Rethinking American foreign policy is not solely an exercise of predicting future requirements and planning for what could be. It also requires an honest assessment of current priorities, positioning, and policies. National defense, the primary function of government, is best served by being truthful with ourselves about our goals and limitations and requiring our elected leaders to own their responsibilities.
THE BLUNT TRUTH
American troops are in harm’s way under policies that are outdated, misguided, and arguably detrimental to America’s future safety and prosperity. This is especially true in our current military engagements in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan. But there is a better way.
HONEST EVALUATION NEEDED
An objective assessment of our nearly 20-year-long military engagement in Afghanistan – which Americans, including military veterans, overwhelmingly support ending – and our increasingly ambiguous missions in Iraq and Syria – another conflict of which Americans are increasingly skeptical – would show we have lost sight of our objectives in these countries. America would best be served by viewing these situations for what they are, responding accordingly, and not attempting to force an outcome that history shows will never come to bear.
SAFETY, PROSPERITY, AND FREEDOM
A strong military is central to a strong national defense, but it should be one component of foreign policy, along with a robust employment of diplomacy, and used as a last resort to protect American lives and objectives.
Just as great nations do not fight endless wars, they also do not fight wars in which they have no business fighting.