The last time the GOP held the presidency, America was embroiled in two Vietnam-esque wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, both of which drove the country’s deficits and debt up to astonishing proportions. President Obama extricated our military from Iraq (we will have “advisors” there for some time, though) and he’s attempting to wind down the Beckettian “Waiting for Al Qaeda” in Afghan’s Hindu Kush mountains.
The GOP unwaveringly whined about Obama’s support of the Libyan rebels, but at least he didn’t commit US ground troops into endless quagmire now, did he? Obama has also felt the domestic and international heat with the Syrian revolution, condemning the Bashar Al-Assad government, but unable to truly help tip the war in favor of the rebels. Obama didn’t want to start a war before an election, even one as justified as the rebel cause in Syria, and has worked for consensus at the UN, unlike his predecessor.
Let’s imagine for a moment that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan were elected. What would the next years of American foreign policy and military activity look like?
First of all, there would be no cuts to the defense budget. Ryan has voted for every defense spending increase since elected to the House of Representatives. Romney, for his part, has stated unequivocally that he would not cut defense.
It’s important to realize that America’s military is not so much an international peace-keeping force, or democracy’s enabler and guardian, but the militarized arm of America’s banking and big business industries. They make it safe for America’s monied elite to do business in an innocuous neo-colonialist form.
Romney and Ryan have proven that they are all about money and military, so it goes without saying that there’s a good possibility they will go on the offensive (national defense is so passé) to keep the global economy a-churning. Romney and Ryan both admire Ronald Reagan, and he was a master at launching covert wars and/or arming anti-government rebels in countries like Nicaragua, El Salvador and Afghanistan, to reap the economic rewards.
Below are 6 more countries ripe for GOP invasion.
This is an obvious target, what with all of the maniacal nuclear posturing and anti-Israeli sentiment. With Obama, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu isn’t exactly sure his pre-emptive strike talk will be supported, but with a Romney and the faithful in control of the White House again, Netanyahu won’t have to convince anybody. Besides, there is an economic incentive to overthrowing Iran: the oil reserves. If Islamic terrorism achieved anything positive, it was that it provided the US government with all the cover it needed to militarily invade and set up puppet governments who will keep America awash in cheap oil.
Let’s face it: the Egyptian revolution was a failure. Power is now concentrated in the hands of an Islamist government. As noted by the Wall Street Journal, the US government is attempting to help Egypt close its $25 billion budget shortfall with a $1 billion aid package, which is really just a form of diplomatic bribery. If Romney were elected, and Egypt drifted away from its traditional US support (or if it got openly hostile to Israel), it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that the US could help Egypt’s disgruntled rebels foment a new war.
This would be the grandaddy of wars. Romney is incredibly pissed about China’s currency fixing, and there doesn’t seem to be a diplomatic answer to this issue. China, quite clearly, does as it pleases. The only way to reset the balance would be war. The GOP platform states:
The chief offender is China, which has built up its economy in part by piggybacking onto Western technological advances, manipulates its currency to the disadvantage of American exporters, excludes American products from government purchases, subsidizes Chinese companies to give them a commercial advantage, and invents regulations and standards designed to keep out foreign competition. The current Administration’s way of dealing with all these violations of world trade standards has been a virtual surrender.
China is well-aware of Romney’s antagonistic stance. This past Monday in a China Daily (the state-run newspaper) published an editorial characterizing Mr. Romney’s policies as “an outdated manifestation of a Cold War mentality” that “endorses the ‘China threat’ theory and focuses on containing China’s rise.”
The 2012 GOP platform clearly states: “In the face of China’s accelerated military build-up, the United States and our allies must maintain appropriate military capabilities to discourage any aggressive or coercive behavior by China against its neighbors.”
“The Department of Defense should reconsider recent decisions not to sell top-of-the-line equipment to our closest Asian allies,” the GOP platform states. “We should be coordinating with Taiwan to determine its military needs and supplying them with adequate aircraft and other military platforms.”
Perhaps the GOP is appealing to the more idiotic branch of the party, which is fiercely anti-China; but one can’t help but wonder if Romney would back up his rhetoric with military maneuvers.
Again, this one is obvious. Kim Jong Eun only recently took power and is surrounded by old guard military hawks, which makes it possible that under a Romney presidency the US could end up in a war with North Korea. There are hints, as CBS notes, that Kim Jong Eun is more open to free market principles, and he’s been less militant than his father, but it’s wait and see for now.
After the above countries, the US is really running out of options for invasion. Somalia is a possibility but there’s not much money to be made there. Venezuela is one of the most visible targets because of Hugo Chavez’s very public anti-US rhetoric.
Romney himself attempted to drum up hysteria against Venezuela in July, saying of Obama’s Venezuelan policy, ”It is disturbing to see him downplaying the threat posed to U.S. interests by a regime that openly wishes us ill,” Romney said in a statement. “President Obama’s remarks continue a pattern of weakness in his foreign policy, one that has emboldened adversaries and diminished U.S. influence.”
Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt hit back with the simple truth: ”Hugo Chavez has become increasingly marginalized and his influence has waned. It’s baffling that Mitt Romney is so scared of a leader like Chavez whose power is fading.”
Baffling, indeed. Perhaps it’s mere rhetoric meant to mobilize the GOP’s mindless anti-socialist base, but with Venezuela’s massive oil reserves, meddling in the South American country (as per the archaic Monroe Doctrine) is not out of the question if Romney were elected. If the man has proven anything in his career in business and politics, it is that he elevates money above all else.
Last but certainly not least: Syria. Romney has openly stated that he would send US troops to Syria to aid in the revolution.
“I think we have to also be ready to take whatever action is necessary to ensure that we do not have any kind of weapon of mass destruction falling into the hands of terrorists and whether that requires troops, or whether that requires other actions by our friends and allies,” Romney said in an interview with CBS News.
What’s particularly troublesome about an open commitment to US troops in Syria is that there are so many economic, religious and state alliances at play. In the early 20th century, this vortex of alliances would be enough to trigger a world war. Indeed, what we have right now is in effect a proxy world war.
If Romney backed his Syria rhetoric with actual military deployment, Americans would have to hope that the China-Russia alliance wouldn’t militarily push back, thereby triggering a world war. Diplomacy is the only sane route here, but after Bush and the GOP’s irrational invasion of Iraq, don’t expect the world to just sit by as Romney and his party continue subduing the Middle East. There is too much oil and Islamic blood at stake for everyone to simply remain neutral.