Many libertarians often think Just War Theory is the only moral or libertarian Foreign Policy.
But these mainstream libertarianism types are totally wrong about that, in every sense. Histories of major libertarian republics, at least between 1850 and now, tells us that is patently false. Just War Theory imposes lots of restrictions on how a free society is allowed to conduct itself on a foreign policy level.
Explaining Just War Theory
Basically it all of its criteria that make Just War Theory not libertarian.
This is one claiming that war is not allowed to be for direct self-defense and has to be a matter of protecting life. Even a non-interventionist must admit the incompatibility.
This one says war is only justice if one entity has suffered more violence than another, which libertarians on both sides of the ‘Empire of Liberty vs Non-intervention’ spectrum should theoretically agree is bad because it leaves wiggle room for tyrants.
This one says only a constitutionally endowed authority is allowed to declare war. Unlike almost all other Just War Theory criteria, this is the only one with American Constitutional placement. Article One Section Eight Clause Eleven.
This criterion says war can only be used to ‘just causes’, and directly contradicts ‘Just Cause’ by claiming direct self-defense to be a ‘Right Intention’.
Probability of Success
This criterion demands the free society to just appease its tyrant attacker if any samples of total war are required for protecting the free society’s people, which to me spells tyranny.
Basically this one says to appease your enemy countless different ways and to expect a different outcome every time. You know, the behavior Einstein called ‘insanity’.
Another criterion has this name, but this one specifies about keeping the harm done to the enemy lesser than or equal to the harm done by the enemy. Which is basically code for ‘wartime appeasement’.
The self-defending free society under this criterion is forced to spare enemy troops who act like they are giving up on hurting the defender’s people. Also the defender’s forced to not target any of the enemy government’s non-military elements.
Just War Theory claims that harm to enemy civilians needs to be less than or equal to harm to enemy military, and that includes enemy non-military employed by enemy government.
While this criterion feels good for asserting that the intention needs to defeat the enemy government, it ruins its validity by claiming that the only enemy government entities that can be targeted are obvious militants.
Fairly Treat POWs
Prisoners of War is what POW is, and this one is dumb because once a tyranny has attacked or threatened a free society’s people, that free society has a job to defend in a Take No Prisoners manner.
No Malum in Se
Malum in se for those who don’t know is Latin for ‘inherently wrong’, and the only way this truly needs to apply to a free society defending its people is to prohibit the free society’s military from doing any form of sexual warfare. That is it, nothing else.
Legit Libertarian Foreign Policy
Crux of foreign policy
If anyone is curious, the crux of a legit Libertarian Foreign Policy has nothing to do with warfare of any kind, predictably. But it has nothing to do with any level of pacifism either, instead it’s all about Unilateral Free Trade.
Free trade, in unilateral context, means reducing every country’s border controls to Ellis Island style medical and security checks. Unilateral free trade means allowing one’s population to open free trade with an oppressed foreign population behind that country’s oppressor government’s back. Unilateral free trade means allowing one’s own people to take their economic rights to freedom of contract and others with them to apply overseas. Unilateral free trade means demolishing protectionism and abolishing tariffs for all sides of all trades, especially if tyrannical governments disapprove.
Warfare in foreign policy
Morally there is no such thing as national sovereignty for tyrannies. Only Minarchist societies, culturally Western Democracies, & Classically liberal Republics can claim national sovereignty as a right.
Tyrannies are cancers on the world according to their behavior patterns. Any Minarchist regime has an option to annihilate the government and military of any Totalitarian regime, not a duty.
Some regimes, like socialist tyrannies nowadays, are regimes we do not need to declare war on due to the fact that war on them stopped being a legit option after the Cold War. Instead there is a more fiscally affordable option to dealing with such regimes in the Digital Age: Letters of Marque and Reprisal. For example, I call for a Letter of Marque and Reprisal against North Korea’s Kim dynasty, as they are too bellicose and belligerent for mutual respect between nations.
But others, like the Jihad-sponsoring Islamic States, are the regimes that pose real enough threats to America and other Western Democracies to warrant formal declarations of war by Western Democracies’ respective Legislative Branches.
Regarding 9/11 for example, America lost 3000 of its sweetest, gentlest human beings to those States sponsoring that attack. Thus America morally needs to avenge those human beings by all means, from Taking No Prisoners to doing countless Firestorms to repeating the Savannah Campaign to granting Letters of Marque and Reprisal against these States’ entire governments & militaries.
Diplomacy in foreign policy
True libertarians; you’ve got to advocate for the U.S. way of diplomacy to openly play favorites with other free societies, and to make honest friendship with them all. You also need to oppose any effort to negotiate with tyrannical societies, for that’s grievous misuse of diplomacy.
True libertarians; you’ve got to advocate for America’s diplomacy to double down on reserving respect for foreign nations’ independences for just America’s fellow free societies.
There. Now it’s clear libertarian foreign policy and just war theory are not synonyms. Thank you all,