Let’s make foreign policy like it’s 2000. I think we will support our troops and vets by revisiting the foreign policy that former President Bush expressed in 2000. Otherwise, we will send brave hearts into vain battles.
In October, 2000, George W. Bush debated Al Gore on C-SPAN. He said:
“I think one way for us to end up being viewed as the ugly American is for us to go around the world saying: ‘We do it this way, so should you.’ … It really depends upon how our nation conducts itself on foreign policy; if we’re an arrogant nation they’ll resent us; if we’re a humble nation, but strong, they’ll welcome us. …Somalia started out as a humanitarian mission then changed into a nation-building mission and that’s where the mission went wrong; the mission was changed, and, as a result, our nation paid a price and so I don’t think our troops ought to be used for what’s called nation-building. …If we don’t stop extending our troops all around the world and [conducting] nation-building missions, then we are going to have a serious problem coming down the road and I’m going to prevent that.”
As we know, Bush did not fulfill his 2000 foreign policy goals. I think he was right to enter Afghanistan and route the Taliban immediately after the 9/11 attacks. Unfortunately, he overextended our stay and his executive reach. Today, Bush’s successor, President Obama, is proof that Bush was right in 2000. For, Obama’s efforts to ramp up Bush’s post-2000 expansionism are failing.
This month, Obama gathered his NATO partners in Chicago and signed an agreement that hands major combat operations over to Afghan security forces by the summer of 2013. (So much for consulting Congress and the Constitution.)
Nearly 11 years of war and $642 billion dollars are the temporal and monetary costs to U.S. taxpayers for the War in Afghanistan. No metric, however, quantifies the cost of elongated war to U.S. troops and veterans.
Obama should never have sent an additional 33,000 troops to risk their lives in this hopeless region in 2010. This month, bipartisan leaders of the congressional intelligence committee reported that the Taliban has become stronger since Obama’s troop surge. And, American troops are increasingly dying at the hands of our allies. Since 2007, around 80 Americans have died at the hands of our Afghan “partners.”