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,