Since tonight's debate involves foreign policy, I thought it would be appropriate to share my response to an inquiry on this subject today:
What would justify the US military getting involved in a foreign conflict?
Of course that is a difficult question to answer for someone in my position, for several reasons. Number one, I don't have the sort of information available to me that the commander-in-chief has. Number two, lacking that vital information, we are therefore not always able to easily see the whole strategic picture that would help guide our tactical considerations. I'm not dodging the question. I'm stating the facts.
But, speaking generally, there are a number of situations that could lead us into war. Here are a few of them:
1. A threat to the lives, liberty, or property of the American people.
2. A threat to the sovereignty, security, or territory of the United States.
3. A threat to allies with which we have constitutionally-ratified and valid treaty obligations.
4. Strategic threats that could put any, or all, of the above, or the members of our armed forces, in peril.
While the commander-in-chief has the obligation to respond appropriately and immediately to all such threats where time is of the essence, morally, constitutionally, and in terms of practicality, he cannot wage war for any length of time without the involvement of Congress, and, by extension, the American people they represent.
Of course, great restraint is required at all times. Our people should not be sent into harm's way unless and until it is absolutely necessary.
Would vital American interests have to be at stake in an obvious way or would we be justified, for example, in getting involved in, say Syria, to take out Assad?
Based on the limited information that I have right now, no, I do not think direct American involvement in situations like we see right now in Syria are called for.
By the way, the last of three AIP of California presidential debates that I'm participating in is tonight, and the subject is foreign policy and defense. So, your questions are quite timely.
The debate is at 9 pm Eastern, and the live link to listen can be found at the top of the thread at this link:
Tom Hoefling to debate Virgil Goode [Last of 3 debates is tonight!] http://www.americaspartynews.com/talk/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=24214&posts=13
I know that my answers to your questions are brief, and therefore far from complete, but it's all I can muster the time for in the midst of a very, very busy schedule today.
We can always explore these important matters more deeply on one of our twice-weekly America's Summit calls should you desire to do so. That link and information is here:
Of course tonight's call is not taking place because of the debate, but we'll be back on schedule this Thursday night, Lord willing.
Thanks for listening.
For Life, Liberty and the Constitution,
"We have counted the cost of this contest, and find nothing so dreadful as voluntary slavery. Honor, justice, and humanity forbid us tamely to surrender that freedom which we received from our gallant ancestors, and which our innocent posterity have a right to receive from us. We cannot endure the infamy and guilt of resigning succeeding generations to that wretchedness which inevitably awaits them if we basely entail hereditary bondage upon them. Our cause is just. Our union is perfect. Our internal resources are great… We gratefully acknowledge, as signal instances of the Divine favor towards us, that His Providence would not permit us to be called into this severe controversy until we were grown up to our present strength, had been previously exercised in warlike operation, and possessed of the means of defending ourselves. With hearts fortified with these animating reflections, we most solemnly, before God and the world, declare that, exerting the utmost energy of those powers which our beneficent Creator hath graciously bestowed upon us, the arms we have been compelled by our enemies to assume we will, in defiance of every hazard, with unabating firmness and perseverance, employ for the preservation of our liberties; being with one mind resolved to die freemen rather than to live slaves."
— Declaration of Causes and Necessity of Taking up Arms - July 6, 1775
Provided courtesy of the Peace Through Strength Institute
The Washington Examiner
This week, Americans were given a window into the way world leaders speak to one another in private. A conversation between [Alleged] President Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev was caught on a microphone that neither man realized was live.
"On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this can be solved," Obama said. "But it's important for [incoming Russian President Vladimir Putin] to give me space ... This is my last election. After my election, I have more flexibility."
"I understand," Medvedev responded. "I will transmit this information to Vladimir." The exchange comes two-and-a-half years after Obama scrapped Bush-era missile defense plans in Eastern Europe, bowing to pressure from the Russians.
This unfortunate hot-mic exchange will have security implications, and it will surely sour our relations with allies in that part of the world. But as much as America's allies might be angered by Obama's words, Americans should be even more so. Their president -- the man charged with conducting America's foreign policy and overseeing its defense -- told another world leader that he is willing to make concessions on an important issue once he has finally and permanently escaped accountability to them. At that point, Obama said, he will have "more flexibility," presumably to do something they might disapprove of in an election year or view as not in the nation's best interests.
Set aside the important question of missile defense -- Obama was a skeptic on that long before he ran for president. This magic microphone moment calls into question Obama's concept of government service. If he is acting in Americans' interests, why must he hide his intentions until his second term? The incident also suggests a rather dim view of American citizens -- as rabble unable to grasp the pros and cons of issues like missile defense.
Read this story at washingtonexaminer.com ...
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Tom Hoefling on Government:
"Just as 'good fences make for good neighbors,' good government is mainly about knowing where the legitimate boundaries are, and having the courage to defend those borders forcefully. This is true in terms of the defense of our territory, our security, and our national sovereignty, but it also applies to the sworn duty of all of those in government to equally protect the God-given, unalienable rights of each individual person, from their creation onward, their sacred obligation to stay well within the enumerated powers of our constitutions, and of the role legitimate government must play in balancing the competing rights and interests of the people, in order to establish justice."