Sunday, December 16, 2007

Ron Paul: No Peacenik

There are a lot of people, I believe, who find many of Ron Paul's ideas refreshing and engaging. Furthermore, these people seem to understand that he is a man who has held fast to his beliefs for 10 terms of congress, voting no so many times as to earn the nickname "Dr. No". Agree with him or no, I think a lot of non-Paul supporters admire his courage and his seeming inability to pander to an audience.
The main issue is terror!
Terrorism is a serious issue and protecting ourselves is a natural and good thing. Our hearts go out to those who have lost loved ones in violence that is motivated by those who would justify killing to further their message.
Ron Paul wants to solve the problem differently than almost all other presidential candidates: he wants the U.S. to get out of the Middle East (and all other countries) and stop aiding foreign governments. The non-interventionist approach has been argued by many and I'll simply offer links for you to explore these ideas. I'd prefer to focus on what a Ron Paul military will look like.
I'm not affiliated with the campaign in any way and these are all personal conjectures, so if he's said something contrary to what I am writing, let me know and I'll fix it!
First off, Congressman Paul wants to bring the troops out of Europe, Korea, Japan, and everywhere else we are. This situation would be very similar to us about 100 years ago, about the time we were flourishing with a growing nation, few enemies, and prosperity. No, the good ol' days weren't perfect, but we didn't concern ourselves with terrorists (my grandparents were concerned about Indians attacking them on the way to town) or much else around the world. Nor did we have too much mass media in our lives telling us what to fear next (people knew what to fear: disease, cold winters, hot summers, etc).
Now, we have a pretty large military at the moment, and not everyone would fit in all the Stateside bases. Likely, some old ones would be reactivated, and perhaps a new one or two would be created. Military careerists could choose to spend their entire 20 years in one location for family stability. Deployments would decrease dramatically with the exception of the Navy, which would cooperate with other Navies around the world and aide the United States diplomatically (not "diplomatically" as a euphemism, but truly diplomatically, as has been the job of navies for hundreds of years). However, even sailors would likely see less time at sea, as they'd not be deployed (for the next 4-8 years) to the Middle East for nine months at a time, but rather enjoy more liberty cruises and close-to-home exercises.
The military budget would shrink due to not paying the massive overseas costs, but Paul has no naivety about the need for national security and a strong military. Likely pay would continue to increase, R&D would increase, and our special forces programs would continue to be well funded. I imagine a President Paul would cut through a lot of the BS funding that goes to contractors (if you've ever heard of supply costs in the military being ridiculous, you've heard correctly) and open up market alternatives to save money while updating gear.
Our country has programs in place already to find rogue nukes in the U.S. Focusing on us, while updating and enforcing our immigration laws to find out who is in the country will keep any would be criminal forces on their toes. And slimming down the massive bureaucracy (eliminating Homeland Security) will help as well.
I don't believe Ron Paul has said anything about getting rid of spies and special agents. Yes, he opposes some of the uses of the CIA, but I don't see him pulling every single spy we have out of every single foreign country. Espionage is important to a strong national defense.
On a separate note, I'd like to point out that China and Russia are wary of our growing American Hegemony. It is only a matter of time before they begin to enact checks on us by way of military buildup. Their advantage is eerily similar to ours over the Soviets 20 years ago: lack of empire to maintain. Yes, they have economic advantages to us, which over time, will not bode well for our country's national security.
I shudder in horror to think of an open war with those two while simultaneously fighting terrorism in the Middle East.
Even if he were pro-life (pdf alert, but he has good points about the Republicans) and pro-market (he's neither), I would not vote for Dennis Kucinich, who I wouldn't trust as a Commander in Chief.
Ron Paul is no peacenik. He is a man who understand the current national security situation. He is against aggressive war but not "just war". He is a man who can make the country safer from all enemies, foreign and domestic.

No comments: