Sunday, March 27, 2016

Odd Mixture of Libertarian Concerns With Real World Foreign Policy

Back when I was active in the Libertarian Party, the platform supported withdrawing our forces from our allies because our defense spending was so large that it allowed them to engage in their welfare state delusions.  It is likely true that Idaho taxpayers pay more to defend many European countries than they do.  But withdrawal has its own problems.  Trump has an interesting combination described in 3/26/16 N.Y. Post:
Donald Trump wants US allies to ante up if they want to continue under the “cloak of American protection,” according to his first detailed comments on his foreign-policy platform.

“We’re not being reimbursed for the kind of tremendous service that we’re performing by protecting various countries,” the Republican front-runner was quoted as saying.

Trump said he would boycott oil from Saudi Arabia and other allies ­unless they provide troops or funds to fight ISIS.

“If Saudi Arabia was without the cloak of American protection . . . I don’t think it would be around,” he told The New York Times.

Trump is open to removing US forces from Japan and South Korea if they did not take on the cost of housing and feeding troops on American bases there, the report said.

He argued that it is getting expensive to keep “defending the world.”


  1. Trump again displays his ignorance.

    Saudi Arabia has provided billions of $ of support for U.S. military operations in the Middle East, and is fighting a full-scale war against Islamist rebels in Yemen.

    Oh, and his threat to "boycott" oil from Saudi Arabia is utterly meaningless. The U.S. buys very little oil from Saudi Arabia (our main sources are Canada, Mexico, and Nigeria). If the U.S. did stop buying oil from Saudi Arabia, we would have to buy more oil from other producers, whose other customers would buy more Saudi oil.

  2. Then the Saudis have nothing to worry about. He probably knows we don't buy oil in quantity from the Saudis, but it sounds good.

  3. I agree with Rich. Trump is blowing smoke. Oil is a fungible commodity, so you really can't boycott someone unless you get the whole world to do it.

    But then, Trump has shown himself to have an unhealthy relationship with truth in general - basically, if he tells the truth, it's an accident.

  4. Trump has not shown strong levels of knowledge about recent history, but like Reagan, who was often poorly informed, his heart seems in the right place.

  5. I have to disagree about Reagan. The man was very well informed. He read a lot over a long period of time. He also wrote a lot, between offices, that shows his deep knowledge and understanding. He also was a governor of the largest state before running for the Presidency.

    As another example, Nixon had a near genius IQ and was an expert on Southeast Asia before he was elected.

    The main stream media and the Democrats always claim that Republican leaders are "amiable dunces" (their term for Reagan) or just plain dumb. They have always been wrong.

    Don't fall for that BS.

  6. Our Cold War allies the Saudis also supported the Sandinistas. Unfortunately, they are also the chief exporter of Wahhabist institutions.

  7. Oil is a fungible commodity

    That's not true, it's dirty stuff that comes out of the ground with various mixtures of hydrocarbons, "light" to "heavy", and often with catalyst killing contaminants like sulfur, "sour", and refineries are tuned to their feedstocks, with limited substitutibility. Check out e.g. West Texas Intermediate and the other benchmark crud oils it mentions.

    That's one of the theories about why the Saudis are not limiting production to keep world prices up, they've decided they lose too much semi-permanent market share doing that.

  8. The sad thing is that we are not protecting Europe and the Middle East for THEIR benefit any more than Rome did.

    We protect them in order to establish and maintain US imperial power.