For the most part, our foreign policy can be summed up as shameful. We consistently act as the police of the world and act as if we’re above international law. We engage in endless wars where we permanently occupy other nations (often sending in our private corporations to extract other nation’s natural resources like oil), we consistently engage in regime change wars and coups to topple leaders we don’t like, we sell arms to brutal theocracies and dictatorships, we spend drastically more than any other country in the world on our military (more than the next 10 countries combined), we have a drone program that kills many civilians, we have been caught torturing people, we still run the Guantanamo Bay detention camp out of Cuba where reports of torture is common, and we bomb sovereign nations without Congressional approval.
I believe our foreign policy needs to be completely revamped as we need to completely change our priorities. I believe in implementing a foreign policy which focuses on diplomacy, peace, democracy, human rights, and economic fairness.
What Eric Will Fight For
Restoring Declaration of War Powers to Congress
Remove the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists (AUMF) which was passed by Congress following the September 11 attacks in order to combat international terrorism and defend the United States. This act, passed at a difficult time for our country, has given the President the ability to wage war on any individual, organization, or country as long as the President deems it a terrorist threat. The Constitution gives Congress the power to wage war and this act allows the President to circumvent Congress in order to wage war. This act has been used to wage war against people, groups, and nations that were not involved in 911.
According to a 2016 report by the Congressional Research Service, the AUMF had been cited 37 times (between 2001-2016) in connection with actions in 14 countries and on the high seas (18 by the Bush Administration and 19 by the Obama Administration). The countries mentioned in the report included Afghanistan, Cuba (Guantanamo Bay), Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Georgia, Iraq, Kenya, Libya, Philippines, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. The AUMF has been used since the report as well. The Trump administration used it as grounds for the occupation of Kurdish-controlled Syrian oilfields.
I do not believe in giving the President a blank check to wage war. We should restore the power to declare war to Congress as the Constitution intended. For this reason, I support the removal of the AUMF.
End Endless War
The war in Afghanistan has been going on since 2001 (the longest war in American history), the war in Iraq has been going on since 2003, the war in Syria has been going on since 2015, and many more. I don’t want these endless wars and the American people overwhelmingly don’t want them either. It’s time we end these endless wars. I will support the responsible removal of our troops and the end of these wars.
End Regime Change Wars
The United States has supported regime change in countries across the world (Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, and Yemen, just to name a few). Whether overt or covert, it is my position that we should not be meddling in the affairs of other sovereign nations. I condemn the supporting of coups, funding and training rebellions, sending American troops, directing waging war (like bombing), and anything else done in order to undermine and meddle in the affairs of foreign nations in the name of regime change.
The sad truth is many of these regime change wars are waged in the name of helping the people of those nations against a dictator yet when you look at it, the people are often worse off after our intervention than they were before. I believe in a hands off approach unless there is a clear and immediate threat to the American people or if there is clear and egregious human rights violations occurring. In the case of clear human rights violations (like genocides), I believe we must not work independently and instead work with the rest of the world in order to come to a resolution.
To give a current example of what my views are: I support the end of our support to the regime change intervention in Yemen, led by Saudi Arabia. We supply Saudi Arabia weapons like cluster bombs (outlawed in most of the world) with the knowledge that Saudi Arabia has been using our weapons to indiscriminately target civilians and violate international laws of war. Millions are currently at risk of starving due to the war. I would fight to end our involvement.
Stop being the World’s Police, Abide by International Law and Strive for Peace
The title says it all. I believe we should stop being the worlds police, we should abide by international law and stop acting like we’re above it, and I believe our foreign policy should focus more on bringing countries together, increasing our relations with countries across the world, and more. When tasked to vote on whether to reject or ratify treaties or whether we go to war, I will vote in accordance to these principals.