Libertarian Party: No War With Russia

In February of 1990 U.S. leaders journeyed to Moscow to make an offer to the Soviets. Then Secretary of State James Baker suggested that in exchange for a unified Germany, the U.S. would make “iron-clad guarantees” that NATO (the North Atlantic Treaty Organization) would not expand “one inch Eastward.” Soviet dominance in Eastern Europe was starting to end, and the West was promising not to fill that vacuum with their influence. A few days later, Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev agreed to begin reunification talks. Despite the agreement, within only a few more years, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and others were ushered into the NATO alliance.

A few decades prior, the world was on the edge of its seat as a tense 13-day military and political standoff ensued between the Kennedy administration and the similarly nuclear-armed Soviet Union under President Nikita Khrushchev. The U.S. provided nuclear weapons to Turkey, and the Soviets reacted by bringing their own to Cuba, just 90 miles south of Key West, Florida. President Kennedy announced the presence of the missiles to the American public, commanded a naval blockade around Cuba and made it clear that the U.S. was prepared to use military force. However, tensions were broken when President Kennedy made an agreement with Khrushchev that the Soviets would remove the nuclear missiles from Cuba and in exchange the U.S. would not attack. In secret, however, Kennedy also agreed to remove the nuclear missiles from Turkey.

Fast forward now to November 2013. Widespread protests erupted in Ukraine in response to President Yanukovych’s failure to sign a political association and free trade agreement with the European Union. This continued for several months and on February 20, 2014, the Maidan Revolution, also known as the Revolution of Dignity, took place in Ukraine. Deadly clashes between protestors and riot police further escalated tensions for over a month. The ultimate result was the ousting of President Yanukovych and the instatement of an interim government ahead of special elections. Russia considered the overthrow of Yanukovych to be an illegal coup and did not recognize the interim government. On March 1, Russian parliament approved a request by President Vladimir Putin to deploy troops to Ukraine.

For nearly eight years now, conflict has persisted along the borders of sovereign Ukraine and Russian-occupied territory just beyond. While the world has mostly ignored or forgotten about this conflict up until recently, we find ourselves now at DEFCON’s door as NATO is now putting more and more pressure on Russia to step back from its efforts to further annex Ukraine. A fundamental question must be asked here – are we willing to risk World War III over this conflict in Eastern Europe?

“It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliance with any portion of the foreign world.” That was declared by George Washington in his farewell address at the end of a bloody revolution for independence. In his inaugural pledge, Thomas Jefferson opined clearly on foreign policy saying, “Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations – entangling alliances with none.”

These were the words of our nation’s founders, who expounded the radical idea of a non-interventionist foreign policy. We must ask ourselves where NATO fits into this foreboding wisdom. Since the mid-1990s, NATO has continued to expand its western influence east. Under the banner of promoting democracy, the U.S. backs pro-American and pro-Western politicians in newly democratic states with their previous regimes toppled. Influence expands closer and closer to Russia’s doorstep, antagonizing a nation with no commitment to peace.

The Monroe Doctrine, delivered to Congress by President James Monroe in 1823, stressed the need for foreign powers not to meddle in the affairs of the Western hemisphere. The wisdom of non-interventionism precedes us, yet the growing precipitation of expanding alliances puts us at risk. Let us assume that Russia once again placed nuclear missiles in Cuba, and China did the same in Mexico, and meanwhile, they were courting Canada into an alliance with them. Would this not be perceived as a threat?

The United States’ involvement in NATO puts us in a compromising position; one which is compounded further by the fact that Congress no longer authorizes war and that our military is controlled by a small facet of unelected bureaucrats and what President Eisenhower named the Military-Industrial Complex. It is time for cooler heads to prevail and for Libertarians, and all wishing to avoid worldwide conflict, to call on the U.S. to cut ties with NATO and to end all other entangling alliances. Such entanglements are more cause for war than for peace, and the tit for tat relationships promote escalation and retaliation. Americans ought to abide by the wisdom of those who came before us, who learned the hard-fought lessons of war, rather than trust those who will never do the fighting to make the right decisions.

If humankind continues into the future without heeding the lessons of the past, we are doomed to repeat the grave errors of our predecessors, now with much higher stakes.

Libertarian Platform, 3.3 International Affairs

American foreign policy should seek an America at peace with the world. Our foreign policy should emphasize defense against attack from abroad and enhance the likelihood of peace by avoiding foreign entanglements. We would end the current U.S. government policy of foreign intervention, including military and economic aid. We recognize the right of all people to resist tyranny and defend themselves and their rights. We condemn the use of force, and especially the use of terrorism, against the innocent, regardless of whether such acts are committed by governments or by political or revolutionary groups.

Our position is clear: non-interventionism is the answer to the Ukrainian crisis, and all future crises, because when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. is non-partisan, we do not endorse any political party or candidates for any office. We do run articles by political organizations and candiates who are discussing issues and don’t advocate voting or supporting any candidates or parties.

13 thoughts on “Libertarian Party: No War With Russia”

  1. Nice. Not that anyone outside the Libertarian Party cares what they think. As Bob Black once said, “The Libertarian Party are just Republicans who smoke dope.” LOL

    1. Bob Black is not an idiot, but he sometimes plays one in the anarchist press.

      In any given election, the Libertarian Party can peel off some voters from one or both “major” party tallies. WHICH party it affects most differs from election to election, but in both 2016 and 2020, the Libertarian vote was large enough to have likely changed the disposition of a number of electoral votes. It may have cost Clinton the 2016 election and almost certainly cost Trump the 2020 election.

      That’s why Republican and Democratic operatives care very much what the Libertarian Party thinks. Enough to run “takeover” ops to attempt to neuter it, as is happening at the moment.

      1. No doubt that’s true. But when it comes to foreign policy itself, no one cares what the Libs think because they never end up with the power after the election is over. And since foreign policy is always low on the US electorate radar, the Lib opinion is even less meaningful at influencing elections on that topic.

        1. Libertarians, and other third parties, will never gain electoral power in proportion to the real support of their idea until we replace our current first past the post, winner takes all, electoral system with one that uses proportional representation. A first step to that is the adoption of Ranked Choice Voting which allows people to vote their conscience without fear that they are wasting their vote. It also eliminates “spoilers” and leads to more civil, issue oriented campaigns. RCV is growing rapidly around the country. Look into what’s happening in your state at Fairvote. org.

          1. June (assuming you are the same June Genis who I remember from my 30 years in the LP prior to 2008), it is good to see you are still around. Are you still active in the LP?

            I understand that Maine and now Alaska have installed RCV, and, in the case of Alaska, at least, it appears to apply to federal elections as well. Given the relatively strong libertarian sentiment in Alaska, I think it is at least conceivable that an LP candidate may win a House seat in the next 10 years.

        2. In 2004, neither John Kerry nor George W. Bush had visits to New Mexico on their campaign calendars.

          Then Libertarian candidate Michael Badnarik popped up on a poll with 5% support in New Mexico, and announced a week-long tour of the state, including a foreign policy speech at its state university.

          Then all of a sudden, Kerry and Bush both had New Mexico visits on their calendars. And, coincidence of coincidence, for that very same week.

          And in Bush’s speech on that visit, he floated the idea of withdrawing US troops from South Korea.

          So apparently SOMEONE cared what the Libertarians thought about foreign policy.

          1. Only until the election was over. Then, of course, they went back to not caring what the electorate wants. Which is fundamentally why the LP is useless. So is Jimmy Dore’s “People’s Party” and any other third party. It’s a Catch-22. You have to reform the whole electoral system, and you can’t do that while the two parties control it. It’s delusional to think otherwise. Short of a revolution, this isn’t going to change.

          2. But it IS changing. Over 50 jurisdictions around the US are now using RCV to some degree. The largest test was last year in NYC where voter surveys showed that people both understood and liked it. Here in CA the California Ranked Choice Coalition ( was only launched last Sept and is already the largest and fastest growing state RCV organization. RCV is already used in a number of cities and campaigns are going on to implement it in more cities and counties around the state as a prelude to using it at the state level.

          3. You’re going to have to do a lot more than just Ranked Choice Voting to defeat the two main parties. And even if that happened, I suspect it would take the LP decades to get to the point where it has enough people in Congress to actually achieve anything. By that time, we’ll all be dead.

          4. I tend to agree that the LP is useless for winning on a large scale via the existing electoral/political system which, as you pointed out, is rigged to ensure that only the two parties which built that system have a chance in most election.

            It’s very useful in other ways.

            For one thing, it’s very good at turning “limited government conservatives” and “fiscally responsible liberals” into anarchists. The revolution is going to happen sooner or later. Libertarians can’t cause it to happen, but they can do the work of preparing those who are interested for which direction to push in when it happens.

            For another, it’s very entertaining.

  2. Being a long time (20+ years) card-carrying Libertarian, I have always been most disappointed in two things: The name Libertarian (sounds too much like “Liberal”), and the fact that foreign policy is a foreign topic. Isolationism is an anachronism over a hundred years dead. Practically speaking, we cannot afford to hide our head in the sand while the world sorts itself out – they will sort themselves out to our demise. Libertarians must learn that two factors are present in nearly every victory in battle and war: surprise and deception. Biden & Co. are constantly tipping their hand for all to see every single card. The would probably hire Julian Assange as Secretary of State if they could. One must NEVER rule out ANY option in conflict. Walk softly and carry a big stick was effective once and should be again. The big stick not necessarily being a kinetic response as it was 125 years ago. No need to ever rattle the largest most effective sabre in the lot. The enemies and adversaries KNOW what we are capable of. If we’re going to use it, use it, don’t talk about it first. The art of negotiation includes NEVER tipping your hand, and NEVER talking about what you’re talking about. Putin will do whatever he wants, despite what Biden or others say, he knows what we are willing to do and what we are not willing to do. He also knows the Ukrainians will fight to the death, and if he invades he will have a nightmare insurgency on his hands way past the scale of Afghanistan. The babushkas will not tolerate their grandsons coming home in body bags for long – if at all. No, Putin is of the Sun Tzu school of war – it is most skillful to subdue the enemy without battle, which is where the conflict is right now, under our little noses.

    1. Unfortunately it is Putin who has every justification for his actions right now. Long ago we promised Gorbachev that NATO would not expand into former Soviet territory. We have violated that agreement many times already. All that Putin has asked for in order to stand down is that the he receive written assurance that Ukraine would not be allowed to join NATO.

      There are already hundreds of US supplied NATO missiles pointed at Russia. You may, and should, recall that in 1962 when Soviet Russia wanted to plant missiles in Cuba the US instituted a naval blockade, a recognized act of war. A buildup of troops along your own border in demonstration of your ability to respond to aggression is not and also does not violate the libertarian Non-Aggression Principle.

    2. “it is most skillful to subdue the enemy without battle”

      We do not need to be Russia’s enemy, and Russia does not need to be our enemy. However, if there is one thing that American foreign policy is very good at, it is creating enemies where none need exist.

      Libertarians are not isolationists, we are non-interventionists. It is the proponents of conflict who are the true isolationists, they isolate Americans from freedom of interaction through trade and travel with foreign peoples.

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