Donald Trump

Trump, Self-Proclaimed Ender of Endless Wars, Is Reducing the U.S. Troop Presence in Iraq to Where It Was in 2015

The Wall Street Journal reports that the Pentagon will be reducing troop levels in Iraq by a third.

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The U.S. will be reducing the number of troops it has stationed in Iraq by about a third, reports The Wall Street Journal, leaving behind roughly 3,500 men and women. This news comes after a long series of brags at the Republican National Convention that President Donald Trump is succeeding in ending America's foreign wars.

"Unlike previous administrations, I have kept America out of new wars, and our troops are coming home," said Trump in his acceptance speech last night, promising that in a second term he would "strike down terrorists who threaten our people and keep America out of endless and costly foreign wars."

The Journal reports that the departure of some 1,700 troops from Iraq will occur over the next few months. Once gone, America's military presence in that country will be where it was in 2015.

Under Trump, America's troop commitment to our various foreign wars has oscillated; first surging then tapering off.

PolitiFact notes that when Trump came into office there were around 8,500 troops in Afghanistan. The president increased our military presence up to 14,000 personnel but has since drawn it back down to where it was at the beginning of Trump's term. That number is supposed to fall to 4,000 in November.

Under Trump, the Defense Department has stopped publishing troop numbers in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria, making it difficult to get an accurate count of how much military personnel is in those countries. The Washington Post reported in July that the number of U.S. troops stationed abroad has slightly increased under Trump.

Outside of troop levels, Trump has amped up the drone war and vetoed a resolution to end U.S. participation in the war in Yemen. He has also escalated tensions with Iran by tearing up the 2015 nuclear deal signed under the Obama administration, reapplying sanctions, and deploying additional aircraft and ships to the region in response to alleged Iranian drone attacks on Saudi oil facilities.

In January, the Trump administration assassinated Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, provoking an Iranian missile counterattack on U.S. military bases in the country.

This broader schizophrenia among the Trump administration between escalating tensions with Iran while promising to end endless wars was on full display in the president's remarks last night. In the space of three sentences, he bragged about killing Soleimani, said he was bringing troops home, and then touted his increases in military spending.

It's good that more U.S. troops are being pulled out of Iraq. It's less encouraging that we still have thousands of troops in the country after nearly four years of a president who keeps promising to end forever wars.

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  1. Yes, let’s ignore the fact that our troop presence in Iraq increase because Trump pulled our troops out of Syria (oops, I mean abandoned our Kurdish allies) and put them in Iraq, which Reason thoroughly complained about at the time, too.

    1. Whataboutism is an admission of defeat. The discussion is not about Syria, but about Iraq.

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      2. Reducing the U.S. Troop Presence in Iraq to Where It Was in 2015
        What were Iraqi troop levels in October 2016, and who put them there?

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      3. Nobody thinks you’re intelligent, eunuch.
        You don’t have to keep going out of your way to remind us

        1. The remarkable point about your comments, Nardz, is not the content, but instead the fact you can type them with your tongue so firmly attached to Trump’s scrotum.

          Enjoy the last few months of the clingerverse, bigots!

          1. Lol

            I’m beginning to think rev is just a bot.
            Such a limited range of content

      4. “Whataboutism is an admission of defeat. The discussion is not about Syria, but about Iraq.”

        Misdirection is an admission of defeat; you lost, loser.

        1. He’s garbage.

      5. Red herring is an admission of defeat. The discussion is not about Iraq, it is about foreign wars. Obama started 4. Trump started 0. Shove that up your quivering little faggot fucking ass and dance on it.

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    2. Kinda also ignoring the fact that ISIS was a serious problem at the time and is all but gone. Also ignoring that the military now has much stronger capabilities than it was left with and is therefore a far bigger deterrent. Yeah, results are completely irrelevant when you have a political agenda to the contrary.

      Always be careful when your political opponents start to cherry pick and throw rocks while citing a single stat on anything. A single stat only tells you the very narrow thing the writer wants you to know while ignoring everything else.

      Why do I get the feeling that CHRISTIAN BRITSCHGI never referred to the killing of Osama Bin Ladin as an “assassination”?

      1. SEALs were at Bin Ladin’s house for a mostly peaceful protest.

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      2. This. The first thing I thought when I saw the headline: “I bet the word ISIS isn’t in this article even once.” And after skimming it, I was right!

    3. Oops, I mean another CIA regime change operation.

      We NEVER had any business in Syria, and we’ve been fucking the Kurds for years before Orange Fatso.

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  2. Reason writers like to make up stories about nonexistent future wars to avoid giving Trump full credit for ending the war against ISIS — by defeating ISIS — and for signing a peace treaty with the Taliban.

    You see, those barely matter at all because [makes up story about fictional future war].

    Clearly you should never trust or help a Reason writer — except maybe Nick — because if you do exactly what they say they want, the Reason writer will make up a new excuse to complain.

    1. Russia and Assad did more to defeat ISIS than the USA.

      Unless you consider chennleing them arms “defeat”.

      1. I’m sure you have some cites for that claim.

      2. Ok, whatever. Fact remains it was a war when Trump entered office and now it isn’t. And ISIS is defeated. And Trump didn’t start or join any new wars, so that’s at least one fewer war.

        If you want fewer wars, Trump delivered on that. Period.

      3. So even better. We didn’t need to defeat ISIS. Bad guys going away on someone else’s dime is a double win

      4. MVP
        August.28.2020 at 10:03 pm
        “Russia and Assad did more to defeat ISIS than the USA…”

        So after more than 24 hours, you have no cites to support your bullshit, and you are therefore a bullshitter.
        Thanks; you’ve proven yourself such several times. Add “mvp” to bullshitter bucket.

  3. “PolitiFact notes that when Trump came into office there were around 8,500 troops in Afghanistan. The president increased our military presence up to 14,000 personnel but has since drawn it back down to where it was at the beginning of Trump’s term. That number is supposed to fall to 4,000 in November.”

    You’re willfully omitting the fact that President Trump inked a full withdrawal agreement with the Taliban in February–and withheld aid to the US backed government in Kabul when they dragged their feet on executing the plan. Either that or you’re so ignorant that you have no business publishing anything on this topic.

    How embarrassing for you!

    If President Trump is reelected, we’ll be completely out of Afghanistan by the end of April.

    Last thing I’m aware of Biden saying on the topic was that he wanted to keep American troops in Afghanistan indefinitely. If someone can find a statement supporting Trump’s full withdrawal from Afghanistan, please post a link.

    1. Whataboutism is an admission of defeat. The discussion is not about Afghanistan, but about Iraq.

      1. Did you not see what I quoted? What I quoted was in the piece–and the facts show him to be an ender of endless wars, where Biden appears to want to keep us in Afghanistan endlessly.

        1. chipper is trying to pretend to be neutral again. He does this from time to time so that when 90% of his comments are against one team he can declare neutrality. He doesn’t actually believe what he wrote above.

          1. Great point! Disagreement with the team that is in the news all the time because they are in power equals full support for the other team! There are no libertarians! No such thing! There are Trump supporters and everyone else! And everyone else is exactly the same! So rock on with attacking them personally! Ignore what they say! It doesn’t matter! They are on the other team! They are your enemy! Death to all who oppose Trump! Oh, sorry. That last line belongs to your buddy Nardz. My sincerest apologies. Didn’t mean to offend. Can I offer you a cookie? They’re fresh.

            1. Meanwhile, the discussion really was about Trump’s claim to have avoided wars and to have sought an end to never ending wars. And he really did avoid a war in Syria, and he really did negotiate an agreement with the Taliban to get us out of Afghanistan completely.

              1. I’m poking fun at The Faithful who shift blame and wage personal attacks on all who disagree.

                My opinion? Trump has done better than any president in the last… in as long as I can remember at avoiding military entanglements. I give credit where credit is due. Not a fan of his trade wars but if I have to choose I guess tariffs are less bad than bombs.

                He has reduced troop levels in other countries, but not in a significant way.

                Like someone said above, he stopped kicking us in the nuts but kept the promised ice cream. Less bad is not equal to good, but it’s better than worse.

                1. I’m poking fun at The Faithful who shift blame and wage personal attacks on all who disagree.

                  No, you’re engaging in blame shifting and personal attacks and then projecting your bullshit onto everyone else because you’re a colossally retarded alcoholic piece of shit who thinks your booger flinging is persuasive.

                2. You are one of those who do nothing but personal attacks dispute. How many cries of trump cultists have you yelled?

                3. Except Chipper can’t even do that.

            2. This is why we call you broken.
              Sad that you have so little to say

      2. It’s not whataboutism, you stupid fuck, when it’s part of the topic.

        1. “It’s not whataboutism, you stupid fuck, when it’s part of the topic.”

          You think fucking lefty ignoramuses use logic?

      3. Whataboutism is an admission of defeat.

        That’s why Britchgi wrote a rather obvious “What about Iraq?” piece and, even then, the conclusion of the article by someone who consistently takes an anti-Trump slant is “Trump hasn’t made it worse than it was.”

      4. What the hell happened to you. Chipper? You’ve been here since before Obama, yet you were never this, frankly, Tony-like in your comments. I don’t get it. It would be one thing if your criticism was in the least bit insightful, but it rarely is anymore.

        Shrinking US committment to NATO, negotiating a peace treaty with the Taliban, beating ISIS, getting the Norks to actually talk to people besides the ones the Kim’s kidnap: Trump’s done a not half-bad job on the foreign policy front. Better than either of the sacks of crap before him.

        Yet it’s whataboutism to you. Sigh.

        1. he realized how shallow his beliefs were once he changed his views due to who the president was.

      5. Are you going to just copy/paste this lame response through the message board?

  4. In 2016 this country missed its chance to elect a President with a long history of foreign policy wisdom. We must not make the same mistake in 2020.

    #LibertariansForBiden

    1. Wow. One of the best.

    2. *Muah* Delicacy!

    3. A++

      Would read again.

  5. Back in the 90s and 00s, Rush Limbaugh’s shtick was to point at liberals obsessed with empty symbolism. Now in the Trump era we have “conservatives” fawning over empty symbolism.

    Not mocking Limbaugh here, just pointing out that conservatives have become the enemy. We have the symbolism of a troop reduction without any significant troop reduction.

    1. Except for all the troops we pulled out of Syria…

      1. Look, the libertarian platform isn’t about de-escalation of foreign involvement around the world. It’s just about Iraq.

        Just like the border issue. The border that prevents Russians from showing up en masse and using Facebook to get Trump elected is where we really need a taller wall, not the silly imaginary line at our southern border.

      2. And Germany.

      3. To send them elsewhere. We still have not had a significant overall troop reduction since the end of Desert Storm I.

        1. You mean like Iraq, where Trump is also pulling troops out of?

        2. Gee, aren’t you a stupid piece of shit?
          “US announces plans to remove 12,000 troops from Germany, with half coming home”
          https://www.foxnews.com/world/us-announces-plans-to-send-troops-home

      4. But we are still illegally holding their oil hostage.

        1. “But we are still illegally holding their oil hostage.”

          OK, one more fucking lefty ignoramus who can’t seem to find any evidence for his/her lies!
          How…………..
          Pathetic.

        2. That is interesting MVP…name the law we are breaking, please. I bet you can’t.

    2. I understand you hate useless symbolism, and all the crap the right does to make a pointless show. Now take a knee raise your fist and say black lives matter

  6. Yay! Trump has promised to do some things! Just don’t hold your breath waiting for Trump to deliver what he’s promised. He’s rather notorious on the issue of not keeping his end of the bargain when there’s no need to do so – he calls it “the art of the deal”. Fuck people over every chance you get, that’s what a hard-nosed businessman does. In the meantime, how’s that big beautiful wall coming along? Has Mexico paid for it yet? Is Hillary locked up? We got a great new trade deal with China yet, what with trade wars being so good and easy to win? Is the government much smaller, Obamacare been repealed, North Korea given up their nukes? No? Wow, I don’t understand how none of that shit happened yet.

    1. how’s that big beautiful wall coming along?
      Quite well despite all the lawsuits and judicial misconduct.

      Has Mexico paid for it yet?
      A little.

      Is Hillary locked up?
      No dammit.

      We got a great new trade deal with China yet, what with trade wars being so good and easy to win?
      Okay.

      Is the government much smaller
      The coup attempt and Covid panic certainly deep-sixed any chance, didn’t it.

      Obamacare been repealed
      Someone needs to dig up McCain and kick him in the nuts.

      North Korea given up their nukes?
      Was that a campaign promise?

    2. Wow, I don’t understand how none of that shit happened yet.

      Are you just now tuning in to US Politics? It is hard to get things done when you are fighting a Coup d’Etat. 4 years of obstructionism and unending judicial interference in everything he tried to do didn’t help.

      Also, hostile press prevaricating willfully may have prevented the things that were accomplished hidden from easy discovery (the good economy).

  7. He hasn’t started any new wars shit for brains.

    1. The deal wasn’t that he wasn’t going to start new wars, it was that he was going to bring home the troops. Are the troops home yet?

      This is like the old guy kept kicking you in the nuts and the new guy came in promising you ice cream and cake. He hasn’t given you any ice cream and cake yet, but he’s stopped kicking you in the nuts. So sure, that seems like a victory – but it doesn’t change the fact that you ain’t getting any ice cream and cake. And really, your standards for winning are pretty goddamn low if you think not getting kicked in the nuts counts as a major victory.

      1. The troops from Syria are coming home, and you’re complaining about it. So some guy offered to stop kicking you in the nuts and give you ice cream and cake, and so far he’s only delivered the ice cream and he’s waiting for the cake to be baked so he can deliver that to, but you’re complaining because he promised ice cream AND cake and it’s been an hour and you only have ice cream in your hands and your nuts are a little less sore.

        I understand the frustration with endless wars for the last 80 years, but don’t let the perfect become the enemy of the good.

      2. This sounds like you’re describing Yassir Arafat’s Nobel Peace Prize.

      3. “This is like the old guy kept kicking you in the nuts and the new guy came in promising you ice cream and cake.”

        This is like the stupid piece of shit who can’t understand the issue.

      4. You would get your cake and ice cream except that the people who provide it (Congress) insist that they be allowed to kick you in the nuts again or they won’t bake the cake.

        1. Well, we know the libertarian position on baking cakes against your will, so Congress should get to the kitchen.

      5. The new guy promised ice cream and cake, but a bunch of communist traitors, RINOs, and faux libertarian assholes kept smashing the cake, and knocking the ice cream onto the floor.

  8. This broader schizophrenia among the Trump administration between escalating tensions with Iran while promising to end endless wars was on full display in the president’s remarks last night.

    Using tough rhetoric against a hostile nation isn’t the same as continuing a never-ending intervention into a country where we have few interests– if any. I have no problem with ANY president of ANY party taking a tough stance against any foreign nation whose entire national disposition to us is “Death To America”.

  9. Who was that other guy with a pen and a phone, and a drone?

  10. Obviously Reason hates Trump! This is nothing but a hit piece on Trump! Obama did it first! Blame Congress! Biden is worse! Love it or leave it! Four dimensional chess! Trump is the most libertarian president ever! MAGA 2020! Aaaauuuggghh!

    1. Jesus. Is this the best you can do?

    2. “Trump is the most libertarian president ever! MAGA 2020!”

      Nice to see sarcasmic redpilled, too bad he’s still a giant spaz.

    3. “Obviously Reason hates Trump!”

      Do you ever do anything but whine?

      1. No. No he doesn’t.

    4. Obama and Biden were worse on foreign policy. And taxes. And Biden will be worse on spending.

    5. this is fake weekend sarc no?

      1. He gets hacked all the time.

  11. When a nation has lost the support of have of the nations political parties and the war has been going on for 20 years or nearly it is time to get out. Now it does not mean that the us will not be ready to assist when the nation is ready to do it win the war itself. This is what the democrats wanted every since about 2005. The democrats expected Obama to get out when he was elected but he wavered and did NOT. Thus the situation was left up to Trump to do. Why aren’t the democrats jumping with JOY? They would if Obama had done that!

    1. Obama was a MIC/corporate whore….he knew where his money woudl be coming from.

    2. “Why aren’t the democrats jumping with JOY? ”

      Newsflash: Trump is no longer a democrat. He switched sides a few years back.

  12. – Trump withdraws troops from Syria.
    – Orange Man is a betrayer of the poor Kurdish people!
    – Trump deploys additional troops to Afghanistan.
    – Orange Man is a warmonger!
    – Trump recalls troops from Germany.
    – Orange Man is a betrayer of our allies!
    – Trump masterfully defuses Iran with a single surgical strike.
    – Orange Man is about to start WW3!
    – Trump signs a peace deal with the Taliban.
    – Orange Man is an idiot who deals with terrorists!
    – Trump reduces stationing troops in Afghanistan.
    – Orange Man is an idiot he is hurting our ME interests!
    – Trump and his vision spearheaded the UAE-Israel deal.
    – (silence)

    1. Did Reason bitch about moving the embassy to Jerusalem too? I don’t remember.

      Anyway, 3 moves: moving the embassy to Jerusalem, beating IS, and taking out Suleimani made the UAE-Israel deal possible, and have done more to bring some amount of peace to the mid east than anything in… 50 years? Over a century?

      The UAE-Israel thing is HUGE. First Gulf nation, and only 3rd in the whole region, to acknowledge Israel has a right to exist. In the words of a former veep, that’s a big fuckin deal.

      1. “The UAE-Israel thing is HUGE”

        I don’t think it’s huge in the UAE and I don’t think it’s huge in Israel. Neither country is at war now and hasn’t been for decades, if ever. Needless to say, if it’s huge in the US, we can thank the usual propagandists.

        I notice that no mention is made of the talks held with North Korea. Have we given up hope they will bear fruit?

        1. Your “thoughts” are unimportant and vapid

          1. The thing is not huge. The hype is huge.

            1. The positioning is huge. It’s leverage. This is about diplomacy and Trump is going to turn the UAE victory around to use it to beat on the Palestinians. Trump wants middle east peace. He’s dogmatic about it.

              1. You really think this deal with the UAE will force the Palestinians to capitulate?

            2. Maybe you should read some books not written by progtards. You might learn things for a change.

              1. He doesn’t want to learn. He wants to spout gibberish.

                1. You should read my book “Everything You Ever Needed to Know, I Learned in Kindergarten”.

        2. “I don’t think it’s huge ”

          Literally no one cares what you think.

          1. There are plenty here who care enough to craft responses like:

            “Maybe you should read some books not written by progtards. You might learn things for a change.”

            Commenters here care deeply about me and my reading habits.

      2. Yes, Trump is the most pro-Israel POTUS in history and this can easily be translated into the the “person who has the most rational and efficient approach to Israel and ME in general”:
        – he “moved” the embassy to Jerusalem aka stopped extending the waiver that postponed that move for 20 years
        – by this move he reminded the largely anti-Semitic world that Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Israel, and prompted other countries to follow suit
        – he stopped giving cash to the so called Palestinians (everyone knows that they spend it on terror and pay-for-slay)
        – he recognized the Golan Height as part of Israel (which it obviously is, nobody in their right mind would advocate ceding territory to a fail state Syria, Israel also won it in a defensive war, a strategically important area from which the Syrian army and terrorists constantly fired at Jewish civilians)
        – he reminded the world that the so called settlements in the territories are perfectly legal as per international law (the reason people thought otherwise is because of the Jew-hater Carter’s administration)

        And yes, the UAE deal is essential for the future of the ME and it would never have materialized under a Clinton presidency, nor it would be possible under Biden or any other anti-Israel Democrat. The reason leftists try to minimize this news is because it’s to good for everyone involved. Leftists want chaos, suffering and problems since their narrative can only ever hope to exist in misery.

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  14. Gee Christian, so the real world doesn’t respond to wishes you make over hot chocolate in your bunny pajamas? Poor baby.

    This comment not approved by Silicon Valley brain slugs.

    1. Christian getting all snuggly in his fleece onesie, cup of hot Ovaltine in his hand as he gazes out the window at the big dipper and sighs; “I wish mean old Mr. Trump would go away and the Lightbringer would return with his peace prize, to heal the planet and end war”.

    2. “This comment not approved by Silicon Valley brain slugs.”

      They don’t give a shit about your comment or its content; it’s your cookies that interest them.

      1. Tell that to the federalist comment section

      2. You know who’s really interested in cookies! Fat Jeff.

  15. “The U.S. will be reducing the number of troops it has stationed in Iraq by about a third”

    Does that mean returning to the states or just shuffled around to other foreign client states?

    I remember reading the surprising fact that US troops, whose suicidal tendencies have reached lemming like proportions in recent years, are far more likely to top themselves if they are stationed in the US. Those who are sent to places like Iraq are less likely.

    In John Bolton’s recent book he claimed that the only thing stopping Trump from withdrawing from Iraq was the billions the US has put into the construction of a few massive air bases there. To get full value for the costs of the air bases, they have to be maintained, strategic considerations be damned. An example of the sunken cost fallacy that those economists are always talking about.

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  17. Talk softly.
    Carry a big stick.

  18. “Trump kept all of his promises”.
    What about a national right to carry?
    Crickets.

  19. The reason I am now a Libertarian is Trumps awful record on guns.
    No national concealed carry, no hearing protection act to deregulate suppressors, and a bump stock ban.
    While the other side is even worse, the GOP takes Gun owners completely for granted.

    I am thrilled that 5,600 of the 12,00 troops leaving Germany are coming home.
    I love that the Isis war in Syria is over because we won.
    I am counting the days until our soldiers come home from Afghanistan due to Trumps deal with the Taliban.
    I am happy with no new foreign wars.
    So, he’s doing pretty good on the war ending policy.

    1. I do not agree that “we” won anything in Syria. The Kurds fought ISIS with some air and artillery support from the US. Now Assad has most of the control along with his Russian allies and Hezbolla/Iran with most of the rest. Then Turkey. Not much of a victory. Still should not have been involved to begin with.

      Redeploying soldiers from Germany is not a bad idea. I think there are few combat units left anyway. The hospital in Landschtul and the airbase in Raamstein I think are staying. Still I think around 25,000 are staying and nearly as many redeployed in Europe as coming home. Golf clap.

      Deal with the Taliban. What deal? There is no deal except don’t shoot while we withdraw. Should have been out long ago so good thing there.

      No new foreign wars is good. Yet the defense budget keeps growing. What is all that stuff for? We have far more than we need to defend the country from attack.

      There is a candidate for president with a more reasoned point of view. Her name is Jo Jorgensen.

      1. Echospinner….I would reply to you this way.

        Re: Syria. What we did IMO was to annihilate ISIS, and then force a strategic draw, in that the Kurds are unmolested by the Turks or the Syrians. That is victory enough, I think. What more can you realistically expect? And that is not our fight, anyway.

        What is all that stuff for? = China.

        Why? Because I believe that a direct military confrontation between China and the United States over Taiwan is drawing near. The Chinese have been increasing military readiness across the board by drilling constantly for the last 9-12 months. In particular, several large scale amphibious exercises have been conducted. The stage has been set with their development of military bases on disputed islands in the South China Sea. That is all about area access denial. The Chinese are now conducting readiness drills in separate littoral areas to more fully develop battle management strategy/skills in a wide conflict.

        All of that said. I live in The People’s Republic of NJ, the bluest of blue states. I will happily cast my vote for Jo Jorgensen. POTUS Trump has no realistic chance here. Our governor guaranteed that result when he signed executive orders mandating mail-in ballots be sent to every registered voter.

        1. The Kurds did all of the infantry work. All the heavy lifting. All we did was call in air support and heavy artillery.

          Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan all failed.

          Where is our border with China again? Cannot find it on the map.

          You know that great line from Princess Bride “never get involved with a land war in Asia”

          We are spending more in military budget than the combined total of the next seven highest spending countries in the world. So you don’t know when you are getting ripped off?

          I am not a pacifist. I think we should have the best defense force and strategy in the world. Defense.

          You know that Israel has for its size a formidable defense force which includes strategic efforts in intel, economics, cyber security, diplomacy, civil defense, and technology. If they laid down arms today Hezbolla and Iran would attack them tomorrow. The strategy is defending the people and country from attack, not securing the rest of the world.

          One quibble I have with Jo Jorgensen is on defense she said we should be the “Switzerland” of the world. I think we should be the Israel of the world in terms of national defense.

  20. So Reason would rather we invaded Iran and escalated things in Syria and provoked North Korea?

  21. At least Obama slowed the rate of increase, right?

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