The Daily Caller

The Daily Caller

Billions for defense, but not one cent for empire

Photo of Bruce Fein
Bruce Fein
Constitutional Lawyer

When it comes to deterring and preventing wars of aggression against the United States, no candidate for the presidency is more hawkish than Ron Paul.

His foreign policy would be an adaptation of the Founding Fathers’ creed saluted in the Constitution’s preamble: Billions for a common defense, but not one cent for extravagant preemptive wars seeking world domination, a risk-free existence, and a planet purged of tyranny and sin. He would not spend $120 billion annually to confront 50 members of al Qaida in Afghanistan with 100,000 troops when international terrorists can be captured or killed with special forces.

Ron Paul would close the hundreds of U.S. military bases abroad, redeploy weapons and soldiers now dedicated to defending foreigners and foreign countries to the U.S. to defend American sovereignty and Americans, and end our multiple treaty obligations that require us to wage war in defense of other nations. Our government shouldn’t send Americans abroad on quests to secure the liberty of foreigners.

As then-Secretary of State John Quincy Adams explained in a July 4, 1821 address to Congress:

Wherever the standard of freedom and Independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will [America’s] heart, her benedictions and her prayers be. But she goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own …

Ron Paul’s foreign policy strategy is not isolationism. It is the timeless wisdom of the ages. Ecclesiastes 1:9 sermonizes, “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” The development of weapons of mass destruction has not altered human nature. They have not changed political motivations, the lust for power, or the law of self-preservation. As always, nations have no permanent friends or enemies. They have only permanent interests.

Candidate Paul favors the collection of intelligence on potential adversaries, trade between the United States and other nations, and cultural exchanges and embassies abroad. Like President Thomas Jefferson, he would seek “peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none.”

The 9/11 abominations would never have been perpetrated if the United States had practiced Paul’s strategy of non-entanglements. Contrary to mythology, 9/11’s savage murderers and their sympathizers were not infuriated by free elections, freedom of speech, or due process in the United States. They were provoked by the presence of U.S. military bases in the Middle East and by U.S. economic and military support for corrupt, oppressive, or bigoted despots in the region.

The cornerstone of peace and the common defense is deterrence. Ron Paul would embrace a retaliatory capability sufficient to destroy every living thing in any country complicit in an actual or imminent attack on the United States. He would deploy troops and weapons systems capable of foiling any acts of war targeting Americans on American soil.