by Right Wing Fighter
American foreign policy should have just one goal: American self-interest for the short and long-term. Our money, our soldiers’ lives, and the political capital that foreign interventions require should only be used for our own good. I understand the desire to help other people around the world with their problems. But what is the usual result? Most of the time, the nation reverts to its former bad position as soon as our hand is removed. This is because we intervene in countries that can’t (or don’t care to) hold on to what we give them. Thus we waste money, lives, and political capital on the world stage just throwing good after bad.
Now, when I say self-interest, I don’t mean that we should behave immorally or exploit other nations. We shouldn’t try to give other countries a raw deal and pass it off as “just looking out for ourselves.” We should act forthrightly and decently towards the other countries of the world. But we must stop behaving like a charity for other countries. They’ve got their own means, their own governments, and their own intelligent men to figure out problems. They can solve their own problems, and we can leave them to do it.
America is about twenty trillion dollars in debt. Our military is in pretty good shape, but has been overused over the past two decades. Our military funding should be focused on modernizing our equipment. Many of our aircraft were invented half a century ago. Some of our infantry weapons are even older. Many of our soldiers have fought multiple tours of duty in the Middle East and are getting ground down by such lengthy service. We should spend our time and money on improving our military, and not spend its energy and vitality on thankless tasks around the globe.
I want to make a final point before closing: we must think in both the short and the long term in foreign policy. We need to have alliances for our own good, and that means sometimes working with allies now, so that they’ll help us later. In the heat of the moment this may look like acting without self-interest, but it serves us to build up credit with other nations so that they’ll help us when we need it.