The “Sexton Doctrine” is how I look at every single conflict, from personal all the way through international. Briefly stated, it is:
Absorb the first strike, and make DANG SURE you deliver the LAST strike
It is a philosophy of both strong defense AND overwhelming offensive capabilities that are held in check by an overriding desire for peace.
It is under this philosophy that I can be BOTH an ardent non-interventionist AND a proponent of military research and development (ie spending).
Because I do not seek first-strike advantages, instead preferring to live in peace, I do not need forward operating bases all around the world. I do not need massive tank bases in Germany, naval bases in Okinawa, or air fields in South Korea. I limit my exposure by eliminating these open targets, and instead I concentrate on a multi-layered, rigid-but-mobile defensive shield around the US itself. Trade and non-combatants can move freely back and forth through the shield, but any enemy coming in will be summarily dealt with using devastating firepower. The shield is set far enough out to provide a bit of cushion, but near enough in to remain vigilant. It is not composed of rigid installations, but instead is composed of many of the same forces we use now to “project power” – though some rigid installations may also be used.
If some horrendous calamity happens and the shield is breached, we must retain an absolutely overwhelming quick-strike capability to ensure that we can absolutely deliver the final strike. This means extremely fast, extremely mobile methods of transport of soldiers and material, as well as extremely efficient and extremely devastating long range bombers loaded for bear with the most devastating conventional firepower known to man.
This philosophy also calls for the absolute best intelligence you can possibly acquire under legal and ethical means. This intelligence is used both for the defense and the offense – the more you know about potential attacks, the more the defense can be ready for them. And if the defense fails, if you know where the attack came from, you can be mobilizing the bombers and quick-strike ground forces to obliterate the nation where the attack originated possibly within minutes of the attack happening.
Note that the Sexton Doctrine does NOT allow for nation building. Quite bluntly, once an attack has been successful, I care only about eliminating the potential for follow-on attacks. Once that potential is eliminated, my mission is complete and I revert back to my normal defensive stance. The source of the attack can then recover from the consequences of their action on their own, and I, the victim of the attack, should NOT be asked to assist them in their recovery.
So ultimately, what would my ideal military look like? By and large, pretty much what it already does – minus the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and forward operating bases in any nation. I would instead redirect the troops and personnel currently deployed overseas mostly to become the shield, with Special Forces becoming the Quick Strike Forces and military research and development would largely continue as it has.
So you see, under the Sexton Doctrine a person can be BOTH an ardent supporter of the military AND an ardent non-interventionist, and thus one sticking point I hear about over and over from many people is truly blended into the Libertarian movement.