The Welfare-Warfare State A sound decorum for American foreign policy was articulated by the founding fathers. Generally they emphasized eschewing all foreign alliances. They recommended strategic independence and armed neutrality. They believed it was requisite to stay out of the affairs of the outside world, particularly in Europe. George Washington declared, "The great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign nations, is, in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connection as possible. So far as we have already formed engagements, let them be fulfilled with perfect good faith: Here let us stop." Jefferson simply itinerated, "Peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations -- entangling alliances with none." "America does not go abroad in search of monsters to destroy," avowed John Quincy Adams. "She is the champion of freedom everywhere, but the vindicator only of her own." Beginning in the nineteenth-century and climaxing in the twentieth century, the U.S. more or less has rejected the proverbial wisdom of the founders. The twentieth century's incessant bloodshed has been the price paid by America, particularly after our great Pyrrhic victory in World War I. With the warfare state, came mass conscription, the income tax, a web of bureaucracy, which reached fruition in the New Deal welfare state. Congressman Ron Paul's A Foreign Policy of Freedom: Peace, Commerce, and Honest Friendship illustrates an alternative to the imperial American foreign policy of today by reaffirming the non-interventionist foreign policy of the American founding fathers.
Christianity and War and Other Essays Against the Warfare State offers a Christian anti-war perspective and thoughts upon the just-war theory, which emanated from St. Augustine in Civitas Dei, The City of God, in reaction to the "barbarian" invasions of the Western Roman Empire in the fourth century. Augustine offered a middle ground between the absolute pacifist strain of Christian ethics of non-resistance to an aggressor and the Roman Imperial imperative to conquer military enemies of the state.
A Republic, Not an Empire: Reclaiming America's Destiny is a capsule of American diplomatic and military history, which offers lessons for the future. Buchanan persuasively argues that the U.S. should not make unilateral or multilateral international commitments that will exact a price of blood and treasure on America where no vital national interest is at stake.
Wars are rarely opposed and readily embraced by a great multitude of Americans. America has embraced a mythology that there is salvific power in the blood of our young G.I.'s being spilled, as if we are made freer by their bloodshed abroad in some needless war. Because of this myth coupled with some idea of a messianic empire, needless overseas wars are readily embraced and foisted upon the American people, in the name of freedom.
Here is the history they didn't teach you in public schools.
The implications of American intervention in the Great War are elaborated upon with clarity in these aforesaid titles. In reality, had the U.S. stayed out of the tumultous Great War, then it would have most likely ended in stalemate with France making minor territorial concessions in Alsace and Lorraine. The intervention of the American expeditionary force only succeeded in making the world safe for Hitler and Stalin. The Versailles-dictated abdication of the Kaiser, the stringent reparations and economic exploitation exacted on Germany paved the way for Hitler's demagoguery that fed on German ambivalence.
In the end, the Great War proved to be America's Great Pyrrhic victory for it paved the way for World War II. A Pyrrhic victory is a victory won at too great of a cost to the victor, and is an allusion to King Pyrrhus of Epirus, whose army suffered irreplaceable casualties when he defeated the Romans during the Pyrrhic War at Heraclea in 280 BC and Asculum in 279 BC. "But for" American intervention and Versailles, there would be no Hitler.
Crisis and Leviathan The New Dealers' War: FDR And The War Within World War II by Thomas Fleming is destined to be a classic. Fleming offers a behind the scenes look at the New Deal and American foreign policy admist the backdrop and days of the Second World War. The war within World War II is covered with amazing clarity. Fleming also questions the logic of Allied total warfare and the demands for unconditional surrender demands which ensued even after the turn of the war to the Allies' favor. In the end, the lionized FDR was a sycophant for Stalin. Roosevelt made the world safe for communism, not democracy, and effectively sold 75,000,000 humans into a half-century of communist slavery with the Yalta Accord. Stalin could not believe his generosity. Churchill, Hitler, and "The Unnecessary War": How Britain Lost Its Empire and the West Lost the World by Pat Buchanan questions Churchill's perceived diplomatic bungling leading to World War II, and ensuring a bitter struggle to the end. The Roosevelt Myth: 50th Anniversary Edition is famous polemic against FDR from a champion of the Old Right John T. Flynn. As Senator Burton K. Wheeler has surmised, "Communism is the greatest threat to this country and Roosevelt helped put it there." The Conquerors: Roosevelt, Truman and the Destruction of Hitler's Germany, 1941-1945 has a deceiving title as it is mostly about the intrigue and strategic planning behind the Allied occupation of Germany in the aftermath of the Second War II. The punitive Morgenthau Plan is elaborated upon, which would have more or less turned Germany into a deindustrialised pasture ripe for Red Revolution. Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed. West Germany liberalised its economy at the behest of Germany's Economic Minister Ludwig Erhard. West Germany became a vital pillar in the NATO security apparatus.
The Cold War The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made explains America's retreat from isolationism following World War II and the development of a Western system of collective security helmed by the United States and Great Britain. At the Abyss: An Insider's History of the Cold War is a court historian's history of the Cold War. In 1960, Dwight D. Eisenhower, a five-star U.S. General, and the thirty-fourth President of the United States (1953-1961), gave an omninous warning about the garrison state entrenched after the war: "This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence -- economic, political, even spiritual -- is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society. ¶In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the militaryindustrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. ¶We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together."
NATO's Empty Victory illustrates how NATO has outgrown its usefulness following the Cold War's end. In fact, the NATO intervention in the former Yugoslav republics violates the strictly defensive nature of the original treaty, which is grounds for its dissolution/withdrawal by its member-states.
The Future Forward Fool's Errands: America's Recent Encounters with Nation Building shows how history repeats itself, and foreign interventionism guised by idealistic Wilsonian utopianism has become an end itself. In many ways, the seeds of discord planted in the aftermath of the Great War and World War II still haunt us in the Balkans. Therein, authors Dempsey and Fointane chronicle the foreign policy exploits of the former Clinton administration. Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire (American Empire Project) examines the phenomenon of 'blowback,' a CIA-contrived term to describe the unintended consequences of covert operations. 'Blowback' typically appears random and without cause, because the public is unaware of the secret operations that provoked it. Given that America repeatedly "goes abroad in search of monsters to destroy," and "monsters" (i.e., Bin Ladin and Saddam Hussein) which it once supported, there are innumerable lessons to be learned from the perils of Blowback, and reckless intervention abroad. Ron Paul has rightly characterized American foreign policy as "schizophrenic."