DEFENSE: Strongly Defend America, Don’t Risk American Lives
- Strength deters challengers, weakness invites challengers
- Defend America from attack but no wars to prop up failed states
- Destroy attackers with the least loss of American lives and then come home
- No sanctuaries for attackers, no pinprick attacks
- Partition failed states like Syria, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, don’t shed American blood trying to save them
Ronald Reagan’s foreign policy worked, we should bring it back. Our current president and his national security policy, whatever it is, are neither respected by our friends nor feared by our foes. The same thing goes for his former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. In fact, Obama and Clinton don’t seem to be able to tell the difference between friend and foe.
Ronald Reagan knew that the world was populated with good guys and bad guys and he knew the difference. The good guys valued freedom and liberty for their people, the bad guys took freedom and liberty from their people. His basic principle was: we, the good guys, win and they, the bad guys, lose. He was not interested in making politically expedient deals with dictators, he wanted them defeated.
President Reagan made sure that our forces were second to none. The bad guys knew it would be a mistake to test them, so they didn’t. That is how he defeated the Soviet Union without firing a shot. Strength prevents challenges, weakness invites challenges.
Nonetheless, Ronald Reagan was very careful about putting our armed forces in harm’s way. His focus was on defending America, not waging wars of liberation. If the Poles wanted to be free from the Soviets, they got encouragement from the President Reagan but they had to gain their freedom for themselves. To their great credit they did. People who wanted freedom had to fight for it and put their own boots on their own ground, not step back and wait for U.S. boots to land.
Neither should we be sheltering millions of refugees who should be back home fighting for their own freedom and taking out their own bad guys. Sanctuaries for those refugees should be in their own countries, defended by their own people. As the first President Bush showed in Iraq, all the U.S. needs to provide is a no-fly zone. That levels the playing field, allows local autonomous areas to enjoy reasonable security, and keeps American boots off the ground and out of harm’s way. Keeping American boots out of those areas avoids the anti-American resentments that inevitably arise from a feeling of military occupation.
As for Syria and Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, if they are not viable they should be partitioned into ethnic enclaves based on the local populations in those areas. America started with thirteen colonies that then found that they needed to come together to at least some extent to promote trade and commerce amongst themselves. We can’t make these countries viable, only their people can do that. We should stop trying, we are only making it worse. Our only legitimate interest is in making sure that we are not attacked from these areas. If we are, we should use our military power to destroy the attackers quickly and decisively. No sanctuaries for terrorists, no pinpricks, just destruction. But we can’t occupy those areas. Occupation creates resentment and inhibits, instead of promoting, the development of the local political leaders and structures needed for viable, sustainable states. That was the lesson of Viet Nam and the lesson we should have learned from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, failures all. We need to be a lot smarter.
We need to show our adversaries that we are both strong and smart. That would be a big improvement over weak and confused, which is our current policy.