Home
In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Nov 29, 2011 / 3 Kislev, 5772

The Isolationist delusion

By Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | I had an unsettling flashback last week listening to two of the Republican presidential candidates talk about foreign policy.  Representative Ron Paul of Texas and former Utah Governor Jon Hunstman espoused isolationist stances that called to mind one of the most preposterous public policy debates in decades.

As I recall, the occasion was a Washington, D.C. event sponsored in the early 1990s by a group of libertarians.  A colleague and I were invited to rebut the following proposition:  “Resolved, the Constitution of the United States should be amended to prohibit the use of military force for any purpose other than defending the nation’s borders.”

Our side of the debate pointed out that, however superficially appealing such an idea might appear, it was ahistorical, irrational and reckless.

After all, if history teaches us anything, it is that wars happen – as Ronald Reagan put it – not when America is too strong, but when we are too weak.  In the run-up to World Wars I and II, we followed more or less the libertarians’ prescription, and disaster ensued.

By contrast, for over six decades, the world has been spared another global conflagration because the United States military has been both formidable and forward-deployed.  Do we really want to try our luck and once again indulge in a “come home America” posture?

Now, in fairness, an argument could have been made (and was) in the aftermath of President Reagan’s successful use of all instruments of national power to defeat the Soviet Union in the Cold War, that we were without serious peers or adversaries.  Even then, however, the unlikely durability of such an assessment made it a poor basis for U.S. disengagement from the world.

But no one in their right mind would mistake today’s strategic environment as one in which we are unchallenged – or even as one that is stable, let alone tranquil.

Indeed, virtually everywhere one turns, there are rising threats to our interests and security.  The Chinese, Muslim Brothers and other Islamists, Russians, Latin American Chavistas, Iranians and North Koreans are among those who increasingly sense weakness on our part.  They are responding as thugs everywhere do to such vacuums of power – by becoming more assertive, aggressive and dangerous.  Ditto erstwhile “allies” like Pakistan, Turkey and Egypt.

Unfortunately, such behavior is only likely to become more of a problem as the perception takes hold that Barack Obama’s abandonment of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan amounts to strategic defeats for America.  Add to the mix a U.S. military that is being eviscerated by arbitrary and deep cuts in defense spending and it is a safe bet that the so-called “international community” will only become more inhospitable to freedom.

If this is so obvious, though, why do Ron Paul, Jon Huntsman and their libertarian and other supporters not get it?  Some of these partisans may simply know nothing of the world.  That explanation certainly does not apply to a former U.S. ambassador to China like Gov. Huntsman, however.

Then, there’s the “we can’t afford to be ‘the world’s policeman’” argument.  Its corollary is that we face grave economic difficulties and must remedy them before we can bear the costs associated with having a military second to none.

Again, hard historical experience teaches otherwise.  The costs associated with maintaining armed forces that deter aggression are vastly less than those involved in waging wars, particularly on a global scale.  And our economy depends critically on our ability to maintain access to markets and resources, open sea lanes, etc.

For his part, Ron Paul maintains that the defense budget is not being cut, just its rate of growth.  In fact, the roughly half-a-trillion dollars in reductions to which President Obama agreed will result in actual cuts. Add on another $600 billion and you have what the Pentagon calls “negative real growth.”

Perhaps the most insidious aspect of the isolationist delusion is the idea that we have angered others by our policies and our presence in distant lands, which they regard as provocative interference.  It follows that, if only we stop engaging in such behavior, they will leave us alone.

The truth of the matter is that adherents to the Islamic doctrine of shariah and Chinese and Russia nationalists have aspired to rule the world – or at least large stretches of it – for hundreds, if not thousands, of years.  In other words, they have been hostile long before the United States was founded, let alone the last century when it started exercising power on the global stage.

That being the case, the isolationists’ siren song must be rejected: Were it to become national policy (either in the form of the extreme position of a long-ago debate or the less obviously absurd one advanced by Messrs. Paul and Huntsman in the recent candidates’ forums), we would confront the prospect of fighting in due course these (or other) adversaries on our own soil, rather than elsewhere.

A recent Rasmussen poll indicates that by a 50-36% margin, the American people have more confidence in Republicans than Democrats when it comes to national security matters.  That is a potentially decisive advantage.  It must not be compromised – either by picking candidates who will not enjoy and do not deserve such trust, or by the GOP running to the left of President Obama’s Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, who is correctly warning of catastrophe if our armed forces are denied the funds they need to do their abidingly important job around the world.


Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Frank J. Gaffney, Jr., Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear Forces and Arms Control Policy in the Reagan Administration, heads the Center for Security Policy. Comments by clicking here.

Archives


BUY FRANK'S LATEST
"War Footing: 10 Steps America Must Take to Prevail in the War for the Free World"  

America has been at war for years, but until now, it has not been clear with whom or precisely for what. And we have not been using the full resources we need to win.

With the publication of War Footing, lead-authored by Frank Gaffney, it not only becomes clear who the enemy is and how high the stakes are, but also exactly how we can prevail.

War Footing shows that we are engaged in nothing less than a War for the Free World. This is a fight to the death with Islamofascists, Muslim extremists driven by a totalitarian political ideology that, like Nazism or Communism before it, is determined to destroy freedom and the people who love it. Sales help fund JWR.

© 2006, Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles