Joe Scarborough on Foreign Policy

Former Republican Representative (FL-1)


Don't allow military units to run humanitarian missions

The Clinton cabinet seemed to view foreign policy as an extension of social work. We conservatives used our majority in Congress to attack that approach as unfocused, undisciplined, and Wilsonian.

For most conservatives, the Cold War was a necessary evil. U.S. global involvement was the only option available for the containment of the Communist threat. But after the Soviet Union fell, Republicans I served with in Congress believed that the United States should engage in less military adventurism while narrowing its focus abroad.

So cautious were many conservatives involving the use of military power that Democratic policymakers like President Clinton's secretary of state, Madeleine Albright, accused GOP leaders of standing in the way of humanitarian missions run by military units.

She was right. We did. And we were proud of it.

Source: The Last Best Hope, by Joe Scarborough, p. 28 , Oct 5, 2010

Be wary of using US troops to promote social policy globally

The classically conservative values that should inform American foreign policy are prudence, restraint, and realism. Those values may be promoted best when conservatives adopt the Weinberger-Powell approach to war.

That doctrine directs U.S. leaders, in part, to use military intervention as a solution to international crises only after all other means of resolving the conflict are exhausted. History has proven that nothing more violently disrupts a nation's social order than warfare. The fact that conservatism is viewed currently as a movement predisposed to militarism is ironic, to say the least. That impression must be changed over time.

Conservative leaders should once again become wary of ideologues who seek to use American troops to promote social policy on a global scale. We should also reject the view of those who forcefully argued that America should intervene in failing states like Bosnia and Kosovo-even when there was no vital U.S. interest in the region.

Source: The Last Best Hope, by Joe Scarborough, p. 57 , Oct 5, 2010

Go to war as a last resort, and then come home

Our goal should be to keep Americans safe and protect U.S. interests across the world when they directly impact our strategic national interests. As a general principle, Washington politicians should leave international moral crusades and global social work to the United Nations and Angelina Jolie.

The second guiding principle conservatives must relearn in the force provision of the Powell Doctrine. General Powell believed that America should not only go to war as a last resort, but when we engage, the force applied should be decisive: We should cut our enemies off. We should kill them. And then we should come home.

The third principle the Bush experience taught is that conservative should treat with great skepticism all those claiming that democracy will transform nations and heal all divisions. I say this as a conservative who was moved to tears with the fall of the Berlin Wall and the liberation of Iraq in 2003.

Source: The Last Best Hope, by Joe Scarborough, p. 59 , Oct 5, 2010

American exceptionalism yes; military over-stretch no

A lesson for conservatives is to understand America's limits.

I believe in American exceptionalism. I also believe a conservative foreign policy approach should proudly acknowledge that America is the greatest force for good in the world.

But conservatives must also acknowledge that the U.S, military is overstretched. The United States is facing a crippling debt, its economy is in crisis, its people are war-weary, and America's days of being the world's watchman are over.

The international community has rapidly moved from being bipolar, to unipolar, to multipolar. It would serve our leaders well to acknowledge this change and exploit new realities to the best advantage to the United States.

Source: The Last Best Hope, by Joe Scarborough, p. 62 , Oct 5, 2010

Voted YES on withholding $244M in UN Back Payments until US seat restored.

Vote to adopt an amendment that would require that the United States be restored to its seat on the UN Human Rights Commission before the payment of $244 million in funds already designated to pay UN back dues.
Reference: Amendment sponsored by Hyde, R-IL; Bill HR 1646 ; vote number 2001-107 on May 10, 2001

Voted NO on $156M to IMF for 3rd-world debt reduction.

Vote on an amendment that would transfer $156 million from foreign military financing to the Highly Indebted Poor Countries [HIPC] Trust Fund. The HIPC Trust fund is designed to help debtor countries pay off the money they owe to multilateral agencies such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
Reference: Amendment sponsored by Waters, D-CA; Bill HR 4811 ; vote number 2000-397 on Jul 13, 2000

Member of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus.

Scarborough is a member of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus

The Congressional Human Rights Caucus (CHRC) is a bipartisan group of Members of Congress in the United States House of Representatives that works to raise awareness about and combat human rights abuses throughout the world.

The caucus keeps members and their staff informed of opportunities to help through briefings on human rights topics and letter initiatives.

Source: Congressional Caucus Web site 01-CHRC0 on Jan 8, 2001

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