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Charles Ballay, M.D., Libertarian, Statement #2 on Military and Foreign Interventions

Updated: Mar 10


(This post is a response to a recent email received on the topic; for my initial, broader statement on the U.S. military and foreign interventions, Go Here.)
Regarding war and foreign military interventions, it is a topic that requires careful consideration of our past actions and their long-term implications, not only for the United States but also for the global community. My views are informed by historical instances where U.S. interventions to promote democracy neither yielded the intended outcomes nor any further benefit other than to learn from them. We must learn from these experiences to guide our future foreign policy decisions.
For instance, the 1953 intervention in Iran and the 1954 coup in Guatemala were initially justified on grounds of preventing the spread of communism, yet they were followed by decades of authoritarianism and human rights abuses. Similarly, the 1973 support for the coup in Chile replaced a democratically elected government with a brutal dictatorship under Augusto Pinochet. More recently, the 2003 invasion of Iraq, under the premise of dismantling weapons of mass destruction, resulted in profound instability and the emergence of new threats, including ISIS.
These examples underscore the complexity of international relations and the unpredictability of military interventions, and they are foundational to my non-interventionism position. They remind us that the pursuit of 'exporting democracy' cannot be disentangled from the cultural, historical and political contexts of the countries involved. Our pursuit of democracy should be that of preserving, protecting, treasuring and strengthening our own. Of course, we do require peaceful (and ideally productive) relations with all other countries in the concerted objective of global harmony.
As such, my stance is one of cautious pragmatism. It emphasizes diplomacy, multilateral cooperation, and the support of international institutions as the primary means of promoting democratic values and human rights, globally. I advocate for a foreign policy that is not only informed by past lessons but also guided by a commitment to international peace, stability and respect for the sovereignty of nations. Our goal should always be to support the conditions in which democracy can flourish organically, rather than through imposed solutions, military action, and endless financial aid. These views, however, do not abdicate our responsibility to protect our homeland - the priority of our military efforts.

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