For a very long time now I have been calling for the removal of U.S. troops from Japan, Korea, the Middle East and Europe. Why are Americans put in the line of fire? Why are American taxpayers subsidizing the defense of nearly the entire world? Advanced nations like Germany and Japan have near zero defensive capabilities when in fact they should be powerhouses in their region, offseting possible threats like China and Russia. Is it because America is an “ally” of these nations? What does an alliance even mean if your ally cannot deploy force to aid you in your battles? Other than the Brits, Poles, and a few other small countries, NATO has done extremely little to aid America in its wars in the Middle East.
Projection of American power through the military should end on the high seas. America shouldn’t have hundreds of thousands of soldiers, marines, sailors and airmen based around the world. The news of new troubles in Korea is disheartening to say the least. Due to the umbrella of protection that the U.S. has given South Korea since the Korean War (should I say First Korean War?), the South has been lazy about building its defensive capabilities.
In the last five decades South Korea has gone from third world backwater to powerhouse industrial nation. The South is so powerful, it even feels that it need not sign a free trade agreement with the United States, the very country that has been protecting its success for all these years. Tell me again what America is getting from this alliance? South Korea should long ago have hardened itself to the threat of North Korean aggression, with or without assistance from the U.S.
The burden of defending the world is large. As Pat Buchanan writes at Human Events “We borrow from Europe to defend Europe. We borrow from Japan and China to defend Japan from China. We borrow from the Gulf Arabs to defend the Gulf Arabs.” Imagine the savings to the American people if they were not paying to defend their “allies.” I am thinking of a number in the hundreds of billions per year, at least.
Obviously some of the military presence in the Middle East is based on the preservation of peace in the energy markets of the world. In light of that, the energy policy of the United States is in need of major upgrades. The first thing House Republicans can do to show Americans they are serious about energy policy reform would be to put a true conservative in charge of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. In line for the spot today is the liberal Michigan Republican, Fred Upton. Based on his liberal voting record, Upton doesn’t deserve to be captain of a high school debate team, let alone chairman of Energy and Commerce committee. Upton is perhaps most famous for writing legislation to ban incandescent light bulbs. A true conservative is needed here.
Speaking of terrible energy policy, Al Gore has now admitted that ethanol subsidies are a terrible idea. Gore admitted that he really only supported ethanol to win votes from farm state voters, including those of his home state of Tennessee. The editors of the Wall Street Journal write, “biofuels increase carbon emissions more than fossil fuels do.” That should be no surprise to anyone, considering all the fuel it takes to farm, transport and pump ethanol. If it were such an energy savings, it wouldn’t need the subsidies that Al Gore supported over and over again to win votes.
It’s just that kind of special interest pandering that has Americans so hopping mad. No one wants to see politicians giving away favors for votes. Perhaps that’s why the Obama administration is polling so poorly. Among the most crucial voting group in America, women, Barack Obama has lost his edge. He is now polling at 49% approval among women, a loss of seven percentage points compared to his electoral totals. That’s a nail in the coffin for any bid for reelection. Americans are simply angry. When they see the United Auto Workers being made whole on the sale of their GM stock before taxpayers are, that gets them angry. That kind of special interest giveaway is just the kind of thing that will get a conservative elected in 2012.