Threats Yet Un-named?

Let's evaluate "threats".

  • If the US had never gotten involved in foreign matters, ISIS wouldn't exist today in it's current form. We helped destabilize the region, and we are adding to it daily by our involvement there. More intervention without a clear short-term plan and purpose is like using more alcohol to cure alcoholism. 
  • North Korea is acting out, testing borders, and seeing what they can get away with.
  • Iran got money from the USA, and we negotiated with them... What the heck for? Now they are testing new waters, making new threats. They were emboldened by our lack of spine.

The world suffers when the USA gets half involved in anything... They also suffer when we get too involved and overstay our need to be there. But we cannot ignore credible threats to our national security.

Then there is the NAP (Non Aggression Principle)

What I'm about to say may sound like a contradiction of what I've already said... so bare with me, this is nuanced.

The USA should not be out in the world nation building, and forcing everyone else to live like we do... but let's evaluate this further in light of the NAP.

Imagine you are on a playground.
The school bully just walked up to steal someone else's lunch. You let the person handle it themselves, they cower and give it over. Should let that continue? 
The NAP says that you don't harm me, and I don't harm you. That bully harmed that other kid. 
I don't think it's black and white. I see two valid responses.
1. Leave it alone for now. Maybe with some background information (*read intelligence briefing) you learn that the kid would be best served by learning to stand up for himself. In that instance the most loving and moral action would be to leave it alone, and let him learn to stand up. 
2. Act to defend. Maybe you learn with some background (*read intelligence briefing) that the kid is incapable of defending himself (mental or physical handicap). In that case, you have a moral obligation to enforce the NAP against that bully. 

Most people seem to think it's either do nothing, or jump into an all out war and occupy another country for 20 years.

But what if (just like Libertarian's are the third party) there was a third international choice?

Introducing: The Broken Windows Foreign Policy

In Prager U's course "How to fix the World, NYPD style", Bret Stephens sheds an interesting nuance on this debate through the Broken Window theory. He asked how the US can enforce basic rules of Decency, Deter Enemies, and Reassure Friends (sounds like the NAP to me).

Political scientists at Harvard noted that:
One repaired broken window is a signal that no one cares, and so breaking more windows costs nothing.

By taking swift strategic actions against the worst offenders of the NAP, we can deter others from violating it.

The emphasis should be on Short, Mission Specific, Police Actions that target single offenses, and not long term offenders. The emphasis should not be on open-ended occupations with a goal of nation building.

Someone violates a weaker party that cannot defend itself, in violation of the NAP, the USA will act swiftly to defend. Take out a tower, or city if need be, and step back. Then warn the perpetrator that further violations of the NAP will be met with equal reactions in the future.

The USA would need to back this policy up with actual actions. Trigger must be pulled. But when the world sees we're serious, the majority of would-be violators would loose their nerve.

This isn't to say we jump into every conflict. As I said, most of the time the kid just needs to learn to stand up to the bully himself. But when the defenseless are violated by bully's, it's time to act. The USA should not make a single comment, tweet, or issue a single press release condemning an action of another state; unless it's willing to back it up with decisive action, then leave and wait and watch.

That works in a room, organization, city, nation, and on the international stage.

*Gary Johnson has already proven that he's more devoted to rational answers than staunch ideologies. I'm voting for Gary Johnson; Libertarian Presidential Candidate for 2016, #youin ?

Darrell G. Wolfe

Story Teller | INFJ | Futuristic | Intellection | Learner | Ideation | Achiever | Command | Input | Focus | Multipotentialite


Interesting side note: Dave Rubin explains why voting for Gary Johnson (even if he doesn't win) is the right thing to do.


How to Fix the World, NYPD-Style is woth watching too:

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My name is Darrell G. Wolfe (DG Wolfe if you're reading my fiction). I am a wealth of random information and I make complicated things simple. When people around me don't know the answer to some off-the-wall question, they often say: "Ask Darrell, he'll know!"

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