Is War The Litmus Test For Libertarians?

Dr. Robert Higgs believes so, and he makes a very strong argument. A few pages long, but worth your time.

Are Questions of War and Peace Merely One Issue among Many for Libertarians? – The Independent Institute: “First, what makes anybody think that the state will protect us, as distinct from the state’s leaders and its apparatus of rule? For more than a century, nearly all of the U.S. government’s military activities have been devoted to protecting someone or something other than you and me (or our forebears). Spain did not threaten Americans in 1898, and the Filipinos did not threaten them between 1899 and 1902. Germany did not seriously threaten any genuine American right in 1917—the right to travel unmolested in a war zone on munitions-laden British or French ships does not qualify, notwithstanding Woodrow Wilson’s tortured logic—and the kaiser’s government repeatedly made conciliatory efforts to maintain peaceful relations with the United States from 1914 until 1917. Germany did not seek war with the United States in 1940 and 1941 (until its alliance with Japan tipped it into a declaration of war on December 11, 1941); indeed, Hitler’s regime, hoping to keep the United States at bay, displayed remarkable forbearance in the face of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s attempts to provoke a war-justifying naval incident in the North Atlantic. In more recent decades, North Korea, North Vietnam, Panama, Serbia, Iraq, and Libya, among others, did not threaten American rights before the U.S. government launched wars against them. If in making war the government has intended only to protect Americans from foreigners who threaten our lives, liberties, and property here on our own territory, then we must conclude that the government has displayed astonishingly bad judgment in choosing its targets. Why would anyone want to rely on a protector who manifestly does not shoot straight?”