This week we’re joined by Christopher A. Preble, vice president for defense and foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute. We ask whether there exists a single libertarian foreign policy that all libertarians would agree with; talk about the idea that war powers, resolutions, and laws passed during wartime don’t recede in times of peace; give a quick rundown of American military history; and discuss the rise of a permanent private industry supplying the military.
When should the United States go to war? When did the American military really start to get massive? How much do we spend on the military today? Relative to recent history? Is the military open to the same kinds of critiques that libertarians make about other government programs?
Show Notes and Further Reading
Christopher Preble’s 2014 book, co-editied with John Mueller, A Dangerous World?: Threat Perception and U.S. National Security features a collection of essays examining and questioning the most frequently-referenced dangers to American security.
Bruce Porter’s book War and the Rise of the State: The Military Foundations of Modern Politics (1994).
Robert Higgs’s book Crisis and Leviathan: Critical Episodes in the Growth of American Government (1987), in which he establishes the principle of the ratchet effect.
Ted Galen Carpenter and Malou Innocent’s new book Perilous Partners: The Benefits and Pitfalls of America’s Alliances with Authoritarian Regimes (2015).