Jeffrey A. Miron Quotes
“One government policy that libertarians accept is provisions of national defense, since no private solution is likely to prove satisfactory. A private group that attempted to field an army and defend the country would find it difficult to exclude any individual person from the benefits of its protection, since any activities that deterred potential attacks or warded off actual attacks would defend everyone within the country. Thus, most people would not voluntarily pay for national defense provided by a private group, so it is hard for such an activity to be profitable enough to induce adequate private provision. That is, national defenses is what economists refer to as public good.
The conclusion that government should provide some national defense applies to narrow self-defense activities, such as fielding an army that deters enemy attacks and responds to attacks that do occur. In practice, however, nations perform many inappropriate actions under the mantle self-defense, most of them harmful.
On action that goes beyond strict self-defense is preemptive attacks on other countries, as in the invasion of Iraq. In rare instances preemptive strikes might be legitimate self-defense, and by moving first and preventing extended conflict, a government might save lives and property both at home and in the threatening country...In most instances of preemptive attack, however, the threat is not obvious, undeniable, or imminent. The justification for military action is therefor readily misused whenever leaders have other agendas but wish to hide behind the guise of self defense. Thus, preemptive national defense deserves extreme suspicion, and most such actions are not wise uses of government resources.
Another problematic use of a country's self defense capabilities is humanitarian or national-building efforts that purport to help other countries. One objection to such actions might be that the helping country pays the costs while foreigners receive the benefits, but this is not the right criticism. The compassion argument for redistributing income holds that government should be willing to impose costs on society generally to raise the welfare of the least fortunate members. It is hard to see how logic would apply only to people who already residents of a given country.”
“The usual argument made for excluding gays from the military is that, because of anti-gay sentiment among some non-gay soldiers, the presence of gays might undermine cohesion and discipline. No evidence, however, supports this view; gays have served with minimal problems in numerous countries. The same arguments made against gays in the military were offered decades ago in the United States to oppose racial integration of the armed forces, yet these forces are now entirely integrated with minorities disproportionately represented. The correct policy, therefore, is for the United States to repeal its “don’t ask, don’t tell” stance, as well as to eliminate any federal prohibition on gay service.”