In regards to World War II, both Japan and Germany declared War on the USA, and I think that at that point Rand would have supported our defense against them. Prior to that, the USA was using peaceful means to oppose these regimes by supporting Britain and cutting off resources to Japan in an effort to curb their aggression without resorting to war. Note that the anti-war people claim that these sanctions of the era were the same as our actually declaring war! Rand was correct to criticize the propaganda efforts to make the Russians look good to the American people (see the transcripts of her testimony to congress). However, the actual aid was, in fact, crucial to winning the war.
What seems to be lost is the fact that in 50 years the USA has succeeded in eliminating the following evils from the world by means an interventionist stance in the world:
Fascism – eliminated in 1945, converted to our allies and economic partners.
Communism – largely eliminated bloodlessly in 1990, co-opted slowly but surely into economic partnership.
Can anyone tell me this happens barring an interventionist USA? No. It makes the USA safer, it makes the USA richer, it makes 1/2 of the world’s people richer and safer.
The era of Great Power war (and its multi-millions dead) is over. The era of National wars is over (i.e. our intervention in Iraq, Kosovo, etc.) and now all that is left is individual actors, rogue states and taming the rest of the world that refuses to join the modern world.
These so-called Libertarians support this enslavement of so many people? Oh, they say they don’t, but their actions and words impede any attempts to make changes there! Change cannot happen there without outside help, because it is the goal of these tyrants and their ilk to keep their people under tight control and incapable of making change. We cannot ignore them, either, because these places are breeding grounds of terrorism. We have no choice but to intervene for our own self-interest, and we will make the world a better place in doing so.
Once again – no USA intervention and the world remains, at best, locked in a 3-way struggle between the Anglo-sphere (assuming we survive), the Fascist states, and the Communist states. This is not a safe or better world, this is a nightmare world of horrific proportions.