Skip to comments.RON PAUL: REACTIONARY OR VISIONARY?
Posted on 02/04/2012 5:31:16 AM PST by IbJensen
After his fourth-place showing in Florida, Ron Paul, by then in Nevada, told supporters he had been advised by friends that he would do better if only he dumped his foreign policy views, which have been derided as isolationism.
Not going to do it, said Dr. Paul to cheers. And why should he?
Observing developments in U.S. foreign and defense policy, Paul's views seem as far out in front of where America is heading as John McCain's seem to belong to yesterday's Bush-era bellicosity.
Consider. In December, the last U.S. troops left Iraq. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta now says that all U.S. combat operations in Afghanistan will end in 18 months.
The strategic outposts of empire are being abandoned.
The defense budget for 2013 is $525 billion, down $6 billion from 2012. The Army is to be cut by 75,000 troops; the Marine Corps by 20,000. Where Ronald Reagan sought a 600-ship Navy, the Navy will fall from 285 ships today to 250. U.S. combat aircraft are to be reduced by six fighter squadrons and 130 transport aircraft.
Republicans say this will reduce our ability to fight and win two land wars at once say, in Iran and Korea. Undeniably true.
Why, then, is Ron Paul winning the argument?
The hawkishness of the GOP candidates aside, the United States, facing its fourth consecutive trillion-dollar deficit, can no longer afford to sustain all its alliance commitments, some of which we made 50 years ago during a Cold War that ended two decades ago, in a world that no longer exists.
As our situation is new, said Abraham Lincoln, we must think and act anew.
As Paul argues, why close bases in the U.S. when we have 700 to 1,000 bases abroad? Why not bring the troops home and let them spend their paychecks here?
Begin with South Korea. At last report, the United States had 28,000 troops on the peninsula. But why, when South Korea has twice the population of the North, an economy 40 times as large, and access to U.S. weapons, the most effective in the world, should any U.S. troops be on the DMZ? Or in South Korea?
U.S. forces there are too few to mount an invasion of the North, as Gen. MacArthur did in the 1950s. And any such invasion might be the one thing to convince Pyongyang to fire its nuclear weapons to save the hermit kingdom.
But if not needed to defend the South, and a U.S. invasion could risk nuclear reprisal, what are U.S. troops still doing there?
Answer: They are on the DMZ as a tripwire to bring us, from the first day of fighting, into a new land war in Asia that many American strategists believe we should never again fight.
Consider Central Asia. By pushing to bring Ukraine and Georgia into NATO, and building air bases in nations that were republics of the Soviet Union two decades ago, the United States generated strategic blowback.
China and Russia, though natural rivals and antagonists, joined with four Central Asian nations in a Shanghai Cooperation Organization to expel U.S. military power from a region that is their backyard, but is half a world away from the United States.
Solution: The United States should inform the SCO that when the Afghan war is over we will close all U.S. military bases in Central Asia. No U.S. interest there justifies a conflict with Russia or China.
Indeed, a Russia-China clash over influence and resources in the Far East and Central Asia seems inevitable. Let us get out of the way.
But it is in Europe that America may find the greatest savings.
During the Cold War, 300,000 U.S. troops faced hundreds of thousands of Soviet troops from northern Norway to Central Germany to Turkey. But not only are there no Russian troops on the Elbe today, or surrounding West Berlin, they are gone from Germany, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. Between Russia and Poland lie Belarus and Ukraine. Moscow no longer even has a border with Turkey.
Why, when NATO Europe has two nuclear powers and more than twice the population of a Russia whose own population has shrunk by 8 million in 20 years and is scheduled to shrink by 25 million more by 2050, does Europe still need U.S. troops to defend it?
She does not. The Europeans are freeloading, as they have been for years, preserving their welfare states, skimping on defense and letting Uncle Sam carry the hod.
In the Panetta budgets, America will still invest more in defense than the next 10 nations combined and retain sufficient power to secure, with a surplus to spare, all her vital interests.
But we cannot forever be first responder for scores of nations that have nothing to do with our vital interests. As Frederick the Great observed, "He who defends everything defends nothing."
Zinga!.... oh you mean you weren’t being sarcastic?
Which one means “nutcase”?
Ron Paul represents my core values. However, the reality is that we’ll be at war within a year..
If those are the only choices, I'll have to write-in "nutcase smacktard".
Neither . . . “COMPLETE NUTJOB” is the most appropriate description.
Just left a church where the pastor was all over public forums on the internet making derogatory and sometimes very judgemental statements about all in the GOP field except Ron Paul, his candidate. He even went so far as to manipulate a sermon to buck up Paul while hitting Gingrich over the head with the ex-wife’s “She said, he said Open Marriage” interview. I’ve not met many Ron Paulbots as these folks are called. But now that I have it’s almost cult like in their devotion. That’s kind of scary.
>> RON PAUL: REACTIONARY OR VISIONARY?
If it’s ElRon we’re being asked to label, I would expect “douchebag” to be among the choices, and I didn’t see it.
Which is JimRob's prerogative, given that this is privately owned web-space. Just FYI.
Ron Paul is a self-serving creep.
I would say to you that Congressman Paul has some great ideas about the monetary system. I don’t advocate for him because of his foreign policy, which I find completely out of touch with the reality of today’s technology and the lengths our enemies are committed to go to destroy us. I truly wish the Congressman had a different view, but he refuses to change his position. That’s a big problem for him. He needs to get out of the race.
I remember when Palin got tripped up on the Bush Doctrine question. Being a political junky I knew all about the Bush Doctrine, and had serious questions about it since it when against all of our precedent in military affairs. You obviously have bought into the idea that preemptive military strikes are justifiable. While I can see the merit of say Israel striking Iraq in 1981 to take out Iraq's nuclear weapons program I fail to see why we had to invade Iraq and spend 1000s of lives and 100s of billions of dollars building Iraqis schools, roads and water treatment plants. And why with Bin Lauden Dead are we still in Afghanistan?
The neocons have used the pretext of a justifiable preemptive strike (Bush Doctrine) on a physical treat to our security to engage in a ruinous policy of expanding the "Empire". The bush Doctrine as now practiced means we do what we want, where we want, when we want with out regard to costs either in US lives/dollars or easily foreseen "blowback".
Considering we are past broke, deeply in debt and grossly over extended militarily perhaps a reset on foreign policy is not such a bad idea? Maybe a return to the Monroe Doctrine? "Mexican officials said Wednesday almost 13,000 people died in drug violence in the first nine months of 2011" Maybe our backyard needs attention? Just saying.
I help pay for the space.
Pat is building up Paul knocking Newt, all in the hopes of saving his sister’s new crush mittens.
I usually use self-serving, un-principled, and slimey but your descrirtion is short, accurate and to the point.