In 1950 a war started that lasted till 1953. This war, in which 3 million people were killed and the US government spent over thirty billion dollars, was the Korean War, and why do you suppose this war was fought? I can tell you one thing: It was not fought for American freedom. It was not fought for American interests. It was fought in the interests of Korea. And as if America hadn’t learned not to get involved in the affairs of other countries, 2 years later in 1955 we entered another war that would last twenty long years until 1975. This was the Vietnam War, one of the bloodiest most horrific wars in the history of our planet. The cost of this war surpassed that of the Korean war, with 3.8 million lives lost and cost of 168 billion dollars. 

These are just two of the many wars and conflicts that the US has been involved in over the years. The Persian Gulf wars, the war and Iraq, and the war in Afghanistan are other examples of conflicts that have cost us thousands of lives, and what do we have to show? Nothing. 

Thomas Jefferson stated: “Peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations; entangling alliances with none.”  This policy, known as isolationism, states that America should avoid international conflict, only getting involved in wars to defend themselves from imminent danger. Isolationism doesn’t mean going off and fighting wars in the middle east. It means staying out of trouble and remaining peaceful. 

What is an alliance, though? Ambrose Bierce described an alliance as: “In international politics, a union of two thieves who have their hands so deeply inserted into each other’s pockets, that they cannot separately plunder a third.”

Seriously, it’s truer than you think. For example, in WWII, we were allies with Russia (then the USSR). Now we’re enemies. Consider all the times that we have befriended a small helpless country struggling for freedom… Lydia, Vietnam, Israel, Korea… What do we ever get in return, other than thousands of Americans dead and billions of dollars wasted? 

It sounds pretty selfish, but if America would just stop trying to help other countries, and worry about defending themselves instead, we’d see a lot of improvement in many areas. For one thing, we’d be preserving lives. Millions of people needlessly die in wars, and not just the soldiers. It is estimated that in WWII alone, 40 million civilians were killed. Wars are tragic and destructive. Not only that, but they’re extremely expensive. For example, the cost of firing the M134 Minigun for 12 seconds is estimated at $400,000. Weapons, ammunition, and soldiers must all be paid for. The problem is, we don’t have the money, so we’re just going into debt.

The constitution gives our government the power to provide for the common defense. When we take the offensive side and go attack a country when there is no imminent threat to America, the constitution is being violated, which isn’t okay. America needs to simply follow Jefferson’s advice, and avoid international conflict. It may seem impossible in today’s world, but don’t worry. It’s been done before. Take Switzerland, for example. Switzerland stayed out of every major conflict in the 20th century, including both world wars. The result is that Switzerland has one of the highest average incomes and highest per capita GDPs in the world, both higher than the US.

So far, getting tangled up in alliances hasn’t really paid off. We’re in 28 trillion dollars of debt, and thousands of brave Americans have needlessly died. Thomas Jefferson knew what he was talking about. We haven’t listened to him so far, and we’ve already paid dearly. It’s obvious that staying out of international conflicts will only help America, so why are we not making changes? If we want more peace and happiness, let’s take Jefferson’s advice and avoid entangling alliances.