The mainstream peace movement since the 1960’s had always been somewhat contradictory.
In a sense they are anti-war, but a significant number of »pro-peace » advocates want a bigger more intrusive in many other areas of our everyday lives.
To be frank with you, I not for an interventionist defensive foreign policy for two main reasons, which are both based really much on bread-and-butter issues which are very pragmatic in scope:
1) History has told us then having an interventionist foreign policy bring consequences. Whatever your »good intentions » are at the start, you never know if your allies could become your enemies the next day. Also, 99% of wars kill civilians as »collateral damage ». On the top of that, some states which are at war loves also to use civilians as human shields with their coercive power.
This is why also, that even if I am not a nationalist at all, I am skeptical in a way of the limits of organizations like the United Nations. Again, the UN is a little bit the European Union, because this organisation had become with the time a super-state structure which have became accountable to nobody.
2) War is just not sustainable as a fiscal and budgetary policy. Once you start, it’s a fiscal hole with no bottom whatsoever. Of course, this is done by taxing »others » and then distributing money to people related to the »war effort ». Also, even though some Keynesians thinks in a different way (this could be a good explanation of why some social-democrats are war hawks), a war does not »stimulate » the economy at all like Frédéric Bastiat mentionned more then one century and a half ago with his broken window fallacy. In fact, it’s like central planning, because the state chooses which industries to »help » with the war effort.
This is not the free market at all, this is plain corporatism.
To be frank with you, I am not a big fan of conspiracy theories and I believe that some people (not all) who believe in conspiracy theories just don’t realize that the state is uncapable of thinking »as much » as they to find the perfect plan.
However, I tend to see some members of the »pacifists » anti-war crowd as nothing else then useful idiots. Even if not all American »liberals » are jumping the bandwagon of the current president dismal foreign affairs interventionnist record, I cannot see how people who were critical of the former US president could be any happier by the policies of the current president which are probably more corrosive and secretive then any other US president before him.
Take drones for example, which have taken more and more place during the last five years or so in military policy. We are not even talking about »old school » military troops anymore, but about machines which could be used anywhere, anytime to kill, destroy or get information.
Take this example, how could somebody be against wars done by the state and then wanting that the state have the monopoly of power by disarming citizens? As a fact, a state with armed citizens as »national defense » (take Switzerland for example who also has the perfect geography) is probably the best solution against any invasion by another state.
And again, how an anti-war person be against free markets, which are the best way to do trade without coercion. One must remember that, many conflicts in history were actually due to some form of protectionism.
In conclusion, be VERY careful of a person who says that he is anti-war, but who wants to have an interventionist state in many other areas.
In many cases in history, the latter is the perfect path to the former.
Let just say that I give you social security, while we can spend your tax dollars on wars and many other things* (and yes, it’s not even national defence at this point).
*Of course, as always, you pay the tab at the end. Add also your children, the children of your children and etc…