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GOP Candidate Jeb Bush Finds His Inner Neocon

August 31, 2015 in Economics

By Doug Bandow

Doug Bandow

Washington — Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush has amassed a sizable war chest and positioned himself to be the safe establishment pick after Donald Trump’s expected implosion. Alas, on foreign policy Bush has turned hard right.

“Our security,” he recently claimed, is “in the balance.” Yet the United States continues to dominate the globe as no other nation before it.

Moreover, Bush contended, “if we withdraw from the defense of liberty elsewhere, the battle of eventually comes to us anyway.” Actually, the world long has been filled with horror which Washington chose not to make its own—and it did not then become America’s own.

Bush followed the Republican stereotype in demanding more military spending. He warned of moving “straight in the direction of the greatest risk of all — military inferiority.” To whom?

Like other Republican presidential wannabes, Bush is oblivious to the consequences of U.S. policy.”

“We are in the seventh year of a significant dismantling of our own military,” he falsely claimed. Real spending continued to increase until 2012.

In Bush’s view two and a half percent of GDP for the Pentagon is too low. But as President Ronald Reagan observed, military spending should reflect the threat environment, which is vastly improved from Reagan’s time. Bush seemed to recognize this reality when he suggested a strategic review since “the world’s changed. I mean, we’re, the Soviets aren’t going to launch a tank attack across Eastern Germany into Germany.”

Very true, which makes you wonder how he could speak of “multiplying” threats when the biggest ones have disappeared. He should launch a strategic review first, which would suggest fewer defense responsibilities and thus lower military outlays.

Bush first called his brother’s policy in Iraq “a mistake.” More recently, however, he declared that ousting Saddam Hussein by President George W. Bush was a “pretty good deal.”

Maybe so, if you don’t count dead Americans, dead allied personnel, dead Iraqis, widespread sectarian violence, mass refugee flows, increased Iranian influence, regional instability, and the rise of the Islamic State militant group, also known as ISIS.

Bush misleadingly argued that Islamic State “didn’t exist when my brother was president” and that a continued U.S. military presence “would not have allowed” the group to flourish. This is false in almost every detail.

Islamic State is an outgrowth of al-Qaida in Iraq, which developed in response to George W. Bush’s invasion. The group grew in opposition to the U.S. occupation and …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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