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View Full Version : Release a Detailed Foreign Policy Plan with Numbers




Tamasaburo
01-23-2012, 12:02 AM
I know there are a lot of threads about how to convince people Ron Paul can keep us safe even with a reduced foreign military presence, but I think this a little different:

I think the campaign ought to publicly release a specific, detailed foreign policy plan as they did with domestic spending (cut 5 departments, cut 1 trillion in the first year, balanced budget in 3 years).

The plan should go into specifics and include numbers:

--cut x dollars from military budget first year, and x dollars each subsequent year until we arrive at the level of say, 1995, where we plan to keep it.

--allocate x percentage of money saved from budget cuts to a fund for medical care and counseling for veterans.

--immediately shut down bases in countries x, y, and z (say, places like Germany where we really aren't needed at all) and reduce presence by 25% first year, 50% second year and 100% third year in countries a, b, and c (places like Korea, where, realistically, we can't just pick up and leave on day one because they've grown dependent on our military presence to protect from North Korea, though they could certainly step it up in a few years to take care of themselves if they knew we were leaving).

--lift all sanctions on Cuba day one and offer to lift all sanctions on Iran if they agree to bilateral peace talks on nuclear safety, etc.

--redeploy x number of troops to enhance border security in the US.

--introduce a proposal to fully repeal the patriot act in the first year, along with some other proposal that might keep one or two good parts of it in a reduced form (I am doubtful there are any good parts of, it to be honest, but if there are, I think people tend to prefer the idea that we can "replace" rather than totally remove something they view as having been at least somewhat successful--like it or not, there haven't been any major terrorist attacks in the US since 9-11 and though it may not be thanks to the Patriot Act, a lot of Republican primary voters probably think it is, so if you can throw them any bone, it might help).

...and so on.

I think it would also help if he could propose some other specific alternatives to help convince people we can be as safe or safer with less expenditure and less imperialistic entanglement if only use some better ideas. For example, he might endorse a strategy like the "Off-shore Balancing" idea Prof. Pape suggests at around 11:00 in this video (all four parts are worth watching if you haven't seen it):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VD7hdRcapYM&feature=related

Now, even this level of involvement may be too much for Ron Paul to endorse, but it's just an example. If he can find some substantive policy proposals of this sort, it would give people the impression that his foreign policy is more than just "bring everyone home," but is actually a smarter, safer, cheaper way to accomplish the goals we really care about without antagonizing people or causing unnecessary loss of life. He could also list specific people, like maybe Professor Pape or some experienced general with a non-interventionist viewpoint whom he'd plan to hire as foreign policy advisors. This would be similar to how he mentioned Jim Grant as a potential Fed chairman. If he picks people who are perceived as having educated, nuanced views then that will also shift the perception of Paul himself from naive idealist to savvy realist.

Going into detail like this with specific numbers, time frames, strategies and advisors will reassure all those influential people like Steve Forbes, Sarah Palin, and Ann Coulter, who, love them or hate them, are very influential with the Republican base and are dying for an alternative to Romney and Gingrich but don't feel they can endorse Ron Paul because they're afraid he's too naive on foreign policy. It would go a long way to convince those on the fence about Paul--those who like his domestic policy but are afraid his foreign policy would put as at risk or is too "radical" that Paul isn't just going to send all troops home on day one and leave us vulnerable or be so doctrinaire he can't get anything past Congress.

Like his spending proposal, it also helps change the view of him as just an "ideas" candidate who doesn't really want to be president but is only in it to spread the ideals of liberty. Specific, do-able proposals make him seem like a guy with a real plan who really wants to be president and who really understands all the wrangling and dirty details that will entail.

The campaign may be afraid that any perceived softening on the foreign policy front would hurt his reputation as an idealist and maybe alienate the extreme pacifist wing of the Ron Paul supporters--but they need to realize that foreign policy is the number one stumbling block right now standing between him and the nomination and that a lot of Republican primary voters are very hawkish. He doesn't have to actually change his position, but he's been repeating the same general message about philosophy at every debate since 2008. He needs to get down to the dirty details, which will reassure the primary voters a Ron Paul presidency wouldn't result in a terrorist attack on the US. If he gets the nomination then he can go back to hitting Obama for all his foreign policy hypocrisy.

What's more, specific proposals can be more easily adopted by Paul's competitors in the case he doesn't get the nomination. People like Gingrich are already rushing to embrace his economics--talking about the Fed and the gold standard and whatnot, but have remained largely unmoved by Paul's foreign policy stance since it's perceived as being radical to even move in that direction. I know we all want Paul himself to be President more than anything, but I'd rather have a President Romney who's been pressured into adopting a lot of Paul's positions than a President Romney who hasn't. If Paul introduces specific proposals that the American people like then there will be pressure on whoever ultimately becomes president to at least consider some of them.

I think the specific, detailed proposals like "cut 1 trillion in the first year" have given Paul a lot of mainstream credibility and influence on the domestic issues. He needs to do the same thing for foreign policy. Fast.

Feeding the Abscess
01-23-2012, 01:23 AM
Ron Paul doesn't want a smarter, safer, cheaper way to bomb people. He wants to bring the troops home, all of them, as soon as the ships can get there, as part of a wholesale change in foreign policy - one of peace and prosperity, not of fear and intimidation.

What you have proposed is a serious softening of his position.

Part of his $1 trillion in cuts is Pentagon and other military cuts.

Tamasaburo
01-23-2012, 02:26 AM
There has to be some form of national defense. He does want a smarter, cheaper way to do it. Part of the "smarter" and the "cheaper" do indeed come from not bombing people who aren't a threat to us. In any case, I'm not suggesting any of the specific content of what should be in his plan--those were all just theoretical examples of the types of specifics he might provide. I'm just saying that whatever he wants to do, he needs to lay out exactly what it is, who'll be working with him on it, and how it's going to happen in specific terms.

The "Paul Doctrine" thread had either not been started when I created this one or else I somehow missed it, but it's actually pretty similar to my thoughts. I'm just saying he needs to get the "Paul Doctrine" out there in a form with a lot more specifics as to how to make it happen.

And honestly, I don't think even if he gets elected with a huge mandate, Paul is going to say "ALL troops come home from EVERYWHERE, RIGHT NOW," which seems to be what you are suggesting. In the same way he doesn't want to abolish the Federal Reserve on day one or eliminate the income tax on day one, I don't think he's going to shift the foreign policy in such a disorderly manner. He has to have a plan for how it's realistically going to happen in a careful, orderly fashion. I'm not saying he should soften to some mealy-mouthed "well, I think 50% of the ground troops should be home by 2014" or whatever. The plan can involve a dramatic change from the start--as does the 1 trillion in cuts the first year. It just has to be specific. If he would only go public with such a plan it would do a great deal to allay the fear of his critics.

Feeding the Abscess
01-23-2012, 02:36 AM
There has to be some form of national defense. He does want a smarter, cheaper way to do it. Part of the "smarter" and the "cheaper" do indeed come from not bombing people who aren't a threat to us. In any case, I'm not suggesting any of the specific content of what should be in his plan--those were all just theoretical examples of the types of specifics he might provide. I'm just saying that whatever he wants to do, he needs to lay out exactly what it is, who'll be working with him on it, and how it's going to happen in specific terms.

The "Paul Doctrine" thread had either not been started when I created this one or else I somehow missed it, but it's actually pretty similar to my thoughts. I'm just saying he needs to get the "Paul Doctrine" out there in a form with a lot more specifics as to how to make it happen.

And honestly, I don't think even if he gets elected, Paul is going to say "ALL troops come home from EVERYWHERE, RIGHT NOW," which seems to be what you are suggesting. In the same way he doesn't want to abolish the Federal Reserve on day one or eliminate the income tax on day one, I don't think he's going to shift the foreign policy in such a disorderly manner. He has to have a plan for how it's realistically going to happen in a careful, orderly fashion. I'm not saying he should soften to some mealy-mouthed "well, I think 50% of the ground troops should be home by 2014" or whatever. The plan can involve a dramatic change from the start--as does the 1 trillion in cuts the first year. It just has to be specific. If he would only go public with such a plan it would do a great deal to allay the fear of his critics.

Ron's been saying that all troops should be brought home from everywhere, right now, for years.

"We just marched in, we can just march out"

"As soon as the ships can get there"

etc.

He's also against using drones overseas, even if it's cheaper and allegedly more effective - he covered this subject in the Des Moines Register editorial board interview. His doctrine really is one of peace and prosperity. The reason he doesn't talk up threats and get hawkish on defense is that doing such a thing doesn't serve those goals.

Laying out a Paul doctrine would only be effective if the media covered it, and would also take resources dedicated from his campaign efforts. If you or somebody else is halfway decent at making YouTube videos, splice together a bunch of his statements on foreign policy and label it the Paul Doctrine.

Dsylexic
01-23-2012, 02:36 AM
:--cut x dollars from military budget first year, and x dollars each subsequent year until we arrive at the level of say, 1995, where we plan to keep it."

actually,you are far too severe than ron paul! ron just wants to cut military budget to 2006 levels and still wants a 1% INCREASE in military spending per year from that levels!! people think ron paul wants to slash and burn,infact he speaks of increasing defense spending after scaling it down to a perfectable reasonable 2006 budget.

Tamasaburo
01-23-2012, 02:45 AM
Ron's been saying that all troops should be brought home from everywhere, right now, for years.

"We just marched in, we can just march out"

"As soon as the ships can get there"

etc.

Laying out a Paul doctrine would only be effective if the media covered it, and would also take resources dedicated from his campaign efforts. If you or somebody else is halfway decent at making YouTube videos, splice together a bunch of his statements on foreign policy and label it the Paul Doctrine.

I think those quotes are in reference to Iraq and Afghanistan, not all troops everywhere in the world. Combat troops in Iraq and Afghanistan just marched in, they can just march out. Hell, I don't even think the government should exist, yet even I think it would be irresponsible to just remove all American forces from Korea and Japan in one day--for better or worse, the people of those nations have come to rely on our forces as an integral part of their national defense. We have to at least give them time to adjust to our absence.

The media would cover it if the Paul campaign made a big deal about releasing it, as they did with the "1 trillion in the first year" plan. Inform the media, "Paul's having a big press conference where he'll release a detailed foreign policy plan to revolutionize the Republican platform." Considering all the hoopla in the media about Paul's "isolationism" and whatnot, and considering he's now in the "final four," there'll be enough coverage for interviewers to start asking him about it, for it to get mentioned in debates and opeds and whatnot--and at least then he can start discussing specific points about his larger foreign policy philosophy instead of constantly getting dragged into endless debates about the one Iran nuclear bomb issue. Then there could be a larger debate about "the Paul plan" or "the Paul doctrine" or whatever.

Tamasaburo
01-23-2012, 02:48 AM
:--cut x dollars from military budget first year, and x dollars each subsequent year until we arrive at the level of say, 1995, where we plan to keep it."

actually,you are far too severe than ron paul! ron just wants to cut military budget to 2006 levels and still wants a 1% INCREASE in military spending per year from that levels!! people think ron paul wants to slash and burn,infact he speaks of increasing defense spending after scaling it down to a perfectable reasonable 2006 budget.

Haha! Well, see, this is exactly part of my point, though I only gave 1995 as a random example. Even a Ron Paul supporter like me isn't sure exactly what he's planning to do in terms of foreign policy and the military budget. We know what he wants generally--a non-interventionist policy and to bring troops home, but the general public doesn't know exactly what he's got in mind. This leads them to believe he's more radical than he actually is, which could stop people who might otherwise support him from doing so just for fear that his foreign policy stance is too drastic or "radical."

Feeding the Abscess
01-23-2012, 02:48 AM
I think those quotes are in reference to Iraq and Afghanistan, not all troops everywhere in the world. Combat troops in Iraq and Afghanistan just marched in, they can just march out. Hell, I don't even think the government should exist, yet even I think it would be irresponsible to just remove all American forces from Korea and Japan in one day--for better or worse, the people of those nations have come to rely on our forces as an integral part of their national defense. We have to at least give them time to adjust to our absence.

The media would cover it if the Paul campaign made a big deal about releasing it, as they did with the "1 trillion in the first year" plan. Inform the media, "Paul's having a big press conference where he'll release a detailed foreign policy plan to revolutionize the Republican platform." Considering all the hoopla in the media about Paul's "isolationism" and whatnot, and considering he's now in the "final four," there'll be enough coverage for interviewers to start asking him about it, for it to get mentioned in debates and opeds and whatnot--and at least then he can start discussing specific points about his larger foreign policy philosophy instead of constantly getting dragged into endless debates about the one Iran nuclear bomb issue. Then there could be a larger debate about "the Paul plan" or "the Paul doctrine" or whatever.

No, he says the same thing about Korea, Japan, Germany, etc, good or bad - home immediately.

As for the media portion of your post, you are more optimistic than I am.

freneticentropy
01-23-2012, 03:29 AM
Laying out a Paul doctrine would only be effective if the media covered it, and would also take resources dedicated from his campaign efforts. If you or somebody else is halfway decent at making YouTube videos, splice together a bunch of his statements on foreign policy and label it the Paul Doctrine.

If he makes a major foreign policy speech, the media will cover. Maybe not as much as we'd like, but they'll have to cover it. But the main point is that, no one will be able to use the 'weak on defense' talking point after he gives a major policy speech without referring to the 'Paul Doctrine'. The campaign can refer to it. Grassroot supporters can refer people who are on the fence to it. He really does have to tell us how he's going to keep America safe. Obviously it doesn't involve bombing people and using drones. No one is saying he should soften his peace message or bomb people. They are saying that he needs to outline in some detail what defense will look like under a Paul administration. Right now, there are a lot of republicans who have this idea that he's going to basically eliminate the military and let terrorists attack us at will. He doesn't have to change anything. He just needs to be detailed and frame the issue in a way that is palatable to republicans.

And no, slicing together yet another youtube video is not going to get us the 10 million votes or so we need. A youtube video is not going to get us major endorsements. It has to be Paul himself, laying out his agenda, in one comprehensive policy. That is the only way we are going to be able to change perceptions.

Feeding the Abscess
01-23-2012, 07:37 AM
If he makes a major foreign policy speech, the media will cover. Maybe not as much as we'd like, but they'll have to cover it. But the main point is that, no one will be able to use the 'weak on defense' talking point after he gives a major policy speech without referring to the 'Paul Doctrine'. The campaign can refer to it. Grassroot supporters can refer people who are on the fence to it. He really does have to tell us how he's going to keep America safe. Obviously it doesn't involve bombing people and using drones. No one is saying he should soften his peace message or bomb people. They are saying that he needs to outline in some detail what defense will look like under a Paul administration. Right now, there are a lot of republicans who have this idea that he's going to basically eliminate the military and let terrorists attack us at will. He doesn't have to change anything. He just needs to be detailed and frame the issue in a way that is palatable to republicans.

And no, slicing together yet another youtube video is not going to get us the 10 million votes or so we need. A youtube video is not going to get us major endorsements. It has to be Paul himself, laying out his agenda, in one comprehensive policy. That is the only way we are going to be able to change perceptions.

Do you really think the media will do anything about it? Go ahead, tell me what the other candidates' detailed, bold, visionary plans are for defense.

I'll be waiting a good while, there isn't anything out there. The only candidate who came close was Herman Cain, he was absolutely ridiculous in his proposals for doubling the Aegis warship fleet or whatever the hell he was babbling about.

Let that sink in - no other candidate has any sort of plan laid out - then come back and tell me the media will then treat Ron Paul fairly, and stop saying things like "he'll let terrorists nuke America".

Also, for what it's worth, detailing a plan with nearly $200 billion in cuts to Pentagon spending would be like pouring three tons of chum into a harbor full of sharks. He would be absolutely pilloried for "ruining America's defenses," and other such crap. Obama came out with a plan to "cut" spending increases in the military by a trillion over ten years, and neocon radio and presidential candidates were screaming about how he's hollowing out the military. What do you think will happen when Ron openly declares that he'd cut nearly a trillion in four freaking years?

But yeah, keep going on about how vital and important it is that Ron give some grand speech on the military, that won't get covered by anyone, that will be distorted beyond belief, and that can't possibly contain any sort of relevant defense details - because he's a guy running for president, what the hell does he know when it comes to building defense systems against nebulous, undefined, and unknown threats 5, 10, 15, or even 50 years in the future? That's what the DoD is for.

Here's an idea, fellas: learn his positions to a T, study the Constitution, and learn how to converse with people yourselves. It's really pretty simple. Talk about letters of marque and reprisal; talk about the Constitutional duties of Congress as it pertains to war; communicate the Just War Theory.

Tamasaburo
01-23-2012, 08:27 AM
...No one is saying he should soften his peace message or bomb people. They are saying that he needs to outline in some detail what defense will look like under a Paul administration. Right now, there are a lot of republicans who have this idea that he's going to basically eliminate the military and let terrorists attack us at will. He doesn't have to change anything. He just needs to be detailed and frame the issue in a way that is palatable to republicans.

And no, slicing together yet another youtube video is not going to get us the 10 million votes or so we need. A youtube video is not going to get us major endorsements. It has to be Paul himself, laying out his agenda, in one comprehensive policy. That is the only way we are going to be able to change perceptions.

My sentiments exactly.

freneticentropy
01-23-2012, 08:57 AM
Do you really think the media will do anything about it? Go ahead, tell me what the other candidates' detailed, bold, visionary plans are for defense.
etc...



If he doesn't do something about the perception of foreign policy, he loses. This is realism. I know his positions, and I do communicate them. Don't assume things. You are so adamant that he do nothing, you seem to feel the need to drop in every thread on foreign policy and just throw feces. That is not constructive. And furthermore, if you get your way, Paul loses. Flat out. No question. I live in a conservative area, I have conservative family members and friends. I know what the issue is. I've been able to pull a few people our way, but if Paul doesn't make a strong case now, he's done. I don't even mean that he should get super specific. But he should lay out his general policy, its rationale, and some general guidelines. He can use the opportunity to talk about letters of marque and reprisal, as you suggest. He can talk about just war theory, blowback, and all the rest. But he also needs to stress that he will defend the country if required. He can do that, and pull in a ton of voters who want to vote for him, but are uneasy about his FP, or he can do nothing about the FP perception, and just lose. Which is what's happening. Don't kid yourself.