This article was published in the Autumn 1993 issue of Formulations
by the Free Nation Foundation
Serbia and Bosnia:
A Foreign Policy Formulation
by Richard Hammer

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I am a newcomer to foreign policy and cannot claim to understand all that matters. To clarify my own thinking, but also to stimulate discussion, I will outline with regard to the situation in the former Yugoslavia what might be part of a libertarian foreign policy. I assert that the situation has reached its present horrible state because the governments of the world have taken away three freedoms.

1. The Bosnians should be free to buy arms. If they were able to arm themselves the Serbs would certainly treat them with more deference.

2. The Bosnians should be free to move away. If somewhere on earth there were a libertarian nation that nation's immigration policy would be a private affair (not national): any private property owner could welcome or turn away anyone. The libertarian country would offer Bosnians (or any outsiders) freedom to buy land in the open market, or to accept a contract which offered shelter for work. Additionally, any property owners feeling sympathy for Bosnians could shelter them as an act of compassion.

3. Private citizens outside Bosnia should be free to help the Bosnians. In a libertarian country anyone willing either to fight, or to finance a fight, in Bosnia on behalf of Bosnians would be free to do so, at their own risk.

I assert the situation in former Yugoslavia never would have come to our attention, at the present level of violence, if somewhere on this earth there were a free country of sufficient size where the citizens had kept such freedoms for themselves, and had not surrendered such freedoms to a collective, coercive authority.

We welcome debate.

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