Foreign policy is always a tough subject to talk about. The reason that is is because until recently we have only had two voices, two options on the table in the discussion. Its become so much so, that when another option is put onto the table it is either labeled one or the other that is known about previously.

The first option is how it has worked since 1988. We have, on numerous cases, gone to war to stop genocide, promote “democracy” and extend our influence outside of our borders. We have not always had a clear interest in going into the countries that we have. So, this is seen as imperialist nation building or occupation by those that disagree with this policy. We have over 900 foreign bases in all but 46 countries on the planet. For the most part this policy is bi-partisan in government.

Barack Obama got elected by doing numerous things that were to challenge that status quo, and none more vividly than in foreign policy. Bring the troops home, close gitmo, end rendition and other programs for intelligence gathering he deemed as torturous and “UnAmerican”. George W. Bush had stated in an interview with Glenn Beck after he left office that he believed that Obama would get into office and get his intelligence reports and quickly change his mind. While he has not openly admitted to changing his mind his actions have proven W. a prophet in this regard. He has widely followed similar protocols and while he has changed things (in my opinion for the worse of course) they do not look all that different.

This of course has angered a great number of people who voted for him. I believe one of the many different reasons he was elected and won in states that democrats usually struggle in was between this, and his promise to make government more visible and accountable (epic fail on this promise btw). This attracted independent minds who are actually quite conservative in nature because they have a very liberal foreign policy view. And centrists really liked his changing politics arguments and wanted to transcend it by their vote.

So right now we have the status quo. The status quo is bad, but not for the reasons those detractors come up with in my opinion. The status quo is bad, because it capitulates to political correctness in an attempt to keep power at the expense of our troops and our national sovereignty and security. Candidates go on stage, and say things like I would not change anything, not cut one base. Although, they have been (on the GOP side) good to point out that we need a clear reason to go in. They do not, however, speak on the rules of engagement which handcuff our military to ineffectiveness that leads to the quagmires we have been ever since the media started quickly reaching everyone’s homes. (I.E. since Vietnam). War sucks, and no matter what you think The large majority of people who agree with the status quo do not like war. However, there are those that do profit from it. They profit from it far too much in fact.

The dissenting opinion that is popular, and I understand entirely why it is popular don’t get me wrong, is that we should bring every troop home right now. Close all of our bases in every foreign country and end all foreign aid immediately as well. This is supported by a plurality (not a majority) of military members. Why is it so popular? Because they are in a war with ridiculous rules of engagement fighting people that aren’t even from the area that they are fighting in. They have no exit strategy, no clear goals, and are completely trashed when they come home by people who think that we are occupiers and imperialist pig thus assign those qualities to every person in the military. Its a hard life, to be away from your family and not know if your going to come home. I respect and love every person that puts on that uniform and sacrifices themselves no matter how small that sacrifice may be. Without them, we would not be here in this constitutional republic with the freedoms and luxuries that we have (and yes, as an unemployed flat broke individual thats probably going to be evicted soon I still see myself as having luxury, and also having a loving family that cares for me saves me from true poverty, and thats more important then anything to me)

So we see the dichotomy. Two choices. But what if both choices are wrong? What if we are overextended and inefficient? What if our money could be spent better? I believe all of these things are true statements.

So, with the upfront statement that I do not have access to confidential documents and intelligence to form an official opinion, I give you what I believe in. I believe that we should do a complete review of all of our assets and personnel in every country we currently have a base for. What is its objective? Is the money well spent? What purpose does it have? Are we welcome in that country by its government? Are they our allies? We should do as Rick Perry and others have said and reset all foreign aid to zero and then award aid from there only as necessary. It does no good if we are just borrowing from china to pay both sides of the fence. Identify..who is our true allies? Are the agreements with them restricting our possibility of identifying and eliminating threats to our national interest or do they help us? Do we dictate too much to them and eliminate their sovereignty as a nation? Do they dictate to us and cause our sovereignty to be put into question?

I can guarantee you that after going through those questions. We will find places to cut our foreign aid and will end up closing a few bases. Now the question..what do we do with the savings from that both in money and personnel? Well, right now we have national guardsmen on long deployments in foreign countries. The National Guard should be decentralized and used to combat the absolutely porous border to our south. Under control of the states, not the federal government because I fear more then anything else military operations controlled by a federal executive inside of the country. The money that we save? Should go to restoring our resources and modernizing them to make our force more efficient. We should completely defund the entirety of the United Nations. They were supposed to be a temporary resident in New York, not a permanent set up for thieves, criminals, and spies with diplomatic immunity. If they want to remain here as an organization then they must pay us, and live here under our rules. Otherwise, the original charter called for them to move their base every so many years and they should follow that charter. The savings from that and all foreign aid that is eliminated should go nowhere except towards the debt.

A lot of questions are asked as to why I believe that we must have bases in countries that are our allies that do not object to our presence. There are a few reasons for that. We have a national interest in that country if we trade with them. Their downfall would hurt us, and until we can become more self-sufficient here and wean ourselves away from economic dependency on the world economy that is important, but is not the main reason I would say it. They are, albeit in some cases tense allies, our allies and we should be able to respond quickly and have a base of operations if they ever do need assistance from an invasion or other such thing. Having our troops in a country is a promise of retaliation to anyone who wishes to harm that nation without due cause. This starts getting into the point I made about our military being flexible. If we are completely at home with no ships, bases, or ties to any country outside of the U.S. then we have to leave from the U.S. to go across the globe to respond to anything. Whereas if we are in Europe, even if we have nothing in the middle east our northern Africa it reduces response time significantly. It also assures any enemy of ours or our allies that we are there and behind them. The need for a flexible military is paramount in this world where things happen so quickly.

In short I say, is the status quo the right way to go? Absolutely not, but I do not wish to throw the baby out with the bath water as it were by going the exact opposite direction. There is a better way.