In response to the escalation of threats of warfare by the Donald Trump administration, the Libertarian National Committee adopted the following resolution at its quarterly meeting last weekend: “Resolved, the Libertarian National Committee calls for the immediate U.S. government withdrawal from NATO.”
President Trump’s foreign policy seems to depend on which advisor he talked to last … or whatever his Twitter muse may be in the early morning hours. Clearly, the last people he listened to before addressing the nation on Afghanistan last Monday night were his generals. He raised the specter of terrorism to justify killing Taliban, Al Qaida, and ISIS terrorists, saying that he would give the military a free hand. He vowed to maximize economic sanctions, accused Pakistan of harboring terrorists, and demanded more money from our NATO allies. According to the Cato Institute, the chances of dying in a terrorist attack are around 1 in 3 million. The odds of being hit by lightning are 1 in 700,000.
Spanning nearly 16 years, the war in Afghanistan is already the longest war in U.S. history. When our opponents are fighting a guerilla war on their home turf, we will not win. The Soviets lost, and so will we. The only winners will be the military/industrial/security/intelligence complex and their lobbyists on K Street.
“Monday evening, President Trump had the gall to ask America to trust him as he increases U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan to unspecified levels,” said LNC Chair Nicholas Sarwark.
President Trump’s plans to ramp up military action in Afghanistan stand in stark contrast to his campaign rhetoric, when he said things such as, “We have wasted an enormous amount of blood and treasure in Afghanistan. Their government has zero appreciation. Let’s get out.” His announcement yesterday shows Trump is breaking yet another campaign promise.
In the last few days, Trump has leveled veiled “fire and fury” threats of nuclear war with North Korea. Kim Jong-un has responded with not-so-veiled threats to return any nuclear attack. Trump says he has not ruled out a “military option” to respond to the Maduro regime in Venezuela, a country that poses no threat whatsoever to the United States. Defense Secretary James Mattis is scheduled to visit Jordan, Turkey, and Ukraine to deliver the message that Washington will not tolerate a Russian annexation of Ukraine.
The threat of war looms on four separate fronts, without counting Iraq, Iran, Syria, and many other global hot spots that have little strategic importance for the United States. The U.S. military, as powerful as it is, cannot successfully wage war on more than one and a half fronts, particularly when our would-be foes will use asymmetric and guerilla warfare tactics.
Unfortunately, the Democrats offer no viable alternative. Nobel Peace Prize winner Barack Obama presided over eight years of continuous warfare, including starting a disastrous new war in Libya.
Libertarians seek a United States at peace with the world. Our military should not engage in nation-building or otherwise interfering in other nations’ business. We should concentrate on defending our country from the real threats of the 21st century, like cyberattacks and biological warfare.
Only Libertarians offer the common-sense solution presented at Thomas Jefferson’s inaugural: “peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none.” The perfect symbolic first step is immediate withdrawal from NATO.