Gary Johnson on Foreign Policy
Libertarian presidential nominee; former Republican NM Governor
Gary Johnson: Hillary Clinton thinks we're safer with regime change despite Libya, Iraq, Syria. The civil war in Syria is heart-breaking. Without strong diplomacy, Hillary's safe zone [would be] ineffective and would require U.S. boots on the ground.
The former New Mexico governor has been widely panned for a pair of foreign policy gaffes that have weighed down his long-shot candidacy. First, Johnson responded to a question about the ongoing civil war in Syria by asking his questioner, "What is Aleppo?" His inability to recognize Syria's largest city, and the epicenter of its humanitarian crisis, was compounded last week when Johnson was to "name one foreign leader that you respect and look up to." Johnson could not name one and admitted that he was having another "Aleppo moment."
Johnson, like most Libertarians, supports non-interventionist foreign and military policies.
"We put our military in this horrible situation where we go in and support regime change. They get involved in civil wars where hundreds of thousands of innocent people are in a cross fire. We're literally shooting at ourselves because we support both sides of conflicts, Syria as an example," he said. "We wonder why our men in service and women suffer from PTSD in the first place. It's because we elect people who can dot the i's and cross the t's on these names and geographic locations as opposed to the underlying philosophy which is let's stop getting involved in these regime changes. "
A: We need to take our share, and I'm not sure what that share should be. I'd like to come up with a formula based on our coalition partners. I wouldn't say zero, but I don't know if 65,000 puts us in the category of "our fair share."
The list goes on and on. Our ill-advised attempts to shape the outcomes of civil wars and replace bad guys with slightly less bad guys have not only failed, but have created vacuums that are today being filled by the politics of Sharia.
The cost of those interventions has been tremendous, with too many of our young men and women of the military killed and wounded... and trillions of dollars spent ineffectively.
A: We're always talking about sanctions, and sanctions just don't work. And when you look at Ukraine right now, I think that would be analogous to Russia getting involved in Puerto Rico. They're not going to do it. We shouldn't get involved in Ukraine. There are unintended consequences as a result of our military interventions. We have hundreds of millions of enemies to this country because of our military interventions.
Q: How should the US approach the crisis in Ukraine? Should the US do more or less?
A: Well, less! Look, don't get involved in Ukraine! It would be like Russia getting involved in the affairs of Puerto Rico. We shouldn't be involved in Ukraine! There's no national security interest here at stake. And I know you'll hear politicians beating their chests, arguing the opposite. The government has an obligation to protect us against foreign governments that might do us harm--this is not one of those situations.
Gary Johnson: It is far past time to divorce Pakistan. We should eliminate our aid to them, and to all countries for that matter. The U.S. cannot afford to continue printing money and debasing our currency in order to support regimes that do not act in our interests. We need to focus on fixing our own domestic problems rather than ineffectively trying to control other countries.
Meanwhile, the federal government is spending us deeper and deeper into debt while we shell out billions in foreign aid we can no longer afford and trillions more for foreign wars in which our national interest is just not apparent to me.
JOHNSON: With regard to flights to Cuba, I'm in favor of the whole notion that trade promotes friendship, as opposed to not. So I would be inclined to looking at establishing or supporting those kinds of flights.
BACHMANN: We would never have flights between the United States and Cuba. It's a state sponsor of terror.
A: I think we should act in our self-interest. As I understand it, I think Eisenhower was a pretty good role model for that. Morally, you can justify almost anything we do by saying that we're doing it for the sake of others. I would point to past realities that have unintended consequences. For example, by taking out [the secular regime in] Iraq, we removed a threat to [the religious totalitarian regime] Iran.
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