Skip to comments.Lindsey Graham fears the spending cuts DeMint demands-Is Jim DeMint an Isolationist?
Posted on 01/30/2012 8:21:49 AM PST by Colonel Kangaroo
After the Republican presidential debate in Myrtle Beach last week, Sen. Lindsey Graham said on Fox News, "I hope people in the country understand that we're Ronald Reagan Republicans in South Carolina. We believe in peace through strength and we're not isolationists."
In an interview the next day, Graham's fellow South Carolinian Sen. Jim DeMint said on Fox Business,"If we spread ourselves too thin around the world we're not going to be able to defend the homeland, particularly with the level of debt that we have right now. It's foolish for us to think that we can have military bases all over the world, spend billions of dollars when we're going broke back home. It just isn't going to happen."
Austerity may be a bad word to Graham when it comes to Pentagon spending, but for DeMint it's the very definition of conservatism. When Republicans like DeMint and his Senate ally Rand Paul say that Pentagon spending cuts must happen, Republicans like Graham and his Senate ally John McCain call such actions "isolationist." When Paul was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2010, McCain said he was worried about the "rise of isolationism" in the GOP. When Paul later led the charge against President Barack Obama's military intervention in Libya, both Graham and McCain trotted out the isolationist label again.
DeMint stood with Paul on Libya and now stands with Paul on foreign policy in many instances, even voting to essentially defund the Iraq War; both were also against the National Defense Authorization Act, which was heavily promoted by Graham. Such positions reflect DeMint's over-arching fiscal concerns. But perhaps most importantly, South Carolina's junior senator does not pretend that our debt is unrelated to foreign spending, a fantasy that continues to be a major philosophical flaw for so many in the GOP. DeMint addresses this issue directly in his new book Now or Never: Saving America From Economic Collapse, of which I was a contributor:
"Sen. Rand Paul has pointed out that there are two extremes in foreign policy being everywhere all the time or being nowhere none of the time. Currently, the United States is far closer to the first extreme of trying to do too much in too many places. Of course, America must have the ability to defend our nation and our interests around the world, but ... we simply can no longer afford to intervene in every crisis around the world."
What about that is isolationist? We know that Graham believes America should still be in Iraq; he has said we need a permanent U.S. presence in Afghanistan, has supported our intervention in Libya, has floated the idea of military action in Syria, and has no qualms about a war with Iran.
If we look at the two extremes in foreign policy cited by DeMint, it becomes clear that Graham falls into the first extreme camp. The other extreme being "nowhere none of the time" is genuine isolationism. But is anyone actually advocating this? Paul and DeMint certainly aren't. What they are saying is that America's military might be stretched beyond its practical limits and that as a nation we must face fiscal reality.
Applying a cost-benefit analysis to foreign policy is wise not to mention quintessentially conservative. But to Graham this is isolationist. Many conservatives don't like Graham for multiple reasons, but they consider him to be strong on issues of national security when in reality the exact opposite is true. It is on foreign policy where Graham is the most liberal, believing we can spend infinitely on questionable matters that Republicans can never question
But DeMint is asking these questions. In fact, DeMint is saying we have to ask these questions and face certain realities. As he said on Fox Business, "The best way to defend our country is to move toward a balanced budget, concentrate our defense capabilities back here at home ... but we're not in a position now to do what we've been doing over the last several decades."
Republicans like Graham approach Pentagon spending the way liberals approach welfare. In much the same way conservatives are always accused of throwing the poor out on the street whenever they suggest reforming welfare, anyone who suggests cutting military spending is labeled an isolationist.
Such scare tactics have served liberals well for decades. They have also served Graham well, but perhaps not for much longer, as Republicans follow DeMint's lead and reassess the contradictions in their own philosophy that prevent the GOP from becoming the conservative party it should be
Juan MeCain farts, Lindsey Graham speaks.
Graham unfortunately knows his state well enough to cobble up electoral majorities. But if he wants another war he better not pay for it out of the hides of the Fedgov pensioners of his state.
It's totally unbelievable that after 60 years of that war we still have...
Do the math on how much WE (the taxpayers) are paying for this utter folly....
But they are very lucrative, I know a guy making big six figures in AfPak. Of course since 2008 he is an Obama supporter, pre-08 he thought Bush was on the right track, meaning he knows which way the wind is blowing.
When can someone run against this RINO? We need his state to stop allowing Democrats to vote in the primary. That’s how Lindsay keeps winning.
Take most or all of the US troops off the 38th parallel and you can imagine anything made by Samsung or LG not making it to the US.
(Sen. Lindsey Graham said on Fox News, “I hope people in the country understand that we’re Ronald Reagan Republicans in South Carolina.)
That’s right. That’s why Lindsey pisses on everything that Ronald Reagan stood for. DeMint is a heck a lot closer to Ronald Reagan’s philosophy than the RINO Graham.
With that type of thinking, maybe we should also send some troops to Israel so they can 'scare' those Arabs too.
Well, the ‘arabs’ don’t have a 1MM+ man standing army supplied with Russian and Chinese military equipment backed by nuclear weapons.
Although Iran is working toward that goal.........
No, DeMint isn’t an isolationist, he’s one of the only few who have any sense.
I still can’t believe anyone, even n SC, takes this moron seriously
DeMint is my hero in congress. No iffies about it.
To put that in perspective, the National Debt has continued to increase an average of $3.94 billion per day since September 28, 2007!
The federal government borrows $4 billion every day. We make $73.9 million a day in interest payments to China. That works to be about $27 billion a year.
“DeMint is my hero in congress. No iffies about it.”
He’s also responsible for turning the US into an abusive police state and creating an American KGB in the name of domestic terrorism. The girl has to go, South Carolina! It’s insane.
Obama is shipping money over to the Muslim Brotherhood like there is no tomorrow. Nation building DOES NOT WORK.
Lindsey Graham is NOT wooing the “strong national defense” crowd in South Carolina.
He’s wooing the “protect the national defense budget spending in South Carolina” crowd.
For him, it’s not about the right level of defense resources, in a national strategic sense.
For him it’s about the right level of defense-related jobs and spending in South Carolina.
Is he up for re-election in 2012?
Sadly Graham isn’t up for re-election until 2014! However if a Republican wins the White House it’s possible he could get a post as AG or Sec Def.(GOD help us). Sen. Graham has been giving big donations to the Republican party in SC so I think he hopes to stave off a Primary Challange and run uncontested.....FAT CHANCE! I know I have ZERO Chance of winning but if I am able to afford it Sen. Graham WILL have a Republican Challanger! Someone has to make this RINO account for his failings.....
Forget about Korea. There is an argument to be made that the troops there have served as a deterent to the madment in Pongyang.
But how about all the thousands of troops and stored equipment in Germany? Does anyone really expect the Russians to come storming through the Fulda Gap since 1990?
Time to close those bases for sure. They are an anachronon of WWII and the Cold War.
“Do the math on how much WE (the taxpayers) are paying for this utter folly....28,500 troops (per Dept of State) x $110,000/yr per head (per CBO). Over 3 BILLION $$$ per year!”
The Korean War wasn’t exactly a free ride. I suspect that Korean War 2 won’t be all that cheap either. I prefer to spend a few billion a year (if that’s even true) to having to sacrifice another 40,000 (or more) Americans.
And yes, we will (again) get drawn in. We are NOT going to let Japan fall, and that WILL be the result of putting our heads in the sand. Japan is simply too big (economically) to become our enemy (after they’re taken over).
“But how about all the thousands of troops and stored equipment in Germany? Does anyone really expect the Russians to come storming through the Fulda Gap since 1990?”
Germany pays for those troops...they barely cost us anything. We can bring them back, but it won’t cut A DIME out of our military spending...unless you want to disarm them and shrink the size of our fighting force.
BobL that just didn’t seem right to me so I googled the issue. Here’s one report from the GAO as reported in Army Times, hardly a magazine unsympathetic to the military.
GAO: Brigades in Europe cost billions
By Jim Tice - Staff writer
Posted : Wednesday Sep 29, 2010 17:20:28 EDT
The Army can expect to be hit with a bill of up to $2 billion in extra costs over the next 10 years should it decide to retain four, rather than two, combat brigades in Europe, according to the Government Accountability Office.
The GAO report, issued Sept. 13, comes two months in advance of a NATO summit in Lisbon, Portugal, and an assessment of a U.S. Army Europe basing plan proposed by the Pentagon in February as part of the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review.
Before the drawdown was halted, planning officials expected the force structure cuts would save billions in overseas stationing costs and allow installations at Bamberg and Schweinfurt, both in Germany, to close.
The units originally slated for return to the U.S. are now flagged the 170th and 172nd Infantry Brigades, based at Baumholder and Grafenwoehr.
Should the U.S. and its NATO allies decide to keep these brigades in Germany, the Army will need to seek funding of nearly $180 million annually beginning in 2013 to support the military communities of Bamberg and Schweinfurt, according to GAO.
Army studies also indicate it will cost the service $1 billion to $2 billion in added basing costs to keep the 170th and 172nd brigades in Europe over the next decade, researchers reported.
The fact is that Germany pays 21% of the costs for personnel while we pay for the upkeep and modernization of the facilities. And the facilities are so small that training functions are very limited.
“Gannett Government Media was first established in 1940 as the Army Times Publishing Company,”
Gannett publishes USA Today. The liberals happen to own what should be military publicans. Aviation Week (McGraw-Hill Companies) is another example...they have been against EVERY significant weapons system since who knows when.
The bottom line is that we don’t own jack and we should NEVER take the word of people that want us wiped off this planet.
Why do we need to "sacrifice" any more Americans in Korea?
This is absolutely PURE CRAP! I can't believe that anyone would still buy this. I hope you don't really believe that!
Our troops are not there as a "deterrent". Anyone who actually still believes this bill-of-goods has been suckered by the government.
Our U.S. troops are actually there as a 'trigger' point to make it easier for the United States to get involved militarily in any cross-border conflict.
Bring the troops home. Let the Koreans do the fighting. I am sick and tired of our sons dying for other people's behind!!!!
I didn’t tell you that my private view is that the troops are there as a trip wire (which you call a trigger point)but the argument is still the same—it is a deterent.
One of the problems I have with US foreign policy is that we make alliances and then fail to live up to our assurances when a determined foe causes casualties to our troops on the ground and it appears that we would have to defend for a long period of time.
Our leaders—and to be truthful, many patriotic citizens—simply will not hold up under pressure on alliances for any length of time. We want fast solutions. This makes it difficult to have any meaningful long term alliances to protect our interests—because really important national interests are hard to agree on and even harder to implement long term when the national interests of the other country may change.
Tell me your choices for national interests and I’ll tell you where we should have force agreements or force agreements to our hegemony.
There has been an isolationist stream of consciousness in our national ethos since the beginning of the country. That’s what Ron Paul has tapped into and it is a legitimate argument if you posit that we have no natural interests in what goes on beyond our borders.
We seem to agree the role that our troops are actually playing in Korea. My feeling is that our commitment to national security MUST NOT change over time, but TATICS should and must change over time to adapt to the realities of our technologies and priorities of our resources.
Do you remember the reason why we had troops Korea? It was due to the end of WWII and Korea had been partitioned in half between the Soviets and the U.S. as a result of the Japanese surrender. With the Japanese gone, somebody had to “administer” it. So the Soviets set up shop north of the 38th and the U.S. south of it. Then the North got stupid and invaded the south. We pushed them back almost to China, then the Chinese got in, and we both settled back to the 38th.
It’s been “60 years”. Times have changed. Do we want to make sure that we remain committed to the South Koreans? Sure. There’s plenty of AIR power we can bring to bear on the North and destroy whatever is left of any electrical capacity in their state if they decide to get crazy.
But as far as grunt troops crossing the border and taking shots - NO. Not in today’s world. There’s plenty of South Korean males to do that job. Our precious flesh and blood need to be saved for our “security”, not our “interests”.
The days of the U.S. being the “policeman” of the world was necessitated by the fact that there one ONE SUPER BULLY that needed to be contained everywhere around the globe. That day is over. There are more little bullies around, but the locals now need to start to shoulder the burden with their own ‘flesh and blood’ in their own neighborhood.
“Why do we need to “sacrifice” any more Americans in Korea? For what? “
Don’t worry, I promise you that we’ll be back in Korea if bullets start flying, and there’s nothing that you or I can do about it (and Paul will not be the next president).