This bit of everyday wisdom comes from my friend Justin Keith, who is the author of an upcoming book about practical freedom and community-oriented ethics. Justin’s work is focused on what he considers three necessary elements for healthy communities – truth, trust, and trade. His ideas can be found at his blog, The Actualization Ethic, and will be featured in his upcoming book.
It’s annoying people – Being in other countries and accidentally killing people creates more terrorists and can destabilize regions. The U.S. military isn’t great at nation building. It is great at stopping threats. Some of the survivors of the families we kill and hurt by destroying their employment and infrastructure become the terrorists of tomorrow.
Yet another bureaucracy – Cutting defense spending is a political third rail. There are so many people involved in the military industrial complex that it would create a lot of unemployment to shut down bases and programs even if they are no longer serving the purpose for which they were created. This is the very definition of waste.
Everything looks like a nail – When a country becomes hyper militarized, military solutions begin to look like the solutions for everything. Don’t like something? Declare a war on it. With enough force we can defeat anything, even if it introduces a lot of suffering and could have been done for less cost. Thus, we get the war on poverty, the war on obesity, and the war on drugs. You could argue that war is being used figuratively, but I argue that we are employing a war-like mentality that in the case of the war on drugs, actually is a real war.
We’re subsidizing other countries – Yes, with great power comes great responsibility, but does the U.S. really need to be the world’s policeman? Other countries can afford to have most of their tax dollars go into direct citizen services because the U.S. is handling defense for them.
Peak oil is real – Sorry, it is because of math. I’m not for increasing central planning, but if the U.S. either has to waste money defending pipelines and fighting over a desert area, or it can waste money working on clean nuclear like Thorium LFTRs or other such research, I would rather it be wasted on the latter because it will pay better citizen comfort and environmental benefit dividends over the long term.
Does that mean the U.S. has to be isolationist or not support allies? Of course not. It does require a sober look at what the citizens of this country want and what they are willing to pay for. While the ends are up to the individuals, the correlation between actions and results is a matter of fact not a matter of politics.
Congressman Ron Paul talks about his common sense foreign policy in this August 20 Straight Talk.