WEST: When Foreign Policy and National Security Are Based Upon Campaign Promises

by Allen West for Townhall

I am truly honored to be presenting my very first piece for the readers of Townhall.com as a contributor. I started as a Townhall.com reader myself while on assignment as a civilian-military adviser to the Afghanistan National Army, 2005-2007, after having spent 22 years on active duty service to our Republic in the U.S. It is against that background that I wish to share my thoughts.

America finds itself in what may perhaps be the worst global security situation since the prelude to World War II – and that is not hyperbole. We are at a point where our allies feel abandoned and our enemies feel emboldened. I believe that this degraded situation emanates from one single mistake over the past six years – basing foreign policy and national security on election campaign promises.

When President Obama proclaims that he was elected to “end wars,” he failed to realize that there are only two ways by which that occurs – victory or defeat. You cannot “end a war” by unilateral declaration that you are quitting – that only tends to empower an adversary. Now there are those who will castigate me as a “warmonger,” but I subscribe to two simple premises; “peace through strength” and “decisive victory through overwhelming power.” These are two fundamental principles that we have abandoned. I believe it was Plato who stated, “only the dead have seen the end of war.”

President John F. Kennedy even quipped, “The absence of war is not peace.” This is not to say there must be a perpetual state of war – but rather there should be a preparedness that serves as a deterrent to global belligerence. Do not tell me “America is war weary” – less than 4 percent of this nation has been serving in these current conflagrations.

America is leadership weary – and leading from behind is what we call down South, “following.”


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