Dictionary Definition

nonintervention n : a foreign policy of staying out of other countries' disputes [syn: noninterference] [ant: intervention, intervention]

User Contributed Dictionary



Extensive Definition

Nonintervention or non-interventionism is a foreign policy which holds that political rulers should avoid alliances with other nations and avoid all wars not related to direct territorial self-defense. A similar phrase is "strategic independence".
Isolationism is nonintervention combined with economic nationalism (protectionism). Some non-interventionists are not isolationists. Some, like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Ron Paul in the United States favored/favor nonintervention combined with free trade and free cultural exchange.

Nonintervention by country


See China.


See Japan.

New Zealand

In recent years New Zealand is becoming noninterventionist. No military support (apart from medical) was given for the first Gulf war, although SAS troops were provided for the war in Afghanistan. With respect to the Iraq War, engineers were provided after conventional hostilities had ceased. In the Pacific Islands New Zealand has been involved in a number of Humanitarian Interventions (Solomon Islands, East Timor, West Papua). However, those interventions were non-coercive interventions (at the request of the nation being intervened upon).


Main article: Swedish neutrality


Switzerland has long been known for its policy of defensively armed neutrality.

United States

Main article: United States non-interventionism
In the United States, this foreign policy has been advocated at various times in the country's history, notably during the first century of US history. George Washington, the first US President, advised the country to avoid "foreign entanglements". Thomas Jefferson favored "peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations; entangling alliances with none." John Quincy Adams wrote that the US "goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy."
The policy of non-intervention has been a serious issue for every major US war. During World War I, during the inter-war years, World War II, and the Korean War, the main proponents of non-interventionism were the Old Right. During the Vietnam War, the New Left became the chief proponents of non-interventionism. Today in the US, members of both the "left" and "right" favor military interventionism in certain circumstances. Paleoconservatives, paleolibertarians, and progressives are some of the remaining political groups who would hold the US to non-interventionism in principle. The split has become a primary issue in the 2008 election, with some prominent Democrats denouncing the unpopular interventionist War in Iraq while most Republican candidates defend it, though the division is not strictly along party lines.


Further Reading

nonintervention in Italian: Non-interventismo

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

autarky, avoidance, avoiding reaction, bimetallism, capitalism, circumvention, defense mechanism, dodge, duck, economic self-sufficiency, elusion, elusiveness, equivocation, escape, evasion, evasive action, evasiveness, forbearance, forestalling, forestallment, free competition, free enterprise, free trade, getting around, governmentalism, isolationism, jink, laissez-aller, laissez-faire, laissez-faireism, let-alone policy, let-alone principle, liberalism, line, localism, managed currency, neutrality, noninterference, noninvolvement, nullification, party line, party principle, planned economy, policy, polity, position, prevention, price supports, protection, protectionism, public policy, pump-priming, refraining, sectionalism, self-regulating market, shunning, shunting off, shy, sidestep, sidetracking, slip, the runaround, zigzag
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