Connect with us

Foreign Affairs

With ISIS defeated, it’s time to bring the troops home

Published

on

With ISIS defeated its time to bring the troops home

In the lead up to the 2016 presidential election, much was made of the threat of ISIS.  Wild threats abounded as candidates fought each other over who would come down harder on the then-thriving Islamic State.

Sen. Ted Cruz threatened to “carpet bomb (ISIS) into oblivion”.

Now-President Trump promised to “bomb the (expletive) out of ‘em.”

Former Secretary of State and presidential participation trophy winner Hillary Clinton added the possibility of war with Russia by insisting on a no-fly zone over Syria.

And who could forget neocon mascot Senators Rick Santorum and Lindsey Graham engaging in what amounted to a bidding war over who would dump more American ground troops into the Middle East?

But since the Trump administration clunked into gear a year ago, news about ISIS has grown more and more sparse, with the latest revelation buried under coverage of the President’s latest Twitter meltdown:

ISIS is gone.

Over the course of the last year, ISIS has been destroyed by increased airstrikes, and coalition armies have systematically liberated ISIS-held territory across Iraq, to the point that both the Iraqi and Iranian governments have declared victory over the self-appointed caliphate.

Of course this is wonderful news for Iraqis, Iranians, Kurds, and everyone else oppressed by the brutal black-flagged regime.

But will it mean good news for American families?

Out of 1.3 million active US military personnel, about 450,000 are deployed overseas.  That’s right – nearly half a million Americans are deployed at over 600 bases in at least 130 different countries, at a time when we have exactly zero declared wars.

When are they coming home?

The victory over ISIS, while encouraging, doesn’t remotely put the War on Terror to bed.  Aside from the thousands of soldiers still fighting America’s longest war in Afghanistan and mopping up ISIS in Iraq and Syria, we have hundreds of even thousands of American troops in places like Norway and Poland, and a large Air Force presence in Somalia.  

The last time the United States actually fought a Congressionally-declared war was in WWII, and that’s important because in the absence of a congressional declaration, we have slowly built up a perpetual military presence around the world, with no end in sight.

It wasn’t supposed to be this way.

The Constitution vested the power to declare war with Congress alone, so that the people’s representatives would get a say in our decision to send Americans to die. A quick review of the last sixty years will show that, as Congress has deferred that power to the President via authorizations for use of military force (AUMFs), conflicts have started more frequently and dragged on much longer, with no defined scope or condition of victory.  As I pointed out in a recent column about Presidential Emergency Powers, ceaseless foreign conflicts and undefined potential threats have removed virtually all accountability from executive power. If the President wants a war, the President gets a war – Congress be damned.

As much as we have been conditioned to accept the presupposition that a persistent, global American military presence is necessary for our security, that’s really not the case at all. President Eisenhower’s famous warning about the “military-industrial complex” has been largely unheeded, and it’s undeniable at this point that there are a lot of folks in both the public and private sectors who profit, either directly or indirectly, from the massive and perpetual show of American force. That profit is at least part of the reason that the United States currently spends more on defense than the next seven countries combined, nearly three times the second-place nation on the list, China.

But the $610 billion we spend for defense each year pales in comparison to the cost in human life and limb precipitated by our consistent propensity for foreign adventurism.  Since 2001, 6,930 Americans have died fighting the War on Terror, and over 52,566 have been wounded.

And that’s without factoring in the tragic epidemic of veteran suicide.

Outside the states, the death toll has been exponentially greater, with estimates ranging between one and two million dead in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan alone.

The longer a war drags on, the greater the danger that these numbers will become mere statistics, and that’s why the defeat of ISIS presents a great opportunity to change course on our reckless foreign policy. With the rise of antiwar sentiment on the conservatarian right and its slow integration into the pro-life movement there should be plenty of common ground and political will to draw down our foreign involvement.

It’s time to take advantage of the opportunity to bring our people home, before more Americans come home in body bags.

____________________________________________________________

 Article originally published in the Des Moines Register.

Joel Kurtinitis is co-founder of the US Federalist Party and a columnist for the Des Moines Register. Joel was a Regional Director for Ron Paul 2012 and served on the State Central Committee of the Republican Party of Iowa. He co-founded Liberty Iowa in the wake of the Paul campaign, and organized the Free DC Project during the government shutdown of 2013. When not busy setting the virtual world aflame with controversy, Joel is actually an okay guy who enjoys reading, cooking, chess, bluegrass music, and an occasional foray into fiction writing. Joel and his family live in Des Moines, IA.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Foreign Affairs

Trump went full Globalist First with Syria strikes

Published

on

President Trump should redirect aid to Guatemala from nations who voted against the Jerusalem move

Too often we find ourselves in emotive cycles. For instance, mass shootings are used by the anti-gun crowd as a means to motivate a legislative attack on our Second Amendment. Likewise, chemical weapon incidences in Syria are similarly used to create an emotionally based reason to use military action. We are quick to assume that the Assad regime was responsible for the previous high profile uses of chemical weapons in the Syrian Civil War. This started under the Obama administration with his famous “Red Line” blunder in which he declared any use of chemical warfare unacceptable even if against the Al Qaeda affiliates or the JV team, ISIS. Trump, in contrast, followed through on Obama’s blunders, when the cycle repeated itself again.

A little over a year ago there was a chemical weapons attack in Khan Sheikhoun, in a province most openly ruled by the rebrandings of Al Qaeda. This incident led to Trump ordering airstrikes on Syria betraying his campaign promise of staying out of Syria. This attack was carried out under false and premature pretenses. This is an instance where the intelligence community says one thing but evidence says another. But before you defend the intelligence community’s infallibility, look back to how they insisted the DNC was hacked despite the lack of evidence, specifically from the server, that a hack took place. And so the Russian Farce Began. Theodore Postol, a professor at MIT and former DoD scientific adviser pointed out the staged nature of the evidence regarding sarin gas attack in 2017. He ultimately showed that the crater and canister that is credited with the chemical weapons rocket was detonated from the ground, not the air. Read more about his findings here. The point is: the emotive response automatically assumes that the Assad regime carried out the attack. There have been many chemical weapons uses in the war, but only about three or four have gotten media notoriety. I don’t deny that the Syrian Arab Army has used chemical weapons ever, but I seriously doubt the nonstrategic use of chemical weapons that occurred in these notorious incidences. Though as described below, this incident had a strategic outcome.

With the most recent incidence, guilt has already been pointed at Assad restarting the cycle. I don’t care to defend Assad in this instance. I do however want to call Trump and his supporters out on their own support of globalism. So let’s assume Assad carried out this attack. Let’s assume Assad gassed Al Qaeda territories a day after launching a new offensive and because he did, the terrorists surrendered. Why should we care?

The easiest reason to dismiss is that striking Assad is beneficial to America’s Middle Eastern strategy. This would imply that there has been a strategy in the Middle East. But even if we soften strategy to “interests” striking Assad is counter to America’s interest. Al Qaeda has lost in Syria and is clinging to certain besieged areas. In the particular area of this incident the group that was beseiged was called the “Army of Islam”. How does weakening the army that has done more to fight Al Qaeda and ISIS than the US in the last decade benefit Americans or their interests? If Hezbollah, a terror organization sponsored and allied with Assad, were alleged to have been responsible, this would be a different story. But instead, we target the one belligerent in the Syrian Civil War that can actually stabilize the region, even if slowly.

You could then claim about civilian deaths which have been a constant theme in this war on all sides. Most recently, this year Turkey has taken to slaughtering Kurds in its land grab of Northern Syria, but Donald Trump doesn’t seem to care about the death toll there. Nor have other brutalities in Syria been enough for Trump or Obama, to act. Assad, along with every belligerent, has killed civilians in this war. Why are these deaths special? News flash they aren’t. A person is a person is a person. A person dies whether being shot, stabbed or gassed. The people who died in the gas attack were no more important than the people who died in gunfire or strategic bombing. Every person has a moral worth that is irrelevant to their cause of death. So this isn’t about civilian deaths. This is about chemical weapons in and of themselves.

So now that we established Trump attacked Syria because of chemical weapons, now lets dive in to why he’s a globalist for it. Trump wanted to send a message that the use of chemical weapons is unacceptable. But why is it unacceptable? What makes chemical weapons different than bullets and shells. Why is gas morally reprehensible and incendiary bombs permissible? There is no logical way to construct an argument that chemical weapons are impermissible while nuclear, radiological, and biological aren’t (though biological weapons are difficult if not impossible to control thus having little strategic use.) If we are to accept that weapons of mass destruction are morally wrong to ever use, then it would be inconsistent to not favor disarmament. Furthermore as Americans we would have to admit that the use of atomic bombs was a immoral decision if we do insist that the use of WMDs is morally impermissible.

I refuse to accept these premises and rewrite history in a globalist politically correct way. So why are chemical weapons such a big deal? The short answer is that the UN says they are a big deal. After World War 1, the League of Nations sought to outlaw chemical warfare and war in general. The ladder was ineffective. Though chemical weapons didn’t see as much light in World War 2, more extreme weapons did. Since its founding, the UN has sought to control what weapons a country can have. In addition to chemical weapons, there’s the anti-nuclear proliferation treaty. Article V of the NPT requires disarmament which nuclear nations have thus far refused. Some nuclear nations tolerate this treaty because they don’t want have-nots to get nukes. Others such as Israel, India, and Pakistan recognize that the UN wants to place limitations on their self defense capabilities. UN limitations on chemical weapons are similarly globalist schemes for the UN to encroach on a nation’s sovereignty. Chemical weapon use is wrong according to international law, not in and of themselves. As Ben Shapiro noted:

One of the arguments for intervention in Syria is that if we do nothing to reimpose the Obama red line in Syria, chemical weapons use will become more common. That’s probably true. But it’s also true that if someone attacked Americans with chemical weapons, we would end them. Furthermore, not all chemical weapons are the same: some are indeed weapons of mass destruction, but others are not as dangerous in scope as cluster bombs. Do the 500,000 dead in Syria’s civil war care whether they were killed by Russian cluster bombs or sarin gas?

So when Trump attacked Syria, he wasn’t responding to a threat nor can we really say it was about the people killed. He was upholding the UN’s power which Syria defied. This is where Trump goes full globalist. Never go full globalist. To repeat myself: he had the United State’s military attack another country because of a violation of international law! In the United States, international law has very little power here. This was established in Medellin v Texas. The globalist community cares not about American interests. Do we not remember when the UN condemned America’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital? It was allowed by Congress for decades. The UN would want nothing more than for America to relinquish its power.

Globalist First

All of Trump’s talk of nationalism is really a farce. He had our military act on a globalist cause, not “America First”. Trump may talk tough on tariffs, but globalism isn’t really about economics, its about sovereignty. Being “tough” on China doesn’t benefit America First. Instead these tariffs are now the biggest  threat to our economic security coming out of the Great Recession. Bombing Syria doesn’t benefit America first. It benefits Turkey and their terrorists. It benefits the UN. Trump wasted military resources doing the UN’s bidding instead of making America or its allies safer. Trump upheld UN norms instead of his lawful duties as defined by Congress and the US Constitution.

In an America First foreign policy, we would have seen if the President had gone through America first. Congress. Instead Trump relied on a thumbs up which he got from the globalist community.

Continue Reading

Foreign Affairs

Trump ignores Constitution and his own words by bombing Syria

Published

on

After Trump launched a series of airstrikes against Syria without the Constitutionally required authorization from Congress—just as he did a year ago after his “advisor” Ivanka told him to do so—he sent a self-congratulatory tweet to his adoring followers and declared, “Mission Accomplished.”

Despite the unwise reference to the phrase used by George W. Bush when he announced the end of combat operations in Iraq—we’re still there—Trump’s strike on Syria had little in common with Bush’s war because Congress authorized military action against Iraq. In reality, Trump’s actions have more in common with Obama’s war in Libya in that Obama didn’t have Congressional authority either.

Regardless of any perceived moral benefit from last week’s actions, Trump has once again ignored the Constitution in the name of political opportunism—a fact pointed out by a few voices in Congress (Notice the one-two punch by Amash when he nails Paul Ryan along with Trump).

Though motivated more by Trump’s nationalist/populist ideals than they are his unconstitutional actions, his worshipers in the media are also speaking out about the airstrikes against Syria. FOX News Trump Pravda hosts Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham slammed the Syrian attacks as inconsistent with promises made during Trump’s 2016 campaign.

Michael Savage tweeted that warmongers had hijacked the country.

And Trump sycophant Ann Coulter continued to regret her support of Trump by expressing her disagreement with his war against Syria in a series of retweets from conservatives and other voices like those below:

Proof of Trump’s double-mindedness regarding Syria was also documented by DailyCaller.com in an article listing numerous past tweets by Trump opposing military action in Syria when Obama was president. Here are just a few:

Trump’s narcissism and Constitutional ignorance are not only a threat to liberty here at home, but they’re now a threat to Americans and others around a destabilized world—a world that grows more destabilized and dangerous with every tweet he sends.


Originally posted on The Strident Conservative.

 

David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is nationally syndicated with Salem Radio Network and can be heard on stations across America.

Follow the Strident Conservative on Twitter and Facebook. Subscribe to receive podcasts of radio commentaries: iTunes | Stitcher | Tune In | RSS

Continue Reading

Foreign Affairs

Could Trump’s trade war lead to a real war in Korea?

Published

on

When Donald Trump issued his in-name-only tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, he immediately alienated many of America’s strongest allies due to fears of a new trade war. Unfortunately, as we are seeing in Japan and South Korea, these fears are beginning to materialize.

As the South Korean government works on getting a get-out-of-tariff-jail-free card like Canada and Mexico received before the tariffs even took effect, steel producers in South Korea have decided to halt steel exports to the US, even though we are their third largest customer.

So, how is Trump responding?

In a speech to donors at a fundraiser in Missouri, Trump informed those in attendance that he is prepared to take action against South Korea over what he sees as an unfair trade relationship.

“We have a very big trade deficit with them, and we protect them … We lose money on trade, and we lose money on the military. We have right now 32,000 soldiers between North and South Korea. Let’s see what happens.”

Yep! Trump is threatening to essentially begin dismantling the US Pacific Command (est. Jan. 1941) if South Korea doesn’t cough up his extortion money.

Besides the fact that Trump could be lying about a trade deficit—he admitted to the donors that he lied to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in their trade discussions—he displayed an incredibly dangerous ignorance with his threat to withdraw US troops.

In remarks before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Adm. Harry Harris, commander of the US Pacific Command, addressed Trump’s threat:

“I believe [regime leader Kim Jong Un] would do a victory dance. I think he’d be a happy man if we abdicated our alliance with South Korea and Japan.”

Trump’s threat is beyond stupid, but it follows a recent announcement that he will be meeting with Kim Jong Un to discuss ways to denuclearize North Korea. Seems to me that the man who brags about being a great dealmaker just surrendered one of his biggest bargaining chips.

What motivation will the North Korean dictator have to disarm if the US abandons the region? Wouldn’t the absence of US troops be an open invitation for Kim Jong Un to invade South Korea? At the very least, it would make an already unstable situation much worse.

Abandoning our allies is familiar territory for The Donald. You may recall that Trump attempted to bully NATO for not paying their “fair share” during his first foreign trip as President less than a year ago.

Legislation has been recently introduced that will return the power to levy tariffs back to Congress. We should hope that it becomes law because not only could it stop a trade war, but in the age of Trump, it could stop a real war in places like Korea.


Originally posted on The Strident Conservative.

David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is nationally syndicated with Salem Radio Network and can be heard on stations across America.

Follow the Strident Conservative on Twitter and Facebook. Subscribe to receive podcasts of radio commentaries: iTunes | Stitcher | Tune In | RSS

Continue Reading

NOQ Report Daily

Advertisement

Facebook

Twitter

Advertisement

Trending

Copyright © 2017 NOQ Report.