Comments Subscribe to Personal Liberty News Feed Subscribe to Personal Liberty

Overseas Military Engagements

September 29, 2011 by  

During his campaign for President in 2000, George W. Bush said he would be judicious in his use of the military and opposed using it for nation building. Yet by the end of his Presidency, the U.S. had invaded Afghanistan and Iraq and was rebuilding those countries; and the military was being used without a declaration of war in a number of other countries that had not attacked us.

As a candidate for election in 2008, Barack Obama promised to remove troops from Afghanistan and Iraq and to end America’s involvement in foreign wars. Now we are fighting wars in those two countries, plus Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia; and we currently maintain about 900 military bases in more than 100 countries.

The Founders warned us about the dangers of overseas military engagements.

In his farewell address, President George Washington said:

Our detached and distant situation invites and enables us to pursue a different course… Why forego the advantages of so peculiar a situation? Why quit our own to stand upon foreign ground? Why, by interweaving our destiny with that of any part of Europe, entangle our peace and prosperity in the toils of European ambition, rivalship, interest, humor or caprice?

Later, in a letter to Patrick Henry, he wrote:

My ardent desire is, and my aim has been … to comply strictly with all our engagements foreign and domestic; but to keep the United States free from political connections with every other country. To see that they may be independent of all, and under the influence of none. In a word, I want an American character, that the powers of Europe may be convinced we act for ourselves and not for others; this, in my judgment, is the only way to be respected abroad and happy at home.

And in a series of tracts called The American Crisis, Thomas Paine wrote:

Not all the treasures of the world, so far as I believe, could have induced me to support an offensive war, for I think it murder; but if a thief breaks into my house, burns and destroys my property, and kills or threatens to kill me, or those that are in it, and to ‘bind me in all cases whatsoever’ to his absolute will, am I to suffer it?

The Founders believed we should stay away from foreign entanglements and involve ourselves only in wars in which there was an expressed vital U.S. interest or in response to an attack.

As you evaluate who you will support in the next Presidential election, ask yourself which of the candidates demonstrates that he or she understands the proper use of the military as envisioned by the Founders. They didn’t believe the U.S. should police the world, and we can certainly no longer afford it.


Bob Livingston

is an ultra-conservative American and author of The Bob Livingston Letter™, founded in 1969. Bob has devoted much of his life to research and the quest for truth on a variety of subjects. Bob specializes in health issues such as nutritional supplements and alternatives to drugs, as well as issues of privacy (both personal and financial), asset protection and the preservation of freedom.

Facebook Conversations

Join the Discussion:
View Comments to “Overseas Military Engagements”

Comment Policy: We encourage an open discussion with a wide range of viewpoints, even extreme ones, but we will not tolerate racism, profanity or slanderous comments toward the author(s) or comment participants. Make your case passionately, but civilly. Please don't stoop to name calling. We use filters for spam protection. If your comment does not appear, it is likely because it violates the above policy or contains links or language typical of spam. We reserve the right to remove comments at our discretion.

Is there news related to personal liberty happening in your area? Contact us at

  • Edwin Denlinger

    Your article indicates you would back Ron Paul for President as he advocates pulling all troops home to protect our borders and only to move outside them if the dire circumstances required it. If only he could be elected, I would back him to the hilt.

    Another issue is Ron’s attitude about the Federal Reserve. Obviously, he is aware of the fact that if a Central Banking system has the capacity to print money and doesn’t print the funds to pay the interest on said funds, this interest has to come from somewhere. Out of our land? Making us slaves to the system? And etc.?

    Come on; this is grade school math, Why can’t the talking heads, our Congresspeople and others in power see this? Are the American sheeple so enamored of our reality shows, fixations on sports, etc., so oblivious to the self-inflicted problems America is facing that we face self-imposed extinction?

    No wonder the Tea Party is gaining; there may yet be enough American sanity to raise us back to the Original Intent of our Forefathers dreams. No wonder the rank liberals claim us to be terrorists; if successful, they are in fear that the free ride will be over; and that, indeed, is terrorizing their insane understanding of unreality.

  • John

    Pacts and Agreements:

    Since World War II, these United States has increasingly played the undesirable role of an international policeman. Through our involvements abroad our country is being changed from a republic to a world empire in which our freedoms are being sacrificed on an altar of international involvement. These United States is now committed by treaty to defend foreign nations in all parts of the world, and by agreements other than treaties to defend more. Therefore, we call upon the President, and Congress, to immediately commence a systematic withdrawal from these treaties and agreements, each of which holds the potential to plunge America into war in some far-flung corner of the earth

  • 4-just_us

    Our government has become the 600 pound gorilla with the mind of a school yard bully. We the people have let our government take over the reins and into the proverbial ditch. Our government has declared itself “king of the world” and have the right to invade and tell any country how to run their business. Our arrogance is only inviting trouble.

  • John K

    Excellent article and I wish people would stop saying we need to support certain nations over others, especially Israel.

    Israel should be viewed the same as any other nation in this present dispensation. There are no righteous nations. At one time, Israel was chosen from the peoples of the world for a special relationship (“The people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption to sonship; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises.” Rom 9:4) But their favored status was broken (“Their rejection brought reconciliation to the world.” Rom 11:15) but will be restored in the future (Israel has experienced a hardening in part … and in this way all Israel will be saved. Rom 11:25,26)

    So why is it that some Christians go around quoting Gen 12:3, “I will bless those who bless you”, when Paul, a Jew, clearly states that, “As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies” Rom 11:28. But it is needed to be emphasized that due to God’s promises, Israel will be restored (“But as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs, for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable.” Rom 11:29 and “Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all!” Rom 11:11)

    In this new covenantal relationship, God no longer favors the Jews with a special relationship of mercy and grace, as Peter found out, “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism.” Acts 10:34 Before this time, it was “against our laws for a Jew to associate with a Gentile.” 10:28 Why? Because Israel was called out of the world for a special purpose: “From them is traced the human ancestry of the Messiah, who is God over all!” Rom 9:5

    Even when Israel as a nation was in the covenantal relationship, God told Jeremiah three times not to pray for them because of their rebellion, Jer 7, 11, 14. Yet, Christians show more support and leniency with Israel in their present rebellious state than they do with fellow Christians, which is contrary to the Word: “Many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist….If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take them into your house or welcome them. 11 Anyone who welcomes them shares in their wicked work. 2 John 7 – 10 Yet we mortgage future generations by supporting ungodly nations billions in foreign aid.

    • http://none jerry sweet

      since you claim God basically wants nothing to do with the jews,then you do not know Gods word.we are to bless them and be blessed or curse them and be destroyed.just because he set them aside to spread his gospel message of salvation to the world,(which they were commissioned to do and failed) does not mean he’s thru with them.on the contrary,when he takes his church up,he will then resume,right where he left on in dealing with the covenant people,the jews.but he will also deal with the rest of an unbelieving world,in terrible wrath,and judgement.i pity those who stand before Jesus in wrath instead of in Israel or don’t (suicide)

  • AJ

    The only reason our military is beyond our boarders is to fatten the bank accounts of the “Military Industrial Complex”.

  • Juanita

    I believe that the Founding Fathers were correct that we must not entangle our country in other countries matters. We need to put Iraq, Afghanistan, Israel, Libya and all of Europe behind us. Bring all of the troops home We have troops in too many countries. If America is not threatened America has no business in any other country. We need to re-build America and stop nation building.

  • don

    we need to got back to isolationism and wort about our selves. ever we chose to blobalism iveryything has gone to craps. wi ate competing with countrieskike china ahd lots og third world countries who paty their citizens,. our eleitistslike watmart and big companies are gettin fatter and fatter. the average will fall to the bottem peopleaverate to the bottom. we need to vote. the vote will beat the bug money. berry and romney are elitists. vote on paul. obummer is part of the eletists too. vute ronpaul.

  • newspooner

    The proper and effective way to “build” nations, “restore” democracy, and “promote” peace is to export Americanism. That is not done by engaging in wars of foreign entanglement. It is done by showing how our system provides the greatest prosperity and opportunities for liberty. Unfortunately, whenever “our” government sends people to emerging nations or nations recovering from civil wars and coups, it sends Socialists who show the new leaders how to establish a government like that envisioned by Franklin Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson, and Barack Obama, not a government like that envisioned by people like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Calvin Coolidge, Barry Goldwalter, and Ron Paul. That is the problem.

  • Dan

    In todays world were the Alantic &Pacific oceans no longer insulate us from the rest of the globe and theintermeshing of econemies, we cannot isolate ourselves. However we are much to entangled in foriagn affairs that do not concerne us.

  • http://none jerry sweet

    we tried to be isolationlists in ww2 and 6 million jews went to their deaths.we almost lost that one.only God in his mercy caused us to finally the only book (BIBLE) for the entire truth,past,present and be the same mindset of stay alone breeds contempt and invites attack.we live in a different world than when the founders were here.i completely agree with the constitution but our gov,disregarded that document along time ago.WE THE PEOPLE LET THEM>

  • Jim C.

    Bush used the 9/11 attack and the anger of the American people as a pretext to pull troops from Afghanistan and send them to Iraq. Why? Bush had a personal vendetta against Saddam Hussein, for trying to have Bush’s father assassinated after the first gulf war. THAT’s why Bush was not interested in any intelligence that Iraq didn’t have WMD’s.

  • http://none jerry sweet

    john k i pity you,because of your very misunderstanding of the message concerning the promise he made to abraham.if we do not bless Israel God will curse us.just because God is doing something to futher his agenda is not for us to pervert the message and you are in danger of hell fire.God still has a wonderful plan for the nation of Israel,and i pity the idiots who get in his way.quit twisting the scriptures to fit your position.Gods word is very clear on how to be in his favor and telling people the jews are just not worth helping is ,well just plain dangerous

  • john wolf

    There is only one sure-fire, can’t-fail way to create jobs…and that’s war. Bush understood that when he created the war in Iraq and Obama knows bringing home close to a million troops around the world will only make unemployment worse.

  • Cep,

    Well,all I have t say is that in G.washington days there were no jet aircraft,and no long range missles.Science has change all that. Iam sure if he were alive his opinions would quickly change.We have never been nor will we ever be, an Island into ourselves,That thought ,however sweet,is an impossible dream.

  • Bill Wright

    I couldn’t agree more,after all we live in the twenty frist century,Not the the eighteenth,or seventeenth century.The thoughts and desires of our founding fathers were made impossible not only by modern science,but also early Spain and France.

  • John

    The True foreign policy 0f America is Found in George Washington’s Farewell Address. No favorite nations, Nationalism at home and non-intervention abroad. We must stay out of foreign entanglements, and foreign wars, and stay at home and mind our own business. Let us stand by Washington’s Farewell Address his words of wisdom to all Americans past present and future. Congressman Ron paul does. Ron Paul for our next President in 2012.

  • David

    G.Washington lived in a DIFFERANT TIME ,A DIFFERANT AGE;I have to agree with cep,scince indeed has change the world(perhapse for the worst).The atom bomb,rockets to the Moon.I belive George Washington’s opoinion would indeed change.To think that Spain and france,and England would’ve left us alone,would have been too much to hope for.History has proven ,it would not have been good for the country.But on the other nand :we should not be sticking our butts into other countries’s bussiness,

  • s c

    Even if you don’t believe in the idea of a MIC, you should be aware that being in other countries and trying to ‘build’ nations or ‘keep democracy safe for the world’ is at best an exercise in futility. America isn’t the only country that is “available” 24/7 for overnight hostilities.
    As FDR said, ‘in politics, NOTHING happens by accident.’ In other words, our current situation is NOT an accident. To think otherwise is to admit that your brain is completely defective – just like the rotten bastards in Washington who curse America with war after war and couldn’t care less whether or not our military is used wisely.


Sign Up For Personal Liberty Digest™!

PL Badge

Welcome to,
America's #1 Source for Libertarian News!

To join our group of freedom-loving individuals and to get alerts as well as late-breaking conservative news from Personal Liberty Digest™...

Privacy PolicyYou can opt out at any time. We protect your information like a mother hen. We will not sell or rent your email address to anyone for any reason.