…”Why Rand Paul Likes to Fight About Foreign Policy”:
The inference that Senator Paul’s major foreign policy mistake is that he’s against non-Congress sanctioned engagements is ignorant; purposefully or otherwise. One need only read the differences between his 2013 Platform to Revitalize America and the 2014 version to watch him stumble left and right on that issue, military funding as well, which still doesn’t show the issue that is Paul’s primary foreign policy flaw.
Sen. Paul, like his father, has been talking about downgrading, severely, the American presence overseas, all the while using our “strike anywhere” capabilities and prior demobilizations as primary premises for that debate. Unfortunately for Paul, that argument is innately fallacious: fast response with sufficient military assets is directly linked to a logistical supply chain that would evaporate with the degradation of forward bases throughout the world, both on allied and US territories. Sen. Paul seems to forget that there is a necessary logistical supply chain allowing these activities to occur. A prime reference for this was the materiel movement issues in the early years of Afghanistan for resupply, as our limited basing and restrictive airspaces of neighboring countries not favorable to the US put significant squeeze on the ability to project power into the area in the short term. His continuing wish to “scale back”, seeming code for “largely remove”, foreign allied or “friendly” operations would exponentially compound the initial supply difficulties in Afghanistan to worldwide dilemma at a near exponential level, instead of a limited AOR issue.
The prior demobilizations, which Paul references repeatedly as a defense of his projected cuts, then oddly removed in 2014, resulted in training surges that left troops poorly fitted and prepared for mobilization in a conventional conflict. Spin up time was something the United States could afford when crossing international distances required quite a bit of time, like WWII and even into Vietnam. With increasing technological reliance, spin up time on the materiel end is increasing, rather than decreasing in time on the general scale; concurrent with troop and operator training. Scaling back on defense purchases would further increase both R&D and line production for the weapon systems, EO targeting, etc necessary for the modern warfighter. Sen. Paul also has a huge issue in that he tries to argue the military budget, ignoring that he calls for cuts in 2013 PRA, then argues for restoration of sequestered funds under the guise that they will now “keep the military complex of yesterday in check.” I’m personally left questioning how removing funds, then returning funds, keeps anything “in check”.
“The budget adds back more than $126 billion to defense, above the sequester amount, but it continues to keep the large military complex of yesterday in check…”
Sen. Paul, A Clear Vision to Revitalize America, http://www.paul.senate.gov/files/documents/FY2014Budget.pdf
Statements like these would rapidly raise eyebrows with our Marines serving at embassies, as their sole detail is not simply to secure TS documents and HDs. The entire detail does not simply fall in for destruction or securing of classified materials. The reasoning is simple: if you’re under attack, collecting documents without overwatch gets everyone killed. To quote the MSESG Mission Statement:
” The primary mission of the Marine Security Guard (MSG) is to provide internal security at designated U.S. diplomatic and consular facilities in order to prevent the compromise of classified material vital to the national security of the United States. The secondary mission of the MSG is to provide protection for U.S. citizens and U.S government property located within designated U.S. diplomatic and consular premises during exigent circumstances (urgent temporary circumstances which require immediate aid or action).”
The inane exercise of cross-analyzing the US military budget against the Chinese and broadly declaring the US budget is six times the size shows a callous misunderstanding of military funding. A simple example is the fact that the Chinese can more cheaply produce arms, due to state manufacturing infrastructure and lower pay, while paying a 3M strong active military force far less per capita than the US due to lower standards of living. Further, and more disturbing, is the fact that he makes an apples to apples comparison based on gross expenditure, while the Chinese budget does not cover R&D, acquisitions, their 1M strong paramilitary units and other huge categories of military expenditure.
As for the WMD bit, we found plenty of things in Iraq, simply no nuclear material. That is readily glossed over along with little to no interdiction on routes into and out of Syria, which we know were being used both during and after the buildup by our forces.
There are considerable other issues in his 2013/2014 documents alone, on the foreign policy front, but I’ve typed too long for my comfort.
Ebola on July 18, 2014 at 5:29 AM