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Pat Buchanan on Defense


Need new post-Cold War bottom-up strategy review

Q: How would you handle the defense budget?

A: What we have not had is a bottom-up review of American foreign policy in the post-Cold War. Gore and Bush are caught in a Cold War prism. You ought to bring American troops home from Korea, from Okinawa, from Japan, from Europe, bring them home to the US, use the savings to build up American armed forces, to enhance their morale and fighting capability, so they can deal with a great threat to the West or our vital allies. The idea that 55 years after the Korean War, Americans would be the first to die in a second Korean war is absurd, only an adherence to doctrines that should have died in 1989, 1990, 1991. I’ve been fighting this battle for 10 years for a new foreign policy for this country that puts our own nation and its vital interests first, and we don’t go to war unless our honor, our integrity, our citizens or our interests are threatened.

Source: Nader-Buchanan debate on ‘Meet the Press’ Oct 1, 2000

Build SDI; “Retrench and rearm”

Background: The US government spends about 16% of its budget on defense, down from about 50% in the early 1960s. The number of active-duty troops has dropped by about one third since the end of the Cold War. Buchanan’s views: : “Retrench and rearm,” return many troops from abroad, build national missile-defense system. Assure Russia of no more NATO expansion on condition of Russia’s non-intervention in nearby states. Opposes nuclear test ban treaty.
Source: NyTimes.com Politics Library Feb 3, 2000

Declare war only after attack on US, interests, or honor

“My vision is of a republic, not an empire -- a nation that does not go to war unless she is attacked, or her vital interests are imperiled, or her honor impugned. And when she does go to war, it is only after following a constitutional declaration by the Congress,” Buchanan said. “We are not imperialists; we are not interventionists; we are not hegemonists; and we are not isolationists. We simply believe in America first, last and always.”
Source: Associated Press, “Attack World Government” Jan 6, 2000

UK, France, & Germany should defend Europe

With the Cold War won, it is time that Europe re-assumes full responsibility for its own defense. Western Europe has never been more secure. France & Great Britain, with nuclear weapons, are capable of defending themselves. A united and democratic Germany is fully capable of resuming its historic role of defending Central Europe. How long should 260 million Americans have to defend 360 million rich Europeans -- from 160 million impoverished Russians?
Source: “A Republic, Not an Empire,” p.384-5 Oct 9, 1999

Transfer NATO Army to Germany & Navy to France

The US should withdraw all its ground troops from Europe and amend the NATO treaty so that involvement in future European wars is an option, not a certainty. Transfer command of NATO ground forces to a German general, and, after detaching the US Sixth Fleet, transfer NATO’s southern command to a French admiral. The role of America in Europe should not be as a frontline fighting state, but as the arsenal of democracy and strategic reserve of the West.
Source: “A Republic, Not an Empire,” p.385-6 Oct 9, 1999

Annex Greenland

As for Greenland, the last great empty space in the Western Hemisphere, this huge island should remain permanently inside the US defense perimeter, and eventually be formally annexed by the US. Greenland lacks the requisites of nationhood.
Source: “A Republic, Not an Empire,” p.370 Oct 9, 1999

US hegemony will backfire to create a less secure world

Our hegemonists our confident that America’s power is too great for any to resist. History teaches otherwise. Every attempt to establish hegemony incites resentment and hostility. Weaker nations instinctively seek security in each other, creating the very combinations the hegemonists most fear. It is a law of history: The thesis calls into being the antithesis; the weak collude to balance off the strong.
Source: “A Republic, Not an Empire,” p. 24 Oct 9, 1999

NATO was conceived as a temporary alliance

Did America’s Cold War alliances -- NATO, CENTO, SEATO, the ANZUS and Rio pacts, and security treaties with Korea, Japan, Taiwan -- violate George Washington’s “great rule” against permanent alliances? No. When created, these were to be temporary alliances to endure only as long as the crisis endured. US troops would remain in Europe only until Europe could rise to its own feet to man its own defenses. Eisenhower estimated that would take ten years.
Source: “A Republic, Not an Empire,” p.310 Oct 9, 1999

We lost Vietnam because we fought on THEIR terms

[Vietnam] was an attempt to defeat the enemy on the enemy’s terms, a concept that ran counter to every strategic principle of warfare, but appealed to the academic-minded “best and the brightest.” Although the US had more than adequate power to defeat Hanoi, it never had a strategic plan for final victory or the will to pursue such a strategy. Johnson picked the most expensive war option, and then pursued it incrementally to avoid the higher costs--a formula for failure that produced failure.
Source: “A Republic, Not an Empire,” p.313-4 Oct 9, 1999

No Pax Americana for post-Cold War

A 1989 forum on a new foreign policy for an era in which no great enemy threatened [elicited] calls for imposing a “Pax Americana” or “global hegemony.” Columnist Charles Krauthammer wrote that we should “integrate” America, Europe, and Japan in a “supersovereign” entity. This “new universalism,” he wrote, “is not as outrageous as it sounds.” Not to Krauthammer, but surely to the Patriot Fathers. The Krauthammer superstate would be a betrayal of everything for which the Republic stood. In a rebuttal piece titled “America First -- and Second, and Third,” I wrote that Krauthammer’s vision was un-American, and failed “the most fundamental test of any foreign policy: Americans will not fight for it.” A nation’s purpose, I added, is to be “discovered not by consulting ideologies, but by reviewing its history, by searching the hearts of its people.” Urging adoption of a policy of “enlightened nationalism,” I wrote [that we should pursue] “total withdrawal of US troops from Europe.”
Source: “A Republic, Not an Empire,” p.325 Oct 9, 1999

New World Order ties down US without vital interests

[With the collapse of the USSR], all that America had ever sought had come to pass. Yet rather than seize the opportunity to pull up our “trip wires” around the world and shed unwanted commitments -- to recapture our freedom of action and restore a traditional foreign policy -- internationalists joined with globalists to tie down America like Gulliver in some “New World Order” where US wealth and power would be put at the service of causes having nothing to do with the vital interests of the US.
Source: “A Republic, Not an Empire,” p.327 Oct 9, 1999

Soldiers volunteer to defend US, not UN

The men and women of the US military volunteer to defend America -- its honor, citizens, and vital interests -- not to serve as Hessians of a New World Order. Not every beast needs to be hunted down and killed; some are best left alone to live and die in their part of the forest. No “world community” can ever replace the patria. Ultimately, men fight and die for the “ashes of their fathers and the temples of their gods”, not some New World Order. Who would give his life--for the United Nations?
Source: “A Republic, Not an Empire,” p.362 Oct 9, 1999

Expand defense budget for expanded global commitments

Under Clinton-Gore, our global commitments have expanded, but our defenses have declined. A Buchanan Administration will restore funding to our hollowed forces, honor to our ranks, and safety to our shores. We will not splinter our strength by committing American forces where no vital national interests are at stake, and will reclaim international credibility by establishing a clear, consistent foreign policy that keeps our interests first, our forces strong, and our nation secure.
Source: www.GoPatGo.org/ “Issues: Rebuilding Military” Jun 12, 1999

America must retrench and rearm

We cannot police the planet on a defense budget of 3% of GDP, and unless America is prepared to restore our military might, we cannot contain a rearmed Russia, patrol the Balkans, roll back a second Iraqi attack on Kuwait, repel North Korea, and prevent another of Beijing’s bullying assaults on Taiwan. America must retrench and rearm. We must reclaim American invincibility on land, sea and air, and complete the Reagan legacy by deploying a missile defense system.
Source: www.GoPatGo.org/ “Issues: Rebuilding Military” Jun 12, 1999

Pay soldiers more; end “social labs”; exit Balkans

We will rebuild America’s military might and pay our soldiers a livable wage. I will stop the Clinton practice of treating the armed forces as social laboratories for experiments by aging ‘60’s radicals. The absurd Clinton-Gore policy that wastes $10 billion policing the Balkans, but cannot spare a dime to keep Communist China from encroaching on the Panama Canal, will be ended.
Source: www.gopatgo2000.com/000-c-foreignpolicy.html 5/28/99 May 28, 1999

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