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Non-Interventionism: Why We Need It In America
"An Atlas, whose back is bowed and whose hands are busy holding up the world, has no arms to lift to deal with his own defense. Increase his burdens and you will crush him…This is our present posture…"
Our Current State of Affairs: Hero's and Hellion's to Everyone
At the moment, our foreign policy is heavily based on interventionism, which as created a doubled sided sword. On one blade you can see the imprint - HEROES. On the other blade it clearly says - Hellions.
This has happened because our country has taken on the idea that it is our business to police the rest of the world. Which means that we have friends and foes on every corner of the earth. To make matters worse, we have more enemies then we have friends, because we don't even fully uphold the ideal of being the worlds police power - we only intervene when it benefits us in some way. Which means that we can't claim the humanitarian card for simply wanting to do the right thing.
Currently, so far as I can count, we are involved in at least 10 wars. Pakistan, Afganistan, Lybia, Mexico, Iraq, Yemen, Philippines and the War on Drugs - just to name some off the top of my head.
So far, since the year 2000, it has cost us $1,195,831,000,000 (Yes! More than ONE TRILLION Dollars!) and the cost goes up by the second. We'll probably have already spent $2 trillion by next month. Just going to Libya on that first day - cost us $550,000,000!
On top of the expense of going to war, hardly anyone talks about what it costs to pay for our soldiers to die at war. Did you know that when a soldier is kill in war, our government pays their next of kin $500,000? Surprisingly, that is not even close to the cost of what insurance companies pay for a wrongful death and shows just how much our government thinks about taking away a life that can never be given back to the families that lost them.
And even though it is a measly amount for their kin to receive, it still costs taxpayers at tremendous amount.
4209 US soldiers died in the Iraq war
4,400 lives have been lost in Afghanistan.
285 and counting Libya
17 lives have been lost in the Philippines (operation enduring freedom)
That's $4,455,500,000 to pay for each death lost in the wars we are involved in, and that isn't even a total because there are many lives that will never be reported as lost (at least not publicly).
And what are we paying all this money for? What good are these wars supposed to be doing?
We are told they are being fought to prevent terrorism and to save lives. When in truth, we are fighting them to gain assets and to make sure the U.S. remains one of the few superpowers on earth. Not very noble.
"Peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations; entangling alliances with none." – Thomas Jefferson
What is Non-Interventionism?
The thought to non-interventionism is that no country has the right to interfere with another countries affairs. More specifically, non-interventionism is the practice of remaining friendly and diplomatic with other countries, but not getting involved in any of their affairs. This includes so called humanitarian interventions, preemptive operations and joint operations with other nations (such as NATO or the UK).
So the basic idea is, if the war isn't on our soil, it's none of our business. Any issue that takes place outside of our borders, is none of our business.
Only one good reason for War - Direct Self Defense
In my opinion, there is only one good reason to go to war - and that is someone or another country is directly attacking our soil. I'm not just talking about when they huck a bomb at us, or when they send some crazy people onto a planes. I'm talking about full scale attacks on our soil. Any other reason to go to war, is subjective. Any society can provide a logical reason to go to war, because they can base it on scientific, religious, economic or security reasons. None of which can be officially proven as good reasons to start or take part in a war.
And it must be direct self defense, otherwise we'll continue to get into conflicts like the one with Iran, where the US wants to put more sanctions on them for developing their nuclear industry. I don't like the idea of more nuclear power plants on our planet, but how can we punish them for something they haven't done. The basis for stopping them is preventing terrorism through nuclear weapons, while we sell more weapons to terrorist than any other country. Until Iran actually does something they shouldn't, we are intervening against suspected thought crimes, because they have plenty of reasons not to like us already and we have no evidence they'll be any worse with nuclear energy then anyone else.
How We Could Benefit from Non-Intervensionism
1. We would save trillions of wasted dollars.
2. We would have surplus funds even after we took care of our own major issues.
3. We would have way less enemies around the world.
4. We would have more time and money to focus on green energy and taking care of the environment.
5. Our military would be smaller and stronger because they would be less spread out all over the globe and would only be needed for direct territory defense.
What reasons can you see that non-interventionism could benefit our society?
What we could lose
As with anything, there are some possible down falls to every idea.
The major criticism to non-interventionism is that it could lead to isolationism, which is really far fetched when you consider that the Netherlands are not isolated, yet they rarely take part in any conflicts or wars that aren't directly within their borders. They are war neutral.
Some possible losses from becoming a non-interventionist country:
*Not as many global resources (oil, land, stocks, water, ect...)
*The UK would probably put us on their enemy list, even though we wouldn't be an enemy to them through choosing non-interventionism.
*Our empire would be restricted to lands we already control - no more flag planting in other countries.
Some additional reading
Here are some sites that I found helpful while producing this hub. I hope you'll find them useful as well: