You can tell how primed Washington, DC is for global military domination because pretty much any sign of anyone anywhere resisting any form of military involvement anywhere in the world is characterized as a rise in “isolationism.” But as Michael Cohen argues nothing of the sort is happening:
No major political figure and certainly no presidential aspirant is calling for the U.S. to end its membership NATO or other international institutions; none are suggesting that the U.S. bring troops home from East Asia, where more than 60,000 US troops are stationed, predominately in South Korea and Japan; and few are talking about closing down overseas U.S. military bases. Even in a time of economic uncertainty, calls for greater protectionism or an end to trade agreements are few and far between. If anything, expanding trade seems to be one area where Congressional Republicans and the White House are on the same page.
When it comes to the defense budget, few political leaders are pushing for military spending to be cut. Republicans balked at Obama’s call for $400 billion in Pentagon savings over ten years, accusing him of insufficient fortitude in maintaining American defenses. Just last week, the House, with only 12 dissenting GOP voices, passed a defense spending bill that would increase the Pentagon budget by $17 billion. There seem to be more warnings today about incipient isolationism than actual examples.
Imagine a presidential candidate who wanted to maintain America’s defense alliances with Japan, South Korea, and NATO and maintain a conventional military capability sufficient to participate meaningfully in the defense of those countries against foreign attack. Say this guy separately wanted enough nuclear weapons to credibly deter a Russian nuclear strike. But nothing beyond that. No AFRICOM, no CIA agents running around Somalia, no talk of a permanent presence in Iraq, no actual need for ground troops in Korea, etc. It would be considered an outlandishly leftwing and “isolationist” stance. And yet there’d be nothing actually isolationist about it.