A more restrained and realistic defense and foreign policy is long overdue, and isn’t being offered by the other two parties.
America’s never-ending wars in the Middle East continue to drag on, and expand, under both Republican and Democratic presidents and congressional majorities, including those elected on the promise of ending them. It is time to bring these futile quagmires to an end, and return to a foreign policy focused on defense and diplomacy, not nation-building and constant meddling in the affairs of others.
I believe it is time for Congress to exercise its constitutional powers, and truly support our troops, by bringing them home. Americans elected a Democratic Congress, and then a Democratic President, on a promise to end an unpopular Republican’s wars. Instead we have got only more of the same, and it’s time to accept that both Republicans and Democrats have failed to prudently exercise the most important power of the federal government.
As your Representative-
-I will seek to update and revise the War Powers Act, giving it real teeth, and make real the penalty that any President and Secretary of Defense engaging in hostilities without Congressional approval should face not only impeachment, but also criminal prosecution.
-I will introduce legislation, requiring the soonest practicable withdrawal of American military forces from Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, Pakistan, and Somalia.
-I will vote against the ineffective policy of sanctions and diplomatic isolation of rogue states, which history proves are much more likely to cause a war than to prevent one. The best thing the United States can do to undermine authoritarian and despotic regimes around the world, and prevent acts of aggression, is allow their people access to global commerce, culture, and communications.
-I will vote against any Declaration of War, or Authorization for the Use of Military Force, that does not relate to a real or imminent attack on the United States by a hostile foreign power. I will vote to repeal the open-ended perpetual AUMFs of 2001 (Afghanistan) and 2002 (Iraq).
-I will introduce legislation to close American military bases, and end the stationing of American forces, in rich developed nations in Asia and Europe, that are perfectly capable of paying for their own defense needs, and where the original geopolitical justification has been obsolete for decades.
-I will introduce amendments to reduce the bloated Pentagon budget, scrapping ineffective and corrupt boondoggles like the F-35, in favor of a strong, effective military capable of providing its fundamental purpose: defending the United States. This would entail a total spending reduction, of at least 40%.
-I will introduce legislation, instructing the Department of Defense to study re-aligning its military doctrine and strategy to meet its new, more realistic budget expectations, in particular to replace the outdated doctrine of being able to provide for “two-and-half” theater-sized wars anywhere on the globe, with a more restrained focus on the territorial defense of the United States and potential operations in the Western Hemisphere.
-I will propose that some of the substantial savings from the Pentagon budget, be devoted to improving the care owed by our government to the veterans its wars have created, including allowing for veterans to use more of their VA benefits at private hospitals and doctors.