Ed's Blog

"Some people know everything, but that's all they know."


Are Republicans returning to their isolationist roots while Democrats under President Barack Obama become more interventionist?

Polling results and recent statements by Republican presidential hopefuls suggest that Republicans are becoming more isolationists. Conversely, while the far left remains staunchly anti-war and non-interventionist, President Barack Obama, in the mold of his post-World War II Democratic predecessors, appears to be leading Democrats, albeit unwillingly, toward greater interventionism. He seeks to maintain substantial U.S. forces in Iraq. He continues the war in Afghanistan. He’s intervened in Libya. And he is conducting not-so-secret wars in Pakistan and Yemen.  (More)


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19 Responses

  1. Bob Hoelle says:

    Ed, It would truly be refreshing to see a bipartisan approach to our intervention in other countries. As a matter of fact, it would be refreshing to see a bipartisan approach to anything. Our desire to police other nations, especially in the areas of human rights and other atrocities, has overwhelmed us. In reality, it doesn’t matter if our good intentions are from the heart or for political gains, we seemed to have lost sight of our limitations.
    The terrorist factions in the mid east are not of a revolutionary mindset with a political agenda. Most of them seem willing to endure whatever it requires to spread terror to anyone that doesn’t share their beliefs, especially the United States. I think that drawing us into a proactive posture is exactly what their game plan is. Time is on their side since they have watched our country implode over war before. The long term (endless) approach wreaks havic within our leadership, keeps us divided, and costs us a fortune. With these folks, long term can be describe as forever, or maybe infinity. Most of their older leaders are somewhat educated, or at least have a good handle on the fractures in our resolve.
    I felt the intervention in Kuwait by George HW Bush was just and orderly. It also renewed the patriotic support and a newfound appreciation for our great military. It was conducted by a tough, well trained, well led, well planned military that had a mission statement with a definable finish. Part of the plan was to keep Israel idle (Thank God For the Patriot Missle). The operation had a definable ending that was achieved in a timely mannor.
    Securing our country on our own soil is paramount. To do so, and we can, 90% percent must remain classified and to those wanting to follow the results on TV each night, you are out of luck. Restoring trust and confidence in our leadership is the key to sucess. Anything close to a conventional approach would best be achieved using small highly trained special op tactics toward al-Qaeda leadership. We need to monitor them, and when the time is right, “Do IT”. They must be convinced that they are never safe…anywhere! Its time we start attacking their agenda and planning capabilities.
    I wouldn’t expect everyone to agree with me, but ask yourself, Is what we have been doing for over a decade effectivly working?

  2. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    Reposted from LinkedIn Group: Politics on the Rocks

    They are not become isolationist as that term means that we don’t do trade, talk, make treaties or basically do anything with any other country. What they are moving to is a non-interventionist which means that we do trade, talk and all that sort but we don’t interfere with how other countries are run. Ron Paul said it best.. when it comes to foreign policy you only need to ask yourself one thing, if another did it to the US what would our reactions be?

    Posted by Michael Anderson

  3. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    Reposted from LinkedIn Groups Group: Defense Executive Network

    I don’t think Washington DC knows what its doing other than bankrupting America, destroying it for the coming generations – for what their doing piling massive debt on top on massive debt with out care of what its doing to the future of America is just criminal or it should it be. If you and I ran our House as Washington does the Government we would be in prison for a very long time. Well I am sorry I went into areas not meant
    But its a thorn in my side these days how Washington seem not to give a —- Hoover Damn, about what their doing to this once great nation. All parties are as Guilty as the Other. That is why most people that still bother to Vote in this Country They don’t say their voting for anyone special just against what is there now. That is sad.

    Posted by Bill Adams

  4. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    Reposted from LinkedIn Group: Naval Postgraduate School Alumni

    This is the key graph:

    “Increasingly, however, it appears that we have neither the resources nor patience to see these strategies through to success. It takes decades, not years, to build democratic institutions and traditions. Only Iraq may prove the exception to this rule. It had infrastructure and its own institutions before the U.S. invaded, and it has the natural resources (oil) to fund development.”

    The fate of every place we’ve intervened will ultimately be determined by the local culture. Americans have never had the desire to colonize or run the world, only to act in the interests of preserving their own liberty. Forcing the American taxpayer to expend blood and treasure on maintaining some cynical ‘new world order” that serves no clear purpose is a betrayal of our own system of government.

    The interventionist strategy is not sustainable in its present form. We need to lighten the footprint and find more effective means of securing our liberties than garrisoning the globe.

    Posted by John Tucker

  5. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    Reposted from LinkedIn Group: US Military Veterans Network

    I for one lean in the direction of being an isolationist. However, we as a nation have gone too far down the road towards being interventionist. We depend on cheap imports and labor from other countries to fuel our economy. That is why we have to intervene because we have economic interest all around the globe. What products do you see with “made in America” on them? I have not seen very many. We have the capability of being very independent has a nation. But to gain back our manufacturing base would not be easy, it would take decades. We no longer compete with just ourselves, but the entire industrialized world.

    Posted by Roger LeFant

  6. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    Reposted from LinkedIn Group: US Military Veterans Network

    I agree with Roger. I say we pull our troops out of foreign countries, stop sending massive amounts of money to our so called friends who are NOT really. We need to start drilling our own oil, get the steel mills started up again, start SELLING and EXPORTING products once again instead of importing them…yada, yada yada.

    Posted by Michael A. Albert

  7. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    Reposted from LinkedIn Group: US Military Veterans Network

    Good points Roger and Michael. I would only add that our treasure and young men and woman are being drained and what do we have to show for our losses. We have already learned that Iraq wants us out and Iran is filling the gap. China has gained the advantage for mineral rights in Afghanistan, while never spending a dime or putting boots on the ground. Our interventionist activities during the past 40 years have not gained us anything. It is time for a new era of geopolitical thinking. Our efforts and resources should be focused at home.

    Posted by Dale Ziegler

  8. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    Reposted from LinkedIn Group: US Military Veterans Network

    Guys, you sound like you are living in the 30’s. This entire discussion is a result of the loss of understanding of America’s role in the world. So many have played this citizen of the World Internationalist crap that we tend to forget who America is in the eyes of the world. When did we start this complaining because I allies don’t help us when we are in need. WE ARE THE SUPERPOWER. That status and capabilities gives us the security of fighting our wars away from our borders and securing and expanding markets, trade, managing financial markets and providing stability to an otherwise unstable world. Our blood and treasure have demonstrated our ability to do what other nations in the world can’t and do it with minimum collateral damage and loss of life. There is no friend of the US who can replace us on the international stage, and no one else but ourselves to protect our interest. We enjoy a unique position in the world where we alone are able to act in our own interest and most people of the world, not the media, believe we will be fair and do the right thing. Even in Afghanistan the people are partly frustrated because they believe we Really can give them stability, peace and prosperity. A course isolationism guarantees that my kids will not have the freedoms, liberty and standard of living that we enjoy today. We buy and guarantee our freedoms through that blood and treasure you spoke of. No ocean or wall has proven to be a successful defense, but much of the opportunity and freedom’s Americans enjoy comes from our place and role in the world. This is not a local political event and it’s implications are directly tied to the future of our Nation.

    Posted by Jeffrey Parks

  9. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    Reposted from LinkedIn Group: US Military Veterans Network

    Nice ideology Jeffrey. I don’t agree nor subscribe to any of your points. I prefer Ceaser’s commentaries and Clausewitz. There are reasons why a state and when a state should go to war. The notion of being a ” World Super Power” is not one of them. I have been to Afghanistan and the people there do not agree with your supposition.

    Posted by Dale Ziegler

  10. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    Reposted from LinkedIn Group: US Military Veterans Network

    Dale, Isolationist tendencies are not just about War, but about international involvement. Clausewitz is a shining example of the use of the military to avoid conflict and that would include their “showing the flag” or humanitarian support or limited conflicts, when in the national interest. If you think in the 21st century our national interest do not go past our shores, I would ask when you last got on an airplane, sent an email or even used a social network site. Isolationism affects all aspects of life today with no benefit. IT is a pipe dream to think all manufacturing will magically return to the US or we can afford US only laborers or produce our own products and have the same choice and quality we have today

    Posted by Jeffrey Parks

  11. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    Reposted from LinkedIn Group: US Military Veterans Network

    I was on an airplane last week traveling abroad, I sent an e-mail at 6:30am this morning and I was on this site after I checked the Ranger group. Perhaps it is our definition of Isolationism, perhaps not. I assure you, I understand and have studied war. I further assure you that I understand global economics. The bottom line is that I don’t agree with your ideology. Further more, the Chinese are beating us, because there are still to many people that think the way that you do. Fortunately, that tide is changing.

    Posted by Dale Ziegler

  12. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    Reposted from LinkedIn Group: US Military Veterans Network

    Isolationism and/or appeasement was proven foolhardy when Japan joined the Axis, then bombed Pearl Harbor without a declaration of war. Before that, Britain’s Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain tried to avoid war with appeasement of Hitler. It didn’t work; the German National Socialist Party (nazi) sensed weakness, then attacked Britain anyway. Stalin’s Soviet Union initially was a nazi ally, but turned against the Hitler regime when Hitler invaded Poland. We encouraged the Soviets by providing them war machinery. Had we not done so, we could have lost WWII. However, we were supporting a regime every bit as evil as Hitler’s, endured a “cold war” for decades, until President Reagan’s “intervention” brought about its demise. Preceding that, tens of millions died under Stalin’s and Mao’s Marxism while we remained “neutral” in isolationism. Should we not be ashamed of that? In these times, our own president is appeasing Iran and all its sponsored terrorist groups by betraying Israel, backing Muslim Brotherhood “freedom fighters,” and doing nothing about Iran’s nuclear weapons program. If we continue down this path, we will eventually be attacked as never before. We are now proceeding with isolationism at our peril.

    Posted by Ronald Bouwman

  13. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    Reposted from LinkedIn Group: US Military Veterans Network

    Dale, You open with what I think is the key argument against Isolationism, it has failed throughout time before the arrival of modern transport and communications. It is an untenable argument. Isolationism would resort in arguments against military spending and a lack of training equipping of the force. Also decrease the desire to serve by young recruits. Our military power is directly connected to our economic power overseas. As far as Karzai I am over him and many of the rising Afghan new leaders are too. I hate to break this to you, but every Afghan is touched by drugs in some way. It is the only truly functioning market which we are able to influence because we are there. Regarding Afghan mineral rights, I know a little more than I can say, but you are mistaken and realize that part of the problem with Afghan minerals is how difficult they are to get too. We are directly involved in this, although I wish we were more heavily involved.

    Posted by Jeffrey Parks

  14. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    Reposted from LinkedIn Group: US Military Veterans Network

    I will throw a couple of things out there for consideration:

    1) It may be a joke to even propose a Dem vs Repub question. Looking back over the past 50+ years, what difference is there? We have continued big government expansions, an interventionist foreign policy, expanding social programs, etc. Think about it outside the rhetoric…

    2) Given my first observation, which may or may not be correct in your eyes, I would say then that our biggest problem may in fact be our current political “two-party establishment”, which appears to put political party job protection and promotion over the interests of our nation as their top priority. Third, fourth, or even fifth parties would damage or destroy that, which is likely why they can’t gain traction.

    3) It wouReld seem that a consistent, well-executed non-interventionist foreign policy, not isolationism, would accomplish what many seem to be seeking. State, Commerce, etc. should administer foreign policy, not Defense.

    Just some thoughts to stir the pot a little. 🙂

    Posted by James McLendon

  15. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    Reposted from LinkedIn Group: US Military Veterans Network

    James, I think your thoughts are well founded. Party politics and personal political power are more important than a cohesive economic/military U.S. strategy/policy. Military intervention with boots on the ground has not proven effective. Isolationism does not mean a weak military. It actually should mean the opposite. By consolidating resources and shirring up our nation’s balance sheet. We will be in a better position to defend our selves militarily and to expand economically throughout the globe. It’s always curious to me when people rely on information as power. Believe it or not Jeffrey, I know more than you would think. Eisenhower warned us against the “vast military industrial complex”. It’s time that people in positions of power start doing what’s best for our nation as opposed to their own personal benefit and grab for power.

    Posted by Dale Ziegler

  16. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    Reposted from LinkedIn Group: US Military Veterans Network

    Here is a double-edged sword. Either isolationism or interventionism are connected to trade and economics. If we wish to be isolationist, we should become self sufficient by drilling our own oil and gas, mining our own coal, harvesting our own lumber, manufacturing our own machinery, and placing high tarrifs on imports. We’ve done that before, and it made us strong enough to defeat the Axis. However, it weakened other countries and contributed to the causes of WWII. Now, by being non-isolationist, our economy is collapsing, we’re empowering China, the Arab-Persian world can strangle our fuel production, and our success in another major conflict could be jeopardized by our decreased production potential. Neither policy brought us the admiration of other nations. Deciding on a policy of taking care of our own and ignoring the rest of the world seems simplistic, but trying to buy the rest of the world’s favor is naeive and foolhardy. In either case, we cannot afford to continue on our present course.

    Posted by Ronald Bouwman

  17. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    Reposted from LinkedIn Group: US Military Veterans Network

    Ronald, One of the difficulties of this discussion is definition of terms. Your common sense approach to the US developing it’s own resources and is certainly part of my world view. I assume your remarks that the US contributing to the start of WWII because of our trade policy is not something I could support. I assume these comments are primarily focused on events in the Pacific Theater. Recommend you read Japan’s War: The Great Pacific Conflict by Edwin Hoyt. That war with was probably unavoidable. I am not an advocate of “adventurism”, I am simply saying, along the lines of your post that the US has a unique place in a FREE WORLD. If we want to continue to enjoy the benefits of our unique place to hold out continued hope for the world, then we cannot attempt an unrealistic policy of isolationism. The 2nd and 3rd order effects are off the scale and it is not in our favor. What we do have to address is our politicians and the efforts of many of them to build a dependent population which lives on govt. handouts and subsistence jobs which don’t provide wealth and limits freedoms and liberty. Freedom to trade and do business overseas and act in our national interest and those of our allies is key to who we are. We need leaders who understand the affects of their actions and spend get govt. out of our lives instead and foreign policy that keeps our enemies at a safe distance and whose capabilities are underwear bombs and not Nukes.

    Posted by Jeffrey Parks

  18. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    Reposted from LinkedIn Groups

    Jeffrey, I concur with all you said. In terms of Japan and WWII, a fanatical Japanese state religion had much to do with that country’s intransigence, and the inevitability of war. A provision in the surrender document signed on the USS Missouri required Japan to abolish its national religion and establish religious freedom. In terms of trade prior to the war, the US was quite honorably refusing to sell Japan the steel it needed for its war machine. That has been given as a cause for the war, but it also weakened Japan and helped us to prevail. Today, we are again threatened by religious fantacism and a growing group of Iranian sattelites whose goal is our eventual destruction.

    Posted by Ronald Bouwman

  19. […] Isolationist Republicans Vs. Interventionist Democrat (ewrossblog.com) […]

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