Salt Lake City, Utah — In a new Internet video focused on foreign policy, Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson says, “We need a chess player in the White House, and we need policies guided by principle, not politics.”
Citing the foreign policy of the past two Administrations, Johnson says, “We know that the erratic military interventions of the past 15 years have not made Americans safer. And it’s pretty difficult to see how we’ve made anyone else safer either.
“Is Iraq better off today than it was before we invaded? Is Libya more stable or ‘safer’ since we helped topple its government? 15 years later, is Afghanistan any more democratic or safer than it was before we made it the subject in a nation-building experiment? And in Syria today, are our bombs actually stopping a massive human tragedy?
“And then, the most important question is: Has any of this made America safer, freer or more secure? The answer, unfortunately, is no.”
Outlining an approach focused on clear objectives, Johnson continues, “First, let’s be absolutely clear. The President’s first and most solemn responsibility is to keep us and our freedoms safe, especially from foreign attack. If the government does nothing else, it must do that.
“Keeping us safe means having a military capability that is unquestionably second to none. And if we stop asking our military to intervene in civil wars, build nations and replace the government of other nations, we can afford to defend ourselves without bankrupting ourselves.
“Our foreign policy must support America’s interests — the most important being our own security. That seems obvious, but for some time now, that hasn’t been the case.
“We must expect and demand that other nations shoulder the responsibility for their own defense and economic well-being. We are broke. We’ll honor our commitments to NATO and the agreements we have with allies, but we can’t keep picking up the tab for the national defense and economies of other nations.
“We must not ask our military to engage in conflicts without a clear mission and clear authorization. In Afghanistan and Iraq, what were our objectives — and when could we possibly know when “mission accomplished” arrived?
“We have the finest military in the world, and the finest men and women serving in it. They deserve better than being sent on impossible missions with no clear purpose. They signed up to protect and defend America — not to risk their lives in civil wars without even knowing for sure which side they are fighting on.
“And when we send our military out to risk their lives, the least we can do is give them the support of constitutional authorization from Congress. As President, I will honor the Constitution and insist on congressional authorization if and when it comes time to send our troops into harm’s way.”