Military Interventionism 21st Century

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    I consider myself to be a non-interventionist when it comes to the military. I think that wars are sometimes inevitable, but for this reason I believe we should only go to war if and when we are attacked.

    Yet I keep coming up to the time that we were in the cold war. I think about the Domino effect. During the 1940s and 50s we were in a time that Communism was a big danger to the western world. It was spreading throughout all of Europe, and well into the rest of the western world. We saw this and started interventionism with the Marshall plan and Truman Doctrine. We went to fight the Korean war.

    My question is: Was this something that had to happen? I mean if what the domino effect says is true, then we had to intervene in both military and financial ways as possible. If we didn’t then Communism would have spread throughout the world.

    What are your takes?


    Well, being communism is doomed to economic failure no matter how many times it, and similar economic ideas are tried…..maybe the spreading, and subsequent failure of these systems would have been able to transpire much quicker had all this intervention not taken place. Individuals would have been subjected to the full force of these isms, whether they be communism, facism, totalitarianism, socialism, etc. Maybe then, they would have appreciated liberty, freedom, property and take it upon themselves to fight for, preserve and protect those natural rights.

    Look at all of these battles in the name of so called freedom, and the fights against communism that have taken place. After all these battles, are we more free throughout the world? Was the battle against communism all that effective? Why was there even a need to sacrifice the lives of many, to fight a system and it’s economic ideas that would have, and has failed on it’s own throughout history? Even since world war two, there have been 72 interventions from the US alone. Have we become freer because of those actions? The answer is no, as we wouldn’t see the erosion of our liberties take place, but would have seen them further flourish if the real goal were to defend freedom.

    Be weary of those few individuals whom send us off to war in the name of freedom, while stripping away those very freedoms they swore an oath to support and defend here at home.

    Numerous violations of an individuals rights have taken place. Whether it be the ever expanding government, patriot act, legislation within bills such as the Ndaa, stripping away the right to due process, private property and a myriad of other violations of freedom and liberty that take place in the open, and in secret.


    I agree, I don’t have much negativity about world war II. I think that it was a war that we had to fight.

    I don’t however think the same thing for the wars that happened after though, including Korea, Vietnam, and Iraq/Afghanistan. This is true for the Libyan war as well.

    I think both the right and left are trying too hard to spread Americanism through force, which I have never promoted. I have an Econ teacher who is Republican and he honors Mitt Romney for his plan of Spreading American democracy through militarism. This scares me, and I am pretty sure it scares others around the world.


    The domino theory assumed that Communism was a monolith. It did not allow for intra-Communist squabbles, of which there have been many: the Soviet Union and China, the Soviet Union and Tito’s Yugoslavia, Vietnam and Cambodia, etc.

    Secondly, what is it about Communism that should make us think it was destined to take over the world? Every country the Soviet Union acquired wound up being an additional economic drain. The Soviet Union was a basket case economically in any event. This backward, primitive thing was going to take over the world? I don’t see how.

    Both the Left and the neoconservative Right promoted preposterous estimates of Soviet strength — the Left in order to show that central planning really did work, and the neocons so they could justify the expansion of the military/interventionist state they favored. Both were wrong.

    Finally, I recommend looking at the references linked with the lectures on the Cold War in U.S. History Since 1877.


    The Korean War was a folly from beginning to end. The reason North Korea thought itself free to invade South Korea was that the American secretary of state, Dean Acheson, publicly put Korea outside the sphere of America’s interests. Truman changed the American policy only after the attack.

    On the other hand, the fact that the USSR’s economic system was absurd doesn’t answer the question whether it was an existential threat to the USA. After all, one could have made a similar argument in Tibet c. 1950: “China’s economic system is absurd, so we have nothing to fear.” What good would that do him now?

    I might add that the economic system of the United States is absurd as well.


    Kevin, I think the relative economic strength of the U.S. vs. Tibet may be relevant to the question, though.


    Prof. Gutzman,

    Given Tibet’s location compared to America’s I don’t think that is a fair comparison. But I certainly think you’re right in that the USSR was a threat to the countries surrounding it but the question is if they would have been capable of doing much besides funding revolutionaries in in third world countries outside of the USSR sphere.

    While it is true that the economic system in America is poor it is nothing like communism. Without the threat of direct confrontation with America would the USSR have been able to motivate their people to work for their cause?

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