Now some of these principles may sound familiar and a few of them were first expressed back in 1984 in Pres Reagan’s cabinet. They were designed to help us sharply define the when and how we should use force. And they served us well in the Reagan years. Times are much different now but I believe that by updating these time tested principles to address the unique and changing circumstances and threats that we face today they’ll serve us well now and into the future. Remember Reagan liked to keep it simple yet profound. Remember what he said to the enemy. "We win you lose. "
And some may argue that well today in a world where we are dealing with terrorists organizations rather than of cold war adversaries these principles are outdated. On the contrary, these principles are timeless.
They will allow us to effectively and forcefully defend our vital national interests and those of our key allies in the age of terrorism. We must vigorously defend ourselves but at the same time we must not wear down our armed forces with never ending and ever increasing commitments.
I believe that America though must never retreat into isolation. the world would be less safe and less free without our leadership. And we must never forget that America has a responsibility to lead. To Whom Much is given much is expected. We can not be the world’s policeman granted or the world’s ATM but we can lead by example. By our words and when necessary by our actions. We must, we will remain the world’s abiding beacon of freedom.
~ Sarah Palin May 2, 2011
Anyone who has followed Sarah Palin for any length of time knows she is very much a Reagan Conservative, and that includes her outlook on foreign policy. Reagan had a solid, but simple plan for dealing with America's enemies. "We win, they lose!"
Now obviously the nuts and bolts of this sort of doctrine are more complex, but what Reagan meant, as does Sarah, is very simple: If America is going to engage in war, we are going in with the focus and determination to win that war. We are not going in as the world's policeman.
Another way of saying this is "Peace through strength."
Reagan won the Cold War, without getting into a shooting war, by convincing the Soviet Union the United States, if engaged, would do whatever it took to win that war. Period. The Soviets were bankrupting themselves trying to keep up with Reagan's efforts to rebuild and strengthen the U.S. military, that was gutted by Jimmy Carter. The Soviets knew Reagan meant business, and knew there was a line they could never cross. We've not had such a straightforward, strong, and concise foreign policy doctrine since those days.
Sarah has long talked in the same manner as Reagan. Though the corrupt media is doing it's damnedest to say otherwise today, Sarah has not changed her foreign policy stance. What she has done, with her speech in Colorado Monday night, as she gave tribute to our troops, is lay out everything she has been saying since her days as a vice presidential candidate, into one sophisticated doctrine. The five requirements needed before she would engage in military action. It's reasonable, forward looking, and concise. Simple and elegant. In case you missed her speech, we have the transcript along with video here.
With that said, Sarah has hired a new foreign policy adviser. Someone more in line with her doctrine.
Her former team Randy Scheunemann and Michael Goldfarb of Orion Strategies have been replaced by Peter Schweizer, a writer and fellow at the Hoover Institution who blogs regularly at Andrew Breitbart’s Big Peace. Schweizer has written two definitive books on the way Reagan handled the Cold War: Victory and Reagan's War
J.E. Dyer offers her thoughts:
Many volumes could be written on the distinctions between the prevailing ideas on the use of force overseas, but this passage of Palin’s speech, combined with her taking on Peter Schweizer as an adviser, argues for a more Reaganesque than progressive-activist view.
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To call something "neocon" now is not to put it in the context of any consistent thread in policy. Bush 41, for example, used force for regime-change in Panama in 1989, but didn’t use it to regime-change Saddam in 1991. He restricted himself to evicting Saddam’s forces from Kuwait. He also dispatched military force to supervise the delivery of aid to Somalis, with no intention of resolving the chaotic political situation there – this last enterprise an open-ended use of force on the progressive-activist model.
Reagan used force to regime-change Grenada, ironically in the middle of dealing with the bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut, which was a consequence of improperly scoping the purpose and requirements of force in a particular situation. Again, the latter (the Marine barracks debacle) is more characteristic of the progressive-activist model – which is what is currently developing in Libya.
Bush 43 used overwhelming force for regime-change in Iraq, and induced regime-change in Afghanistan with less than overwhelming force, but both were cases of politically justifying absolute regime-change and pursuing it without temporizing. Unifying Afghanistan under new rule has proven to be the insoluble problem in the aftermath, although the regime-change of Iraq has been much more heavily criticized throughout.
Which of these episodes were the result of "neocon" policies? There are plenty of people today who call the Libya intervention "neocon," because it is expeditionary and related only indirectly to US security. Samantha Power and Susan Rice wouldn’t thank those pundits for calling their humanitarian intervention a "neocon" operation.
Schweizer is a fan of Reagan’s approach, which had no compunction about trying to undermine oppressive governments, but did so by supporting freedom movements where they were indigenous, and arming the insurgents under Soviet occupation in Afghanistan. The commitment of US force was a matter of coming to blows very rarely under Reagan: besides invading Grenada, Reagan conducted a reprisal against Libya in 1986 after the Berlin nightclub bombing, and another one against Iran in 1988 for mining the Persian Gulf and inflicting mine damage on USS Samuel B Roberts (FFG-58). The US armed forces had a high and very active profile during the Reagan years, but the actual use of force was considered necessary very seldom.
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As is typical of her, Palin is talking in the terms on which we need to be carrying on the public discussion of national security, our national interests, and interventions overseas. There has been a very long and extensive national dialogue on these topics over the last 100 years; we have never settled most questions as if there were a single answer. Palin – alone among potential GOP candidates – is harking back to the philosophical discussions launched by presidents and candidates like Reagan, Goldwater, Adlai Stevenson (agree with him or not, he launched a substantive debate that colored Democratic positions for the next 40 years), Wilson, and Theodore Roosevelt.
I believe people intuit the need for this debate, as overseas interventions seem to be stalemated in Afghanistan and Libya, and the world begins to behave as if there is no US power. Palin apparently recognizes the need to talk about fundamentals – and love her or hate her, I don’t see anyone else out there doing it.
In her last sentence, Dyer says it all. While the Ruling Class is telling us how "dumb" Sarah Palin is, and how "brilliant" the flavor of the week candidate they are shilling for is, Sarah Palin, who we are told is "totally unserious" and should "leave the room" or "go study up" is not only leading the national debate, she's doing it alone, at least among the so-called "presidential hopefuls." You know, the "thought leaders" among us. The ones who are doing nothing right now but playing politics. As Sarah herself has said: "If it wasn't for double-standards, they would have no standards at all!"
Sarah has been leading the national debate on fiscal policy, social policy, energy policy, and foreign policy for quite some time now. Sarah Palin has proven through he 20 years in public service that she is a non-nonsense leader who understands how things work, and how to get things done.
At this point, she is taking things to the next level, She's refining her policies, not changing them. She's laying out her policies for the American people understand and reflect on. Some of these other candidates, including leftovers from the 2008 presidential contest, have yet to even attempt to do this.
I agree with Sarah, that it's way too early to be running for president, but my goodness, if you've been out there for five or six years, and don't have a coherent and concise set of policies, a solid policy of governance, just how serious are we supposed to take you?
Something else the Palin Doctrine does, with limited use of military intervention, it also addresses our fiscal problems. We are broke and we can ill afford to borrow money for willy-nilly military adventurism with no clearly defined goals. That's essential when we have a $14 trillion debt.
No one knows if Sarah will run for President, even though all of the signs are there that she will. I do know this, having followed her since before she was John McCain's choice of running mate, Sarah Palin is the leader this nation needs if we are ever to get back on the right track again.