This isn’t a national security election. But the United States still has more than 100,000 troops engaged in combat in two different countries. You would think that if you were the opposition party laying out your plan for American that would be worth a mention, no?
In the 45 page “Pledge to America,” subtitled “a new governing agenda built on the priorities of our nation,” the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq apparently don’t amount to a GOP priority worth mentioning.
The words Iraq and Afghanistan are mentioned once each in the entire document and the one mention is in reference to sanctions about Iran. What makes this stranger is that an entire section of the “pledge” is devoted to the GOP’s plan for national security.
There are platitudes of course. It notes “we are a nation at war” and there is one bullet on pledging to “pass clean troop funding bills” (something Republicans never did during the last decade). But there is no plan for Iraq or Afghanistan. There is no mention of how Republicans plan to deal with either war, no notion that things could be done differently, and no acknowledgement that this year was the deadliest year in Afghanistan. One would think that the opposition party in the United States would have something to say about the war in Afghanistan — a war that appears to be floundering.
The lack of any serious mention of the wars is a telling sign that war has been taken as a given by the House GOP. There is no sense of urgency or need to challenge or question the existing war plans. In other words, it is no longer on their radar, war is simply a fact of life. As a result, war in perpetuity is simply a given under the GOP. This also demonstrates a real callousness. American men and women are fighting and dying in Iraq and Afghanistan and the GOP doesn’t even see this sacrifice as something worth mentioning.
More broadly, however, the national security component shows that the GOP has no actual vision for how they think the world’s leading superpower should operate in the world. Of the eight points in the plan devoted to national security three are devoted to immigration and border control, two to Guantanamo and detention policy, one to missile defense (of course), one to tough enforcement of Iran sanctions, and one to the above mentioned clean funding bills. The fact that more than half the points are devoted to keeping people out of America, indicates that the GOP House leadership simply doesn’t know how it wants to engage the world.
All the “pledge” tells us therefore, is that the House GOP will support war in perpetuity and that it has no concrete ideas about what America’s foreign policy should be.