Contrary to popular belief, there are individuals on the Right who question foreign policy under the Trump administration.
In his article, Are All the World’s Problems Ours? paleoconservative commentator Pat Buchanan cast light on the hawkish direction the Trump administration has taken in the past few months. Countries such as Iran and Venezuela have been the particular focus for DC foreign policy elites.
Buchanan raised several valid points throughout this article. Buchanan asked a very thought-provoking question regarding Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s secret flight to Baghdad, Iraq:
How successful was Operation Iraqi Freedom, which cost 4,500 U.S. lives, 40,000 wounded and $1 trillion, if, 15 years after our victory, our secretary of state must, for his own security, sneak into the Iraqi capital?
Pompeo’s visit was in the backdrop of America’s recent deployment of naval carriers to the Strait of Hormuz. Although this escalation has not resulted into open conflict, Buchanan points out that “Tehran gave 60 days’ notice that if it does not get relief from severe U.S. sanctions, it may walk out of the nuclear deal it signed in 2015 and start enriching uranium again to a level closer to weapons grade.”
During the same week of the growing Iran tensions, North Korea fired two missiles into the Sea of Japan. This was a clear message to the Trump administration that Kim’s patience is running thin.
The recent North Korean negotiations, which originally started out with a lot of promise, have encountered numerous roadblocks thanks to the schemes of establishment diplomats like John Bolton. It’s become clear that Kim Jong Un sees the demands to surrender his nukes and dismantle his nuclear facilities as a bridge too far. Especially, when he receives no guarantees that sanctions on North Korea will be repealed.
During the same timeframe, the U.S. threw its support behind Venezuelan Interim President Juan Guaido’s failed uprising against Nicolas Maduro’s embattled government. As a result, the hawkish elements of the Trump administration have not ruled out the use of military force.
Afghanistan looked promising at first, with the Trump administration declaring a five-year withdrawal plan from the country. But now, it looks like there might be obstacles to completing a genuine withdrawal. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joe Dunford informed Congress that America must keep counter-terrorist units in Afghanistan “until there is no insurgency left in the country.”
Buchanan rightfully views this announcement as a potential sign of “forever war” in Afghanistan.
Unlike most of his colleagues on the Right, Buchanan has been a firm critic of military-industrial complex interests and military adventures abroad.
In days of binary political thinking, Buchanan is a breath of fresh air. When it’s all said and done, Buchanan might be the last of his kind on the Right.