Defense & Foreign Policy
History teaches that there is no substitute for military strength in maintaining a strong defense. Our economic strength and way of life requires a military second to none.
That having been said, America has 5% of the world’s population but spends 43% of total world defense dollars.
We have two oceans and friendly neighbors on both borders. We spend seven times more than the next largest world defense budget (China) and we have been outspending the rest of the world on that scale for decades.
Our military interventionist policies not only consume an astronomical $700 billion per year, but make us less safe, by imposing our will throughout the world, currying favor with dictators and creating enemies of people who should be our friends.
In desperation against our comparably unlimited power, we have created a fertile climate for terrorism by people who resent our presence on their land.
We maintain hundreds of thousands of troops throughout the world, in some 900 bases, most of whom are left over from cold war threats in places like Germany and Japan.
The cold war is over. We cannot afford these astronomical costs.
Our continued presence in many places makes us less safe. We can keep important bases but we need to reduce our foreign troop strength dramatically and let our military come home.
We can let forces shrink through attrition and maintain the strongest defense inside our borders.
I support a foreign policy based on trade, not war. I support efforts to open dialog and trade with even the most oppressive regimes, including Cuba, North Korea and Iran.
By talking and trading with these countries, we learn each other’s perspective and create a mutual interest in the people and economy with whom we trade.
When we exclude foreign military activities from the calculation, foreign aid makes up only about 2% of our total budget, including costs to maintain our embassies throughout the world.
I oppose foreign aid to the extent dollars are transferred to foreign governments to prop up supposedly friendly leaders, especially to the extent those dollars go to foreign military spending.
I support foreign aid to the extent it is used by Americans to help nations like Japan and Haiti in the event of natural disasters.
Americans are uniquely equipped to help other nations in an emergency and such experience will improve our skills in responding to our own emergencies.