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Thread: How much intervention is too much?

  1. #1

    Default How much intervention is too much?

    So I'm a firm believer in the idea that we shouldn't attack countries unless they have threatened / attacked us, but I do think there is room for covert ops missions and intelligence gathering in other countries, and I believe I've heard Ron Paul speak to this. I'm sure other countries do it here. My question is this: how much intervention is too much? I think obviously using CIA agents to stage coups is too far, but what about other things?
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    Quote Originally Posted by jllundqu View Post
    god damn vipers, all of them.



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  3. #2

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    If we follow the advice of the founders and engage in friendly relations and open trade with everyone, stay neutral, avoid alliances, and mind our own borders, none of that other crap will be necessary.
    The proper concern of society is the preservation of individual freedom; the proper concern of the individual is the harmony of society.

    "Who would be free, themselves must strike the blow." - Byron

    "Who overcomes by force, hath overcome but half his foe." - Milton

  4. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Acala View Post
    If we follow the advice of the founders and engage in friendly relations and open trade with everyone, stay neutral, avoid alliances, and mind our own borders, none of that other crap will be necessary.
    I wonder, though, if they imagined that we would ever be the most powerful country on the planet. That alone, I think, makes enemies.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jllundqu View Post
    god damn vipers, all of them.

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by ShaneEnochs View Post
    I wonder, though, if they imagined that we would ever be the most powerful country on the planet. That alone, I think, makes enemies.
    If you are honest, peaceful, and strong, you don't need to worry about enemies.
    The proper concern of society is the preservation of individual freedom; the proper concern of the individual is the harmony of society.

    "Who would be free, themselves must strike the blow." - Byron

    "Who overcomes by force, hath overcome but half his foe." - Milton

  6. #5

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    I think ShaneEnochs has a very good question here.

    I think having a sensible army and navy based on defense makes sense. I think such a modern lean military could be supported by gathering intelligence with different methods like spies, surveillance planes, or satellites. Our navy ships and submarines benefit immensely from satellites for communicating, coordinating attacks, or yes even using drones.

    I'm not sure about the covert ops. That can cover a lot of things. I mean suppose a covert op is a rescue mission to save an American hostage. That would seem sensible to me. In cases of aggression it seems like most of the time it should be done against stateless criminals like Al Quaeda or even the Mafia or the Somali Pirates.

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by VIDEODROME View Post
    I think ShaneEnochs has a very good question here.

    I think having a sensible army and navy based on defense makes sense. I think such a modern lean military could be supported by gathering intelligence with different methods like spies, surveillance planes, or satellites. Our navy ships and submarines benefit immensely from satellites for communicating, coordinating attacks, or yes even using drones.

    I'm not sure about the covert ops. That can cover a lot of things. I mean suppose a covert op is a rescue mission to save an American hostage. That would seem sensible to me. In cases of aggression it seems like most of the time it should be done against stateless criminals like Al Quaeda or even the Mafia or the Somali Pirates.
    If all you are doing is defending your borders from invasion, why do you need to spy on other people?

    If Americans are taken hostage during their travels overseas, why is it the US government's job to rescue them? The best thing the US government can do to protect Americans overseas is to STOP screwing around everywhere. And never negotiate for hostages.
    The proper concern of society is the preservation of individual freedom; the proper concern of the individual is the harmony of society.

    "Who would be free, themselves must strike the blow." - Byron

    "Who overcomes by force, hath overcome but half his foe." - Milton

  8. #7

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    Spies should be sitting in jail and surveillance planes grounded.

  9. #8

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    As long as our surveillance is only to observe, I think it's ok. The problem is that once we see something, the urge to act on it is overwhelming to military leaders and especially politicians.

    We don't need to meddle, but we don't need to bury our heads either.
    "And now that the legislators and do-gooders have so futilely inflicted so many systems upon society, may they finally end where they should have begun: May they reject all systems, and try liberty; for liberty is an acknowledgment of faith in God and His works." - Bastiat

    "It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere." - Voltaire

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Acala View Post
    If all you are doing is defending your borders from invasion, why do you need to spy on other people?

    If Americans are taken hostage during their travels overseas, why is it the US government's job to rescue them? The best thing the US government can do to protect Americans overseas is to STOP screwing around everywhere. And never negotiate for hostages.
    Spies are great for things such as understanding the military might of another country, which is always important when it comes to defense. It's also good to be able to have a heads-up on an impending attack.

    I know the argument of "if you leave everyone alone, they will leave you alone", but honestly that's bullshit. Iran hasn't done jack to anyone and they have the dogs of war breathing on their neck.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jllundqu View Post
    god damn vipers, all of them.

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by ShaneEnochs View Post
    Spies are great for things such as understanding the military might of another country, which is always important when it comes to defense. It's also good to be able to have a heads-up on an impending attack.

    I know the argument of "if you leave everyone alone, they will leave you alone", but honestly that's bullshit. Iran hasn't done jack to anyone and they have the dogs of war breathing on their neck.
    And no amount of spying is going to help them. What will help them is to be as strong as possible - and continue to mind their own business.

    IF you are at war then by all means engage in espionage. Otherwise, get strong through economic freedom, and keep the peace by not being a threat to anyone. And if someone makes the mistake of attacking you, make it a learning moment for the rest of the world.
    The proper concern of society is the preservation of individual freedom; the proper concern of the individual is the harmony of society.

    "Who would be free, themselves must strike the blow." - Byron

    "Who overcomes by force, hath overcome but half his foe." - Milton

  12. #11

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    I think it would be useful to be aware of other nations military capabilities for one thing. Surely it makes sense to keep tabs on China's military for example. I mean if some day China ever did take a military action anywhere in the world, it would be awkward if they used a weapon and we had no clue what it was.

    I do agree that if we wind down interventionism there should be less of a security concern for our people abroad. However, there will still be crazy extremists out there with a variety of motives. Or in some cases, simply international criminals. I could still imagine people kidnapped for something like a ransom. I tend to agree negotiating sets a bad precedent, so instead have forces infiltrate if possible and kill hostage takers.

    I guess when I think of covert ops, I think that could include going after a guy like John Gotti for example. Not necessarily killing, but covertly installing surveillance. There should be a due process for this of course, especially on American soil. In a case like that the FBI should still need a warrant.

    Anyway, I'm sure we are being spied on all the time especially by Chinese computer hackers. Sometimes it's not just about people who want to plan an attack on us, but people want to steal for profit from us.
    Last edited by VIDEODROME; 10-29-2012 at 11:19 AM.

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by VIDEODROME View Post
    I think it would be useful to be aware of other nations military capabilities for one thing. Surely it makes sense to keep tabs on China's military for example. I mean if some day China ever did take a military action anywhere in the world, it would be awkward if they used a weapon and we had no clue what it was.
    Why? If they are not attacking us, it isn't our business as a nation. I advocate doing our own research and keeping a strong core military such that nobody would think of attacking us. But the Cold War scenario is a bad one for freedom.

    Quote Originally Posted by VIDEODROME View Post
    I do agree that if we wind down interventionism there should be less of a security concern for our people abroad. However, there will still be crazy extremists out there with a variety of motives. Or in some cases, simply international criminals. I could still imagine people kidnapped for something like a ransom. I tend to agree negotiating sets a bad precedent, so instead have forces infiltrate if possible and kill hostage takers.
    Why is it my responsibility to rescue foreign hostages?

    Quote Originally Posted by VIDEODROME View Post
    I guess when I think of covert ops, I think that could include going after a guy like John Gotti for example. Not necessarily killing, but covertly installing surveillance. There should be a due process for this of course, especially on American soil. In a case like that the FBI should still need a warrant.
    Do you mean someone who commits a crime on American soil and then fless to another country? That is what extradition treaties are for. We go to the foreign government, make the case, and if we succeed he is arrested and we bring him back for trial.

    Really, these are all rather unlikely and/or small-scale examples. Do you really think they justify all the extraordinary dangers associated with having a covert branch of government?
    The proper concern of society is the preservation of individual freedom; the proper concern of the individual is the harmony of society.

    "Who would be free, themselves must strike the blow." - Byron

    "Who overcomes by force, hath overcome but half his foe." - Milton

  14. #13

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    So I guess it would be okay for China to send spies to the U.S. You know, just to observe.

  15. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by NIU Students for Liberty View Post
    So I guess it would be okay for China to send spies to the U.S. You know, just to observe.
    Apparently it is okay, as it is happening.
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  16. #15

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    Well, I'm just kind of exploring the question. I suppose for the most part if we want any idea of what another nation's military can do we should just watch from the satellites.

    In the hostage scenario, it would depend on who it was. If it is two hikers who wander into Iran, then no I wouldn't bother. In another example, suppose a group like the Samoli pirates go after a cruise ship or commercial ship. Either property is stolen or passengers and crew are used as hostages. I think rogue groups like this are why we have a navy to begin with. Now this can be addressed many different ways. During an actual event it would probably be open battle of some kind. Yet if we take one of their ships we might get intel from it. Shouldn't we have some people who can act on it? Maybe find out how many other ships could be out there or where they launch from?

    In the case of John Gotti I mentioned, he was caught by the FBI and didn't get to flee. They did use covert techniques like microphones and wiretaps after getting warrants. In other cases if a criminal flees to another country we have a treaty with, maybe American agents could cooperate with international agents and together capture the person.

    Again though, I'd say most of today's covert activity is going to happen over the internet and we definitely need to stay on top of that. We are being actively spied on and we need to understand where it's coming from and how it is being doen.

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by VIDEODROME View Post
    In the hostage scenario, it would depend on who it was. If it is two hikers who wander into Iran, then no I wouldn't bother. In another example, suppose a group like the Samoli pirates go after a cruise ship or commercial ship. Either property is stolen or passengers and crew are used as hostages. I think rogue groups like this are why we have a navy to begin with. Now this can be addressed many different ways. During an actual event it would probably be open battle of some kind. Yet if we take one of their ships we might get intel from it. Shouldn't we have some people who can act on it? Maybe find out how many other ships could be out there or where they launch from? .
    Why? I don't think it is my job to provide international security for cruise ships or industrial shipping or the oil industry or anyone else. Protect our borders from invasion. Period.

    Quote Originally Posted by VIDEODROME View Post
    In the case of John Gotti I mentioned, he was caught by the FBI and didn't get to flee. They did use covert techniques like microphones and wiretaps after getting warrants. In other cases if a criminal flees to another country we have a treaty with, maybe American agents could cooperate with international agents and together capture the person. .
    The vast majority of covert tactics used in crime fighting relates to conduct which should not be a crime in the first place. With REAL crime, there is a REAL vicitm who is more than happy to alert the authorities and provide evidence. It is mostly in cases where there is no real victim and all the participants want to keep the event a secret that wiretaps, paid informants, and other unsavory techniques are used. I'll bet that if you legalized all the conduct that should not be illegal to begin with, the "need" for covert activity would drop to near zero. But if it is still needed, it can be through a warrant.

    Quote Originally Posted by VIDEODROME View Post
    Again though, I'd say most of today's covert activity is going to happen over the internet and we definitely need to stay on top of that. We are being actively spied on and we need to understand where it's coming from and how it is being doen.
    Why? What are we (as a nation) hiding that we need to be worried about people spying on us? If we aren't planning on attacking anyone or spying on them or engaging in any other secret shenanigans, why do we care if other governments are watching us? I think our government should be utterly transparent. They shouldn't have to hide anything from anyone except in times of war.
    The proper concern of society is the preservation of individual freedom; the proper concern of the individual is the harmony of society.

    "Who would be free, themselves must strike the blow." - Byron

    "Who overcomes by force, hath overcome but half his foe." - Milton

  18. #17

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    Some of those ships me be ours. Also, I think we did take action when merchant ships were attacked by the Barbary pirates unless they were paid off. Such rogue elements can be fought with open battle or use spy techniques to gain an advantage on them.


    Covert ops shouldn't be used on harmless marijuana users or situations where there is no victim. I suggested a mafia type like Gotti as an example because he is far from innocent. Someone like him would probably oversee hijackings of trucking freight, intimidate competing business, or have other people outright murdered. So yeah there should be a high standard for what qualifies for a covert response, but some of this shit is out there.


    As for what we have to hide, I don't think we should have free access to our technology. Other nations would be very interested in how our Drones work for example or most anything that gives us an edge in technology. We shouldn't leave ourselves wide open to theft of this information. People may want it for themselves or to sell it to other governments.


    If people are trying to creep into our databases we need to stop it and trace where it's coming from. Possibly even consider retaliating by demolishing their equipment with a virus. That latter would have to be a policy carefully considered because it is a type of attack. But any of these activities over the internet will be covert cyber ops in the future. Some of it may deal with China and some of it may deal with rogue groups working independently like The Unknowns.

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by VIDEODROME View Post
    Some of those ships me be ours. Also, I think we did take action when merchant ships were attacked by the Barbary pirates unless they were paid off. Such rogue elements can be fought with open battle or use spy techniques to gain an advantage on them. .
    None of those ships are MINE. If they are yours, it is YOUR responsibility to protect them. It is not a proper role for our government to be protecting shipping lanes no matter who owns the ships. The private sector can protect its own self outside our borders.


    Quote Originally Posted by VIDEODROME View Post

    As for what we have to hide, I don't think we should have free access to our technology. Other nations would be very interested in how our Drones work for example or most anything that gives us an edge in technology. We shouldn't leave ourselves wide open to theft of this information. People may want it for themselves or to sell it to other governments. .

    I don't own any technology that I need to protect. If you do, it is YOUR responsibility to protect it. I am not interested in paying to protect YOUR industrial secrets. As for our government's secret weapons technology, I agree with keeping it a secret if possible.

    Quote Originally Posted by VIDEODROME View Post
    If people are trying to creep into our databases we need to stop it and trace where it's coming from. Possibly even consider retaliating by demolishing their equipment with a virus. That latter would have to be a policy carefully considered because it is a type of attack. But any of these activities over the internet will be covert cyber ops in the future. Some of it may deal with China and some of it may deal with rogue groups working independently like The Unknowns.
    What database are you talking about? If it is a private database, it is a private matter to protect it. If it is a government database, what is our government doing with a secret database?
    The proper concern of society is the preservation of individual freedom; the proper concern of the individual is the harmony of society.

    "Who would be free, themselves must strike the blow." - Byron

    "Who overcomes by force, hath overcome but half his foe." - Milton

  20. #19

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    I think Jefferson's campaign against the Barbary pirates is a strong precedent on the role our navy can play against rogue international groups. I'm not sure what else I can add to that.

    I suppose I feel similarly to the internet as I do the ocean as it exists inside and inbetween nations. The rogue elements of the internet have many private solutions like AntiVirus software, but still truly skilled computer hackers can be a problem. I don't think hackers should be able to operate with impunity on the internet just as I don't think criminals should freely roam the oceans.

    Sure, we don't personally own ships on the ocean, but they are delivering goods back and forth to our store shelves. Online many computers are shuffling our digital information back and forth including the posts we see in this thread.

    Trying to relate more to the main topic: I can see covert cyber ops for pushing back against cyber spying coming our way. Yes, we do have classified information like our technology. Having a wide open information system some dickhead can turn into a botnet just isn't smart.

    Last thought, I think common defense is one the main reasons to even form government in the first place.

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by VIDEODROME View Post
    I think Jefferson's campaign against the Barbary pirates is a strong precedent on the role our navy can play against rogue international groups. I'm not sure what else I can add to that.

    I suppose I feel similarly to the internet as I do the ocean as it exists inside and inbetween nations. The rogue elements of the internet have many private solutions like AntiVirus software, but still truly skilled computer hackers can be a problem. I don't think hackers should be able to operate with impunity on the internet just as I don't think criminals should freely roam the oceans.

    Sure, we don't personally own ships on the ocean, but they are delivering goods back and forth to our store shelves. Online many computers are shuffling our digital information back and forth including the posts we see in this thread.

    Trying to relate more to the main topic: I can see covert cyber ops for pushing back against cyber spying coming our way. Yes, we do have classified information like our technology. Having a wide open information system some dickhead can turn into a botnet just isn't smart.

    Last thought, I think common defense is one the main reasons to even form government in the first place.
    Okay. And here is my last thought on this thread. I know who is spying on me, stealing my wealth, impairing my liberty, invading my property rights, and who is by far the most likely to kick down my door and inflict violence upon my person. It ISN'T pirates or hackers or the Chinese. It is my own accursed government. They have proven themselves incapable of wielding even the most insignificant power without violence, corruption, ineffectiveness, imperiousness, extravagent expense, and side effects that are worse than whatever was the supposed problem they were asked to solve. And so, I require proof beyond a reasonable doubt that giving power to government is the ONLY way to solve a problem that MUST be solved. Anything less than that and I will take my chances with freedom.
    The proper concern of society is the preservation of individual freedom; the proper concern of the individual is the harmony of society.

    "Who would be free, themselves must strike the blow." - Byron

    "Who overcomes by force, hath overcome but half his foe." - Milton

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Acala View Post
    Okay. And here is my last thought on this thread. I know who is spying on me, stealing my wealth, impairing my liberty, invading my property rights, and who is by far the most likely to kick down my door and inflict violence upon my person. It ISN'T pirates or hackers or the Chinese. It is my own accursed government. They have proven themselves incapable of wielding even the most insignificant power without violence, corruption, ineffectiveness, imperiousness, extravagent expense, and side effects that are worse than whatever was the supposed problem they were asked to solve. And so, I require proof beyond a reasonable doubt that giving power to government is the ONLY way to solve a problem that MUST be solved. Anything less than that and I will take my chances with freedom.
    /Thread. Well done.
    "And now that the legislators and do-gooders have so futilely inflicted so many systems upon society, may they finally end where they should have begun: May they reject all systems, and try liberty; for liberty is an acknowledgment of faith in God and His works." - Bastiat

    "It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere." - Voltaire

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Acala View Post
    If you are honest, peaceful, and strong, you don't need to worry about enemies.
    Now that definitely isn't realistic or true. It goes against human nature and history.

    Yes, we would have many less enemies, but don't believe we would not have any.

  24. #23

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    I tend to consider national defense to include responsive actions, but in some cases they can be preemptive. If a nation is threatening you(different from being a potential threat), from a national security standpoint you are better off striking first. Sure, they might not be serious however they should know better about crying wolf.

    Really though, every situation is unique. If we have a general vision of non-interventionism, we will be much better off. I need to spend some time to think about foreign policy more.

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgiaAvenger View Post
    Now that definitely isn't realistic or true. It goes against human nature and history.

    Yes, we would have many less enemies, but don't believe we would not have any.
    I didn't say you wouldn't HAVE enemies. I said you wouldn't need to worry about them because you would already be doing everything you could to be resistant to evil.
    The proper concern of society is the preservation of individual freedom; the proper concern of the individual is the harmony of society.

    "Who would be free, themselves must strike the blow." - Byron

    "Who overcomes by force, hath overcome but half his foe." - Milton

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgiaAvenger View Post
    I tend to consider national defense to include responsive actions, but in some cases they can be preemptive. If a nation is threatening you(different from being a potential threat), from a national security standpoint you are better off striking first. Sure, they might not be serious however they should know better about crying wolf.

    Really though, every situation is unique. If we have a general vision of non-interventionism, we will be much better off. I need to spend some time to think about foreign policy more.
    Pre-emptive strikes against people you "think" are a threat? Foreign policy determined case by case? Isn't that what we have now?
    The proper concern of society is the preservation of individual freedom; the proper concern of the individual is the harmony of society.

    "Who would be free, themselves must strike the blow." - Byron

    "Who overcomes by force, hath overcome but half his foe." - Milton

  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Acala View Post
    If we follow the advice of the founders and engage in friendly relations and open trade with everyone, stay neutral, avoid alliances, and mind our own borders, none of that other crap will be necessary.
    That concept basically hinges on the idea that all other nations are as wonderful as we would be in this scenario, and not as terrible as we are now.

    I think we need some level of intelligence gathering (gathering not covert ops) to try and cut off any nutjobs.

  28. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Acala View Post
    Pre-emptive strikes against people you "think" are a threat? Foreign policy determined case by case? Isn't that what we have now?
    No, it isn't what we have now.

    If there is a nation threatening you, by either their actions or words or both, and the national security would be better off striking first, I have no problem with that.

    You look at each situation case by case in order to determine if they are threatening you, to what extent are they dangerous, and what would be the pros and cons of striking.

    Take Iraq, they had dangerous weapons, but they were not presenting a threat to us. But if Cuba said it was going to develop nuclear weapons, would you favor letting them do it? I wouldn't. That is another example of why we have to look case to case, because Norway could also be bad mouthing us and pursuing nuclear weapons but they wouldn't be a threat.

    I'm not sure Ron Paul would agree with my foreign policy, but I am sure most interventionists wouldn't like it.

  29. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by Acala View Post
    Pre-emptive strikes against people you "think" are a threat? Foreign policy determined case by case? Isn't that what we have now?
    I'm sorry, it's not good enough for me to be neutral, trade with everyone, maintain a strong military and hope. If we can cut off a nation before they get to US soil we should. (although a ground invasion of the US is an absurd concept). If we have a chance to shoot a nuke down from a insane Islamic government, or a nation with a grudge going back before we adopt a sane foreign policy, we damn well should.

    As a half point half question, did we do anything to provoke Pearl Harbor?

  30. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by Acala View Post
    Okay. And here is my last thought on this thread. I know who is spying on me, stealing my wealth, impairing my liberty, invading my property rights, and who is by far the most likely to kick down my door and inflict violence upon my person. It ISN'T pirates or hackers or the Chinese. It is my own accursed government. They have proven themselves incapable of wielding even the most insignificant power without violence, corruption, ineffectiveness, imperiousness, extravagent expense, and side effects that are worse than whatever was the supposed problem they were asked to solve. And so, I require proof beyond a reasonable doubt that giving power to government is the ONLY way to solve a problem that MUST be solved. Anything less than that and I will take my chances with freedom.

    Fair enough.

    I mean we are all for a smaller sensible military for defense and leaving behind the path of aggression. I would lump in the other stuff the same way.


    No covert ops to spy on people growing marijuana or even legitimate food crops. No secret coups in other nations trying to steer their futures.

  31. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by thequietkid10 View Post

    As a half point half question, did we do anything to provoke Pearl Harbor?
    Some would say we gave them reason. I'm not a history expert on WW2, but I think we hit Japan with economic sanctions trying to stop their expansion in the East.

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