Interventionism refers to the assortment of government policies that aims to achieve political or military results within foreign countries or in relations among foreign countries. The spectrum of policies ranges from covert intelligence gathering to the provision of military advisers to outright military involvement. Intervention can also take an economic form, such as the bailing out of a foreign central bank or the extending loans and grants to foreign governments.
Intervention, of course, requires the governments commandeering of private resources: money through taxation and even lives through conscription. When resources and people are impressed into government service, they cannot produce goods and services for consumers.
Intervention begets intervention. When a government attempts to manage affairs, particularly in arcane foreign matters with complex histories, it is likely to create bad consequences even from the policymakers own perspective. That in turn prompts them to extend their intervention and seize control of more of their citizens resources. Average people in home (for example, the September 11 attacks) and foreign countries are inevitably caught in the crossfire. After the fall of the Soviet Union, the advantages of profligate U.S. interventions overseas have declined and the disadvantages have dramatically increased (the September 11 attacks showed that terrorists, with the intent to inflict massive casualties on the U.S. homeland, can launch retaliatory strikes that make U.S. overseas interventions risky).
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