Government, War, and Libertarianism

Discussion in 'Politics' started by KenH, May 19, 2008.

  1. KenH

    KenH
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    Cato Policy Report, May/June 2008

    Government, War, and Libertarianism

    Justin Logan

    Justin Logan is associate director of foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute.

    Foreign policy has been a contentious issue for libertarians since September 11, 2001. There have been countless harangues in Washington bars and policy salons over the past five years about libertarianism and the Iraq War, and the topic has been so divisive for libertarians that even Rose and Milton Friedman disagreed. She was in favor and he against, with Rose noting later: “This is the first thing to come along in our lives, of the deep things, that we don’t agree on.We have disagreed on little things . . . but big issues, this is the first one!”

    Why has the war—and post-9/11 foreign policy generally—been so controversial for libertarians? And now, more than six years after 9/11 and more than five years into the war in Iraq, what can libertarian insights tell us about how we got here and what to do next?

    To try to answer these questions, we should begin with some libertarian starting points about government and then review the debate over the Iraq war and foreign policy more generally in the wake of 9/11.

    Then we can consider where to go from here, and what a counterterrorism policy that paid heed to libertarian insights would look like.

    - rest at www.cato.org/pubs/policy_report/v30n3/cpr30n3-1.html
     

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