Franklin Countys First News

Failed Foreign Policy

If you supported military operations in the Middle East over the last 19 years you are partly to blame for the most costly example of failed foreign policy in US history. This is why it was opposed by most of the nation's military and intelligence experts for years before it was enacted. Some of you will argue that this general or that political appointee actually supported this policy from the start. Having been one of those military and intelligence leaders who took part in the conversation, I see those individuals as opportunists who chose to support a politically driven agenda rather than a strategy that was based on the advice of experts.

Expertise is not something that can be awarded, as rank and political appointments can be. In fact, one's level of expertise is directly proportional to their ability to predict or produce a given outcome. Given that extremists and the instabilities they generate continue to complicate matters in the Middle East to this day, those who supported policy meant to eliminate both have clearly failed to prove themselves experts. What they can say is that they assisted the government as it carried out policy that has contributed $6.5 trillion dollars to the national debt without producing the results desired, and will likely lead to that much more debt spending in decades to come.

Jamie Beaulieu

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11 Responses »

  1. I agree. What I think people need to realize is that this kind behavior from our government is not only Democrat or Republican, it is from both of them (The establishment). We've been at war now for decades and the last time a war had actually been declared was WWII. Ridiculous. Washington needs some real cleaning out, and I know I'd get some flack for this, but I think this President will begin this process. We the people need to keep a better watch and voice in Washington.

  2. Thanks for the heads up, and your “expertise” in the matter

  3. Good Comment Jamie,
    Sure to generate vigorous debate.
    Thank You.

    My take is that, human "nature" is not good.
    It's up to us,,, to choose to go our own way and do things our way (be our own God), or turn away from "self" to follow Jesus Christ completely and Love Even Our Enemies.
    (I did "not" say to blindly follow a "follower" of Christ,,( plenty of corruption in that)).

    It's complicated if we choose it to be.
    (As I myself often do).
    It is a test,,indeed.

    Yes, I understand there's a massive Humanistic reason why my opinion is incorrect. (Higher IQs than mine support this).
    That's the complicated part I mentioned earlier.

    So yes, I believe the Sky Fairy (as one referred to him).
    Jesus said "He alone" is the way the truth and the life.
    I believe the wars and killing is a direct result of us choosing something else as our God.

    Not trying to turn this into a religious discussion but I think that's what's behind the wars.

  4. Same goes for the extremists running for president right now. If you support ANY of them, you're partly to blame for the outcome we'll have, as you'll be experiencing right here in Maine due to your support for the Democrats.

    Those 'champions of the poor' are right now setting up an avalanche of taxation of your fuel, heating oil, home/rent, state income tax, and much, much more, the vast majority of which are to the detriment of Maine citizens. Enjoy your blame game when THOSE bills come due.

  5. Most of the wars in the Middle East have been to secure access to oil.

    "Were it not for oil, the Middle East would not be awash in expensive weapons; its political passions would matter no more to the world than those of any other corner of our Earth. Were it not for oil, we would not be beholden to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia – indeed, we might be able to bring ourselves to forthrightly condemn its savagery. Were it not for oil, we would never have involved ourselves in a ruinous war with Iraq, destabilising an entire region. (I remember the biting slogan on a sign from an early protest against the war with Saddam Hussein: “How did our oil end up under their sand?”)"

    If the world ran on sun, it wouldn’t fight over oil

  6. Jamie Beaulieu what was your expertise in the military what years? What was your rank when you got out,

  7. Back at the end of the 19th Century the Speaker of the House was Maine Republican Congressman Thomas Reed. He was speaker from 1895 to 1899. His big issue was anti-imperialism. He saw in President McKinley a dangerous trend - the US was getting involved in European like imperialism, fighting wars involving Cuba and the Philippines. There was a vigorous debate, with the anti-imperialists arguing that if the US gives in to the imperialist urge, war and power will corrupt the Republic and its leaders. The US should stay moral and true to its principles. This debate continued in various forms into the 20th Century. President Eisenhower warned of a "military industrial complex" that would demand continual wars and military spending in order to preserve itself. Ike's warning harkened back to those anti-imperialist arguments. Ike originally wanted to call it the "military industrial congressional complex," based on how military industry would force people in Congress to support more spending in order to protect jobs. He was persuaded to remove "Congressional" because it was too provocative.

    Right now the US has massive debt - the current Administration is running record deficits. Most of our military ventures have had ambiguous results since WWII - Vietnam, Iraq (which is now closer to Iran than it is to us) and Afghanistan's never ending war are examples. Perhaps in the spirit of Thomas Brackett Reed we should rethink the core basis of our policy - no longer called imperialist, but still wanting to exert influence globally. Most Americans say that the US is on the "wrong track," and there is a fear that our freedoms are eroding, and our leaders are increasingly distant and focused only on power. The same thing happened to the Roman Republic when it expanded and stable governance broke down and the Republic morphed into an Empire. Perhaps Thomas Reed was correct in arguing against an aggressive foreign policy.

  8. Me... I was wondering the same thing.. No response yet..

  9. We can neither change the world or ignore it. The simple fact that we allow an original or independent thought in our country is enough for some parts of the world to plain and simply want us eliminated. Its easy for some people to take for granted the blood and sweat this country has spent for this simple but most valuable right. Many refuse to believe there are those that wish us harm simply for who we are. How can we remain vigilant and still deal with the greed that might internally destroy us? Its not going to be easy. With half the world thinking our stay on earth is a pit stop before eternity and the other half looking for world financial dominance its a scary place for any simple common sense guy to be. All I know is in this country if you have the courage and you want it bad enough to pay the price you can be you and nobody else. This alone is worth dying for.

  10. In 1997, a number of commissioned officers of the Marine Corps and Navy invited me to take part the conversation that is meant to advise Washington in matters of national defense. I was then a Sergeant of Marines seeking commission in an attempt to earn the opportunity to prepare our forces for the guerrilla war I was certain we’d face in Afghanistan and Iraq in the coming years. At that time our civilian leaders and general public were so concerned with the threat posed by the conventional Iraqi army they appeared completely unaware of the extremist forces gaining influence, notoriety, and strength in the Middle East by carrying out terrorist attacks on our embassies and military installations there and in Africa, on the World Trade Center in 1993, and on our airlines and those of allied nations. (Yes, several airliners were either confirmed or suspected to have been downed by terrorists long before the attacks of September 11, 2001.) I, like many of those who took part in the national security conversation then, suspected those extremists sought to draw us into war believing they could outlast us as they had the Soviet Union in Afghanistan.

    I received an informal education in counter-terrorism and guerrilla warfare that year, and a security clearance the following year as I began to receive a formal education in those and other topics from Marine Corps Intelligence Schools and the Naval War College as I was prepped for command. A Naval Commander brought in by the Pentagon as they prepared for operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina instructed me in the processes used to gather, analyze, and compile intelligence. This education allowed me to see that the Bush administration improperly elevated the case for war in Iraq as it presented a few compelling pieces of intelligence absent reports that appeared to contradict the conclusions drawn from them. For this reason I still argue that the Iraq war was entered into as a result of failed leadership rather than intelligence errors.

    From time to time we were briefed by senior officers of the Marine Corps and Navy, men who had real leadership experience in combat and could offer advice. A number of those were Generals who had led combat operations as small unit commanders in Vietnam. When they spoke of the challenges they faced when confronting the guerrilla tactics used by the Vietcong it became abundantly clear to me that the preparations we then made for war in the Middle East were not adequate. They appeared to agree as they stressed that civilian leaders historically overlooked the advice of military officials in war, at least until it became abundantly clear they could not afford to do so. I don’t recall the specific historical examples provided to make the case, but several involved military failures generated when politicians awarded command to officers who agreed with them rather than to those who would argue their own point of view.

    While I prepared to lead infantry and reconnaissance forces I did not command them. Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, a couple injuries I’d sustained as an enlisted Marine in the early 90’s forced me to leave that profession behind. I’ve remained torn between responsibility to myself and the nation I served since. I tend to side with those professionals who demonstrate expertise and/or understanding superior to that possessed by the politicians who so often attempt to influence the opinion of the citizenry and the body politic. I feel that emotions, like fear, are too easily manipulated to do otherwise. I do my best to ignore those who gaslight for the same reason.