Invade the world: check

Jeffrey Tucker writes:

Murray Rothbard used to joke that the United States should just get it over with and invade the whole world. It seems like the US has already done so. See the map. Just a few more countries to go, and troops will be everywhere on the whole planet.

After viewing the map, readers may be interested in the following fun facts.

How big is America’s empire? The Pentagon reports 761 bases worldwide. Of course, this figure does not include the secret bases used for torture.

How expensive is America’s empire? By Robert Higgs’ estimate, America spends $1 trillion every year on its defence budget. Not all of this is used on overseas interventionism, but much of it is.

24 thoughts on “Invade the world: check

  1. That map seems a little simplistic Sukrit. What I’d like to see is a comprehensive map of military placements all over the world – with their locales and functions marked out.
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    And not just for the US, let’s throw in the RusFed, the PRC and the rest as well.
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    The tendency with the US in this country is either to demonize it as the source of all nefarity or to exonerate its foreign adventurism somehow. It’s a state doing what states do. At the moment top dog but it won’t last. I have serious doubts that world domination is possible for any state.
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    World government? No. Something much worse possibly.

  2. Jaryd,

    Just making sure that any non-libertarians reading this site don’t get confused and think libertarianism is pro-war or related to conservatism.

    You are free to ignore my posts.

  3. Sukrit, although yes one of the most basic foundations of libertarianism is anti-war and the non-aggression principle I think the original intentions behind both the Iraq war and the dismantling of the Taliban in Afghanistan tend to create a bit of grey area.

    The basic libertarian opposition to war is that the use of force against another to control (or destroy) someones life, property and freedom to take action x is morally wrong and/or unhelpful. However the non-aggression principle does allow the use of violence (or aggression) if it is in the form of self defense to protect your right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

    Given that both Saddam Hussein and the Taliban regime were powerful aggressors against their people, a libertarian justification for the resulting conflicts would be that the USA was acting on behalf of the people of Iraq and Afghanistan to defend them from such terrible regimes.

    Of course that would have to ignore the following civil disobedience in Iraq, the other more self serving intentions of the USA and a lot of other aspects of the both the Iraq and Afgani invasions which were not really thought through.

    Nevertheless I think its important to note that there are a lot of true blooded libertarians who feel this way. Also I find it odd that your quick to criticize a democratic relatively very-liberal country such as the USA, yet stay silent about the fascist and anti-liberal countries that the US wishes to engage in conflict with. War may not be justified, but I feel no need to defend such countries.

  4. Oh no another one of those stupid posts.

    1. Murray Rothbard’s poltical views were always loonie perhaps because he was good buddies with Chompsky which in itself is likely to lead any decent person to the mad house.

    2. Of course, this figure does not include the secret bases used for torture.

    Oh yes, of course, Bush has one in the basement of the white House.

    3. By Robert Higgs’ estimate, America spends $1 trillion every year on its defence budget. Not all of this is used on overseas interventionism, but much of it is.

    Higgs is either lying or completely innumerate. US defense spending is about 3.5% of GDP which represents 450 billion- less than what you and Higgs manage to pull out of a hat.

    Enough anti american bullshit Sukrit. And by the way how about writing a piece on how you think India should pull the fuck out of the Punjab seeing they are as popular there as a pork knuckle dish in Ramadan.

  5. Sukrit; This empire you are talking about, does the US actually exercise control over the population of all of those countries, or are you just using the same tired old semantics about a military presence there?

    Did you assume from the Obama statement that he had visited 57 states with a couple to go, and he hadn’t been to Hawaii yet, as an indication that the US had in fact increased by ten states? Seriously mate you really have to realize the guy is full of porkies.

    Was it that campaign speech in Germany that did it for you? Well it seems that Germany runs its own show, despite what Oby might think.

    I have it on good authority from a trusted source that germany is a ‘Federal Republic’, which is: – Federal republic – a state in which the powers of the central government are restricted and in which the component parts (states, colonies, or provinces) retain a degree of self-government; ultimate sovereign power rests with the voters who chose their governmental representatives.

    I must admit though that he had the press fooled, they thought it was great, I mean a guy talking about hope and change and offering nothing to 200,000 wildly cheering ecstatic Germans, why shit, that hasn’t happened for 70 years.

  6. P/s Checking that map of yours just set mind at rest, 64 troops in China, 72 in Russia, 16 in Vietnam, and 26 in Indonesia, doesn’t it bring joy to your heart to know they are really in control.

  7. I must admit though that he had the press fooled, they thought it was great, I mean a guy talking about hope and change and offering nothing to 200,000 wildly cheering ecstatic Germans, why shit, that hasn’t happened for 70 years.

    Not too shabby, I’ll pay that one…….

  8. Jarryd… people who support war always find some sort of excuse. Very rarely do they just say “I like killing people, let’s start a war”. They come up with excuses and then they sell them to gullible people.

    It’s easy in hindsight to object to war or consider previous pro-war people as “pro-war”… but at the time it looked different. And in the future the Iraq escapade will simply be seen as another stupid war supported by pro-war people.

  9. Given that both Saddam Hussein and the Taliban regime were powerful aggressors against their people, a libertarian justification for the resulting conflicts would be that the USA was acting on behalf of the people of Iraq and Afghanistan to defend them from such terrible regimes.

    But a libertarian would note that in order for the American government to be justly defending Iraq and Afghanistan they would need the prior unanimous consent of the American people (whose taxes funded the military action) as well as the unanimous consent of the Iraqi and Afghans that were to be affected by the military action. Neither were (or could be realistically) given.

  10. 761 is just unnecessary. They could probably get by with less than 20 bases overseas. That would mean saving money on 740 bases. Its policy drift and laziness. And expression of the inherent immortality of spending programs. You want some bases to pin the guys who are both aggressive and big to the wall. But beyond that its just inertia to be maintaining that many bases.

    Ron Pauls take on it was a little extreme. But he did have a point.

  11. A unanimous consent is of course an ideal but an impossibility. Speaking of though, the dismantling of the Taliban in Afghanistan and the continued effort to find Osama Bin Laden last time I heard still had overwhelming support from the majority of Americans.

    The war in Iraq however does not gain such justification. It was ridiculously handled from the beginning by the Bush Administration, and although the people of Iraq are “liberated” I don’t think they see it that way.

  12. Exactly, distinctions can be made in foreign policy interventions. Sukrit has read a few books and thinks that it gives some sort of authority now to just propound the same attitude to and answer to each and every question without looking at the facts of the case. I would much prefer it if Sukrit wasn’t a libertarian and was capable of some critical thinking than his having made a Bible of some key works. But as Bird would say, some people are not psychologically capable of being atheists,they need substitute religions.

  13. Sukrit, in attempting to provoke debate and encourage traffic to this site, you are behaving like a fool.

    It’s one thing to pretend that libertarianism equals pacifist isolationism. As Jarryd points out that’s not the case, but if you want to pretend otherwise go ahead.

    It’s entirely another thing to totally misrepresent simple facts based on a position of prejudice. That’s called bigotry. Bigots are fools.

  14. Robert, thanks for stopping by.

    Pay no attention to JC or anyone else who jumps to conclusions about your research without reading it – its what’s referred to in the blogging world as “trolling”, i.e. randomly spewing abuse based on gut reactions.

  15. Sukrit,

    The argument you have adopted is full of holes, although not pointless.

    The US has shrunk its military and global presence since the height of the Cold War.

    How do you stop any form of force projection unless you stop countries building strategic bombers and aircraft carriers? There are good arguments that Australia should have some kind of airpower like this for deterrence and surgical strike capabilties.

    If you have enough aircraft carriers, you don’t need no stinking foreign bases.

    Torture is of course dispicable. Did America do it, or just some dodgy allies? If it happened in America it is absolutely scandalous. How can America stop other countries from using torture? Not all the methods one might list would be acceptable to the more isolationist types, nor do I think they are worth the cost.

  16. Robert Higgs, thanks for calling. Do you know of any place in Australia that sells your books? I have looked for your name on our shelves, but have not seen it.

  17. Just to point out… whether right or wrong, what Sukrit is talking about is standard, boring-old, many-times-repeated libertarian complaints about excessive government intervention.

    It is extremely normal to have libertarian commentary on a libertarian blog.

    I understand that many Australian libertarians reject mainstream libertarian foreign policy. But I’m glad that somebody is putting these ideas into the Australian blogosphere.

    I agree with Bird that Paul did go a bit too far on foreign policy… but that he was raising important questions and indicating the right direction. Bird’s estimate of about 20 foreign bases also seems fairly reasonable.

  18. Pay no attention to JC or anyone else who jumps to conclusions about your research without reading it – its what’s referred to in the blogging world as “trolling”, i.e. randomly spewing abuse based on gut reactions.

    Fuck off Sukrit. You’re the one posting this shit inviting comments. In fact you’re the troll at this site by putting up stupid gibberish like that.

    It sort hardens my speculative view that you were refused a visa to the US at some time which is why you have such an unnatural dialike for the place.

  19. Robert Higgs says:
    If I were going to accuse someone of being either a liar or incapable of counting, I would want first to look at what this person had written

    I said you’re innumerate, Robert. Now I think you’re a blatant liar as well.

  20. Given that both Saddam Hussein and the Taliban regime were powerful aggressors against their people, a libertarian justification for the resulting conflicts would be that the USA was acting on behalf of the people of Iraq and Afghanistan to defend them from such terrible regimes.

    What tosh. The US administration does not give a royal flying fuck about people in Iraq or Afghanistan. It’s geopolitical chess. All you have to do is read the various position statements issued by various Cheney/Rumsfeld disciples and that’s clear.
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    The Taliban were AQ’s base. So invading Afghanistan is warranted. Iraq had nothing to do with it. And if you wanna spread democracy start with people who want it – like Burma.

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