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It seems to me that the only reasonable approach to current government foreign policy practices is the privatization of foreign policy.

Each individual in a free society should be at liberty to make his own choice as to whether or not to support some foreign cause, such as a civil war against some faraway tyrant or to give support to a peaceful people who have been invaded by some aggressive power.

That support may include financial contributions of a "humanitarian" sort, or helping to supply arms to the cause being supported, or volunteering to go oneself to fight for that cause (for free or for monetary compensation).

We have seen this before, such as those who went and fought on the "Republican" side of the Spanish Civil War against Franco's fascist side. They were members of the George Washington and Abraham Lincoln Brigades. Most of them were "lefties" or communists. But that's the point. That was their business if they wished to fight for the side and cause they believed in. (Just as the character that actress, Maggie Smith, played in the movie, "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie," supports Franco, as a "great man.")

This solves the dilemma, for instance, of Americans who may be Jewish having to see their tax dollars going to support some Arab dictator who speaks out or supports terror against Israel; and any Arab-Americans who object to their tax dollars going to support Israel and what they may view as Israel's unjust occupation policies in the West Bank.

At the same time, from a Hayekian perspective, each individual knows his own circumstances as to how best he may consider it possible, appropriate, or desirable to support some foreign cause, or not to support some such cause, based on his judgment concerning the "pros" and "cons" of the two sides in that foreign conflict; and his own subjective opportunity cost judgment as to how important it is for him to support one side or another in such a foreign conflict, relative to what would have to be foregone for him to do so.

What, then, becomes the far more limited "foreign policy" of the government? To protect the American citizenry from any foreign invasion and attack, with American military forces confined within the traditional three-mile limit off the U.S. shore.

Richard Ebeling

If I may add, for anyone interested in such a case for the privatization of foreign policy, I made the argument for this in a wider context in an article entitled, 'World Peace, International Order, and Classical Liberalism,' in the "International Journal of World Peace", Vol. XII, No. 4 (December 1995) pp. 47-68.

Richard Ebeling

Excellent points! Of course, you know you're asking for the moon by asking that politicians be humble?

"the U.S. is not very good at predicting or facilitating social change abroad"

That is too generous. Predictive skill in these types of events approaches zero, yet a few U.S. foreign policy makers (from both mainstream political parties) still exhibit a type of fatal conceit in thinking that they are able to design the desired outcomes (mostly at the end of a gun barrel).

“The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design.”

They must be reminded over and over and over again the "oughts" and the "cans".

Did anyone see this article in The New Yorker "The Tyrant Tax?"

He says that a big part of the problem is that they stifle entrepreneurship in the Middle East

Each time opportunities for intervention arise there are people out there trying to make a "humanitarian" case for US/NATO/UN intervention. Given the various dangers and problems of intervention and the abysmal ignorance of the American public about foreign nations (and, I should add, of the US's government experts), we ought to promote a DOGMA of non-intervention. This is the root wisdom of so-called isolationism.

Not just US intelligence agencies, but Israel's were caught flat-footed by events in Egypt. Steve Hanke has a column in Global Asia using an upated Barro misery index to asses the MENA countries. The indices in the affected countries were generally quite high. Intelligence agenices underestimate economic factors.

Soryy - I meant to commend Chris for his comments.

I listen to the FFT guys over at they called the stockmarket crash back in 08 and this middle east
crisis. Well worth having a look at.

They also have a controversial ebook coming out next week called U.S. SECRET HIDDEN TREASURE MAP! looks intresting

What if the 'nation building' idea is a decoy. What if the actual primary US objective in Afghanistan is to control the 'tera firma' for the purpose of controling the vast mineral resourses and also for controling the physical space between Iran and Pakistan?

Being there already 10 years has a different spin to it when examined through these policy


A life, a fulfilling life, a rich life includes ups and downs, includes pain and getting up again, includes failure and getting up again.

I dont Agree with this Sensus As its by Lockheed martin who make Deadly weapons that have killed millions of small innocent children. It would be against my own law to do this it is being returned back to sender ,No Contract!!!And also a big waste of money.

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