Neocons often invoke the memory of Ronald Reagan’s strength to bolster their goal of military intervention overseas. But while the Gipper might have favored a larger military during the Cold War era, he certainly wasn’t prone to using it for ill-fated overseas adventurism. None of the interventions neocons have recently advocated for have lived up to the Reagan doctrine requirements outlined here by Congressman John Duncan Jr.
(1) The United States should not commit its forces to military action overseas unless the cause is vital to our national interest;
(2) If the decision is made to commit our forces to combat abroad, it must be done with the clear intent and support needed to win … and there must be clearly defined and realistic objectives;
(3) Before we commit our troops to combat, there must be reasonable assurance that the cause we are fighting for and the actions we take will have the support of the American people and Congress, and
(4) Even after all these other tests are met, our troops should be committed to combat abroad only as a last resort, when no other choice is available.