I keep wanting to comment to other peoples threads about foreign policy but life keeps interrupting, so I figured I’d put my thoughts here. In particular, I keep reading AP’s rantings on the relationship between US and Israel, and originally I was upset by his words. Not that I really disagreed with him, it just sounded so… harsh. Over time he’s kept repeating and ranting about it, and I keep finding that I agree more and more with him.
It *sounds* like he could be an anti-semite, but if you actually read his words and don’t read anything extra into them, I don’t believe that he is anti Israel. I believe that he simply wants the US to get out of that discussion and let Israel handle its business. This leads me to my own view on foreign policy. I agree that we should not be in Israel’s business either. Or any other nations for that matter.
Mankind is brutal, but if a nation exists, no matter whether it fought to conquer its lands or it was granted lands from the people that conquered them (didn’t the British conquer that land then give it up for the creation of the Jewish state?), then that nation has every right to exist… until someone with the power to do so conquers them. That nation also has every right to pre-emptively strike at whomever threatens them if they think it is necessary. Here’s where you may think it gets sticky… but it really doesn’t. If Israel thinks that Iran wants to wipe them off the face of the planet, Israel has the right to do what it thinks is necessary to remain in existence. But the other side of that coin is that if Iran thinks that Israel is going to nuke them back to the stone age, then Iran has every right to do what it thinks is necessary to stop Israel. Notice that the US is in neither of these scenarios in this writing. That’s for a reason, the US shouldn’t be in either of them. We shouldn’t be giving aid/money/weapons to either of these two nations (or anyone else). If they want our weapons and we think that it is not outside of our national interests, we can sell our weapons to these nations. This is a hard decision to make, but I would probably not sell weapons to either Israel or Iran any time soon. Israel has been using us for too long and Iran currently does not like us. Iran has performed “exercises” that can logically be followed through to Iran preparing for war against us: they have missiles capable of carrying a nuke, they have launched these weapons and then detonated them at their apex (perfect elevation for an EMP, btw), they have launched these missiles from ocean freighters, they have run similar freighters within our waters to test our response time (they have not fired from there that I know of)… all of these things can point to preparations for war against us. So, in the Iran/Israel brouhaha, we just need to back the heck out of it.
As for my foreign policy with the rest of the world… It’s essentially identical to what’s listed above. I believe that we should pull all of our troops home from everywhere else in the world and let the locals handle their business. If North Korea wants to invade and conquer South Korea, so be it. If South Korea has the money, we can sell them weapons to defend themselves. If South Korea wants our help, they must submit to our rule completely. I do not mean that they should become the 51st state, but they would become one of our territories. The same goes for any other nation that we currently have bases in and any other nation that wants our assistance. If our troops are to remain overseas, then those lands become US soil.
I struggled with this one, but my other option of letting South Korea (or Germany, or Japan, etc) simply pay all expenses required to keep our troops there, to include our troops salaries, would mean that we were now just providing a global mercenary force. I don’t really like the thought of that, so, if a foreign nation begs us to come to their aid then they must become our property.
The idea of “Force Projection” is no longer valid in my opinion. When I was in the 82D I heard rumors that there was an exercise to deploy a brigade exactly half-way around the world. The story goes that the alert went off and the units packed up and boarded the planes. They dropped onto a DZ somewhere in Russia in less than 18 hours. I have never verified this because at the time I did not expect the people that told me to be lying (and I still don’t think they were), and I also believe that it could be done. 18 hours may be pushing a little bit, but we can deploy at least a few brigades damn near anywhere in the world in less than 24 hours. I don’t believe we need to keep our troops elsewhere any longer (is South Korea really vital to our nations security?)
As to what we should do with all of these troops once we get them stateside… build more military bases along our borders and let our troops patrol our borders. I believe they would be much more effective at providing for the national security if they were, you know, providing for our national security by keeping trespassers out.
I realize that we cannot be commercially isolationist as there are, indeed, some things that we simply don’t have under our soil, but I believe that we should be militarily isolationist. If a bully starts picking on my child, I’m not going to move into the bully’s house. I’m going to teach my child how to kick the bully’s ass (and no, Israel is not our child)
That’s my opinion on foreign policy in a nutshell (although I may be a pretty big nut)