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john65pennington's avatar

Poll: how many people believe that the U.S. should stay out of foreign wars?

Asked by john65pennington (29235points) December 26th, 2011

That, the United States should keep our military strong and to protect only direct and indirect threats to our homeland. I realize that some other countries cannot defend themselves, but this is a situation that has existed for many years. Defending foreign countries one major reason the U.S. economy is in the shape it is today. Question: would the $100 million dollars spent on Iraq have helped our economy? If not, at least it would have kept our troops from being killed in a questionable war abroad. Lets keep our money and troops at home. Agree?

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13 Answers

judochop's avatar

The real cost of war (and this number continues to grow by the day) is:

We could have solved a lot of problems state side if we had it.

Personal thoughts…...Yes, the USA has no place in leading a war in a foreign country unless there is a direct threat to our soil and despite the terrorist attacks in the USA it could have been much, much better handled by the CIA and hired hands.

Political thoughts…..But my daddy’s company needs to gross profit this year or we run the risk of loosing our investment dollars from Rubbermaid and with all of our dollars tied up in blue chip stock on the market and all of the companies 401K’s dressed up and playing house with other investors we’d better do something or we are gonna go to prison.

War is pointless. Don’t get me wrong, I am no tree hugger and I enjoy a goof fist fight and even a little death defying action but really….war is just prick waving.

Keep it stateside. Solve our own issues. Provide health care…Pay for college.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

We should take all that war money and instead of building bombs and tanks, set up free internet access via satellite network and bombard the entire planet with free knowledge.

Bypass the governments altogether… Just give their people access to knowledge.

We need to break down barriers, dispel myths, overcome prejudice by offering free access to truth. War is a business. It has nothing to do with protection.

elbanditoroso's avatar

I think it is dishonest to make any sort of a blanket statement like “we should stay out of all foreign wars”. It’s rather simplistic as well. Things are usually more complicated than that.

My view is that each potential war has to be considered on its merits – meaning that we need to – as a country, not as a few republicans or democrats in a smoky room – discuss the goals and objectives, as well as costs (both dollars and people). And once these discussion have taken place, then there is a decision. What did in Iraq/Afghanistan was ass backwards. We decided to go to war and then made up reasons for it.

My view is that the military should NOT be at the policy table. They carry out the decision, but they are not a part of the decision, other than to report on readiness.

But to say that all foreign wars are bad is just myopic and silly.

geeky_mama's avatar

My opinion on this topic was more eloquently stated in Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower’s farewell address given on Jan. 17, 1961.
There was also an excellent documentary made in 2005 called Why We Fight(2005_film)

In short, we the American people have been misled by our Government (and over many administrations—so I’m not merely pointing blame at Bush Sr. and Jr.) into believing that there are economic benefits and a “need” for America to pursue our role as the “Global Policeman”.

The threat was clear to General Eisenhower—he was truly qualified to see it from his ample military experiences and Presidential perch..He said:

“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.”

The rise and maintenance of the United States military–industrial complex and its fifty-year involvement with the wars led by the United States to date are evidence that the we citizens of the US have not been alert and knowledgeable. Why weren’t we questioning more loudly the $100M spent invading Iraq? And what in the world did Iraq have to do with 9/11? Not a damn thing. How did it become un-American to question our government’s involvement in a foreign war? It should have been lauded, not deplorable. I occasionally saw protesters – but I’d say the Occupy movement has had better organization and press than anti-Iraq war protesters. Sad but true.

We’ve largely sat back and let our leaders fund foreign wars, an arms race and nuclear weapons. The economic benefits appear (at least today, in the depths of nearly worldwide economic depression) to not have been worth it.

What if all the money we’d spent all these years in the “Defense” of our nation had been instead simply international funding for clean water and other humanitarian (e.g. an expanded version of the Peace Corps) agencies. What if, instead of invading Afghanistan we just built schools for Afghani girls and educated them when the Taliban would not?

It wasn’t that we out-spent or had better technology than the Russians—Glasnost came from within! They wanted Western music, movies and fashion. What a waste all those years of funding Star Wars (and I don’t mean the George Lucas movies!) and such failed policy we had in the Cold War…

The same with the Arab Spring. We haven’t “brought democracy” to the Arab world by invading Iraq and killing Saddam—the Arab Spring happened DESPITE our intervention in the Middle East, not because of it.

And, just to be clear – I’m not anti-military. I have a cousin who is active duty Airforce who flies into Afghanistan and Iraq and my dear friend’s husband is Nat’l Guard currently deployed doing base tear down convoy guard duty moving those last American soldiers out of Iraq and is stationed in Kuwait. I came within a hair’s breath of signing up for the Air Force, too. I don’t find fault with the military – I find fault with the Hawks who primarily have dominated our Foreign Policy over the past 50 years.

elbanditoroso's avatar

The flaw in @geeky_mama and @RealEyesRealizeRealLies answers has to do with the assertion that the money (wasted on war) would have been spent on parks, schools, or things like that.

It wouldn’t have. Geeky suggests that we should have built Afghan schools. Two problems there – (1) it wouldn’t have enriched the military industrial complex, so the Army would have nothing to gain. and (2) Congress would never appropriate money for building schools (alone), because that is a non-republican thing tom do. It is perfectly fine to spend money on weapons and defense, but there is no congressional love for schools or education – even if the US population is the recipient – and an Afghani school is even less attractive.

So there is absolutely zilch chance that (had there been no Iraq and Afghanistan war in 2002+) that the money would have gone for either of the laudable ideas that were suggested.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

I think you misunderstand me @elbanditoroso. My tactic is just a different type of warfare. Like throwing a Preacher into a Brothel. He’ll get used to that which he fears and judges others upon real fast. He’ll even start to like it.

Qingu's avatar

Depends on if there’s strong international consensus against said foreign war.

I don’t think we should unilaterally intervene in foreign conflicts. But if the rest world also wants to intervene, and intervening will result in less suffering, sure.

Edit: to give some specific examples, if the UN sanctioned intervening in the Rwandan genocide, or the genocide in Darfur, I’d support it. I supported NATO’s intervention against Serbia, and while I didn’t support Libya at first, in retrospect, it seems to have worked. I’m not advocating invading foreign countries with large ground armies and spending billions of dollars nation building. And there absolutely needs to be international agreement and committment.

DaphneT's avatar

I certainly wouldn’t advocate Isolationism. We owe our allies our respect for the agreements we have with them, this would be a driver as to whether we get into foreign wars.

geeky_mama's avatar

I agree with @RealEyesRealizeRealLies—you misunderstand what I was saying @elbanditoroso. I know that there was no incentive for the military industrial complex to build school in Afghanistan—I’m merely suggesting that we might have realized greater gains in world peace and greater economic gains if our Foreign Policy had been focused on Humanitarian spending projects and not on military spending over the past several decades. It’s entirely wishful thinking on my part.

King_Pariah's avatar

@elbanditoroso I am, tremendously amused at you saying that the US military has no incentive to build schools and that a Republican led Congress wouldn’t approve of such funds to do so. Because it did and does happen. The Army did indeed build schools in Iraq for the Iraqis (this I know of for sure), thus I would not be surprised in the least that we have done the same in Afghanistan.

augustlan's avatar

I don’t think I’d say never. Each situation deserves careful scrutiny, deliberation and decision making. I do think, however, if we are going to be the ‘world’s police’, we should help every country that asks for it… not just the ones that are profitable for us.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@King_Pariah – they did so under the aegis of the war, as a way of pacifying the population. It goes back to the war, which had to exist in order for the school building to begin.

Basically the war set the stage. Had there been no war, the US would not have voluntarily sent the Army to build schools in Afghanistan.

So I agree that the Army has done so – no question about that, but it would not have happened had there not been the context of the Iraq/Afghanistan war.

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