Hornberger's Blog

Hornberger's Blog is a daily libertarian blog written by Jacob G. Hornberger, founder and president of FFF.
Here's the RSS feed or subscribe to our FFF Email Update to receive Hornberger’s Blog daily.

Do You Want Your Children to Die for Montenegro?


Get used to the possibility that your son or daughter might end up dying for Montenegro because that country has just been invited to become the latest member of NATO, the Cold War organization that was brought into existence to defend Europe from America’s World War II partner and ally, the Soviet Union.

Just in case you’ve never heard of Montenegro or maybe don’t know where it is, here’s a link to Wikipedia’s page on the country: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montenegro. It seems to me that if your son or daughter might have to die in the defense of Montenegro, you might want to know a little about it or at least where it is located.

Once Montenegro becomes a member of NATO, the United States is automatically obligated to come to the defense of that country if it comes under attack by Russia or any other nation. No, there is no debate in Congress. No, antiwar demonstrations won’t make any difference. No, the federal judiciary is not going to step in and determine the constitutionality of the war. And no, the president won’t have a choice either. Once Montenegro is attacked, the United States is automatically in the war.

Of course, people might say, “That might be a problem for people serving in the military. But it won’t affect my son or daughter because they’re not in the military and won’t be joining the military. My family will just sit back and support the troops.”

That might well be true, except for one thing: If the war is a big one, it’s a virtual certainty that if your son is between the ages of 18-25, the U.S. national-security establishment is going to force him to leave his normal life and come join the military to fight and possibly die for Montenegro. You don’t think that federal officials require your son to register for conscription just for the fun of it, do you? They require registration so that they know where they can quickly grab him for a war to defend Montenegro or any other member of NATO.

And don’t think your daughter is automatically off the hook just because she’s a girl. The military has just announced that women will be able to serve in any military branch, including the combat services. Given that new policy, why should they exclude your daughter and other young women from fighting and dying for Montenegro?

What about the declaration-of-war requirement in the Constitution? Doesn’t the Constitution require a congressional declaration of war before the U.S. government can involve the nation in a particular war?

Well, that was certainly the intention of the Framers. They knew that presidents, especially those with big, loyal armies at the disposal, would be prone to involve the nation in senseless wars. So, they framed the Constitution in such a way as to require the president to secure a declaration of war from the elected representatives of the American people before he could commit the nation to war. That would ensure a national debate on whether people really wanted their sons or daughters to be sacrificed in wars.

And of course, it’s not just Montenegro. It’s also 28 other countries in NATO. If any of them is attacked by Russia or any other nation, the United States is automatically committed to war.

Consider Turkey, for example, a country where it is a criminal offense to criticize the Turkish president. Why is that important? When U.S. officials claim that your son or daughter is being sent to fight and die for the freedom of the Turkish people, you’ll know that they’re dying for the freedom of people to be sent to jail for criticizing their ruler. Isn’t that something you’re willing to sacrifice your child for?

Turkey has recently sent troops into Iraq without the consent and over objection of the Iraqi government. Just think: If Iraq attempts to defend its sovereignty by attacking those Turkish troops, much like Turkey recently defended its sovereignty by shooting down that Russian plane, the United States, thanks to NATO, will be legally obligated to go to war Iraq and at the same time that it’s helping the Iraqi government to defeat ISIS, the entity that the U.S. invasion of Iraq brought into existence.

George Washington, the father of our country, warned Americans against organizations like NATO: “It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world.” Thomas Jefferson, the author of the Declaration of Independence, was no less clear: “Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations — entangling alliances with none.”

Now, you might well believe that the lives of your children are worth sacrificing in the defense of Montenegro, Turkey, or any other member of NATO. In that case, there would be nothing to prevent you from exhorting them to travel to those countries in the event of war and joining up with their military forces.

But if you happen to believe that the lives of your sons and daughters are more important to you than the defense of Montenegro, Turkey, or any other member of NATO, then it behooves you to secure the U.S. withdrawal from this Cold War dinosaur before it’s too late.

This post was written by:

Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has advanced freedom and free markets on talk-radio stations all across the country as well as on Fox News’ Neil Cavuto and Greta van Susteren shows and he appeared as a regular commentator on Judge Andrew Napolitano’s show Freedom Watch. View these interviews at LewRockwell.com and from Full Context. Send him email.