Skip to main content

Ben Carson's Foreign Policy Plan For America Makes Literally No Sense

Ben Carson's foreign policy plan is a stupid as his economic plan. It doesn't bear any relation to reality, and Carson is promoting it knowing full well his audience doesn't have the intellectual ability to see how utterly ridiculous it is.
  • Author:
  • Updated:
Carson toast

Ben Carson laid out his 6 point plan for America's foreign policy under his leadership on his facebook page today, and unsurprisingly it makes no sense whatsoever.

Here is Carson's foreign policy plan that will apparently "restore America’s role as the world’s preeminent leader," with a response to each poorly thought out point:

1. Rearming the U.S. Military:
America’s national security begins with its military, but draconian budget cuts by the Obama administration have endangered our military supremacy. Our armed forces are too small, too old, out-gunned and under-resourced. A Carson administration will ensure that our military is equipped and authorized to defeat global terrorism, able to deter and respond to regional threats from rogue nations and tyrants, and prepared for other grave contingencies around the world.

Firstly, these "draconian budget cuts" are not draconian (Obama has actually tried to increase spending responsibly) and have happened because there isn't enough money to fund the military at previous levels. Why? Because George Bush went to war on the nation's credit cards, refused to raise taxes to pay for it, then sunk the economy for good measure. Obama has had to clear up the mess and has steadfastly refused to raise spending on the military if there isn't a way to pay for it. This would be regarded as being conservative in any other era, but apparently being conservative now means spending money without having a way to pay for it. Secondly, there is no military on the planet capable of competing with the US, so the notion that American military's supremacy is at risk is nothing more than cheap fear mongering.

2. Revitalizing Critical Alliances:
With the best military in the world, the Carson administration will reinvigorate America’s global alliances and build new partnerships with any country willing to cooperate in pursuit of peace, stability and freedom. Under a Carson administration, no one will question America’s commitment to any ally, especially Israel. As president, I will also re-solidify ties with members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization as well as with other friends and allies around the world.

Given Obama is has increased military aid to Israel every year he has been in office, it is hard to understand how Carson interprets this as a big slap in the face to Netanyahu (a leader to whom Carson appears to be more loyal than his own President). Secondly, relations with allies around the world in comparison with the Bush Administration are positively sky high. George Bush's popularity abroad declined almost every year he was in office, while Obama's popularity has remained high in most regions of the world. Basically, everyone approves of Obama's foreign policy and leadership around the world other than Republicans.

3. Restoring U.S. Global Leadership:
For peace to prevail, America must resume its role as global leader, deterring and defeating aggression where necessary. As president, I will seek to destroy the Islamic State; withdraw from the unfortunate Iran nuclear agreement engineered by the Obama-Clinton administration; punish Russia for its naked land grabs; and seek opportunities for cooperation with China while holding Beijing accountable for any violations of international norms.

This translates as: For peace to prevail, we have to invade more countries and antagonize global power players with aggressive behavior and abandoning carefully negotiated disarmament agreements. This sounds like a great strategy...

4. Renewing the National Security Establishment:
As we rearm and resume our leadership role in the world, we must also reform the national security establishment. As president, I cannot ask the American people to pay for a military build-up without demanding corresponding efficiencies. That includes streamlining agencies, making our defense procurement more responsive to strategic requirements and reforming vast government bureaucracies.

So basically, what Obama said...

5. Re-Evaluating When to Put American Troops in Harm's Way:
There is no more solemn duty for the President of the United States than the execution of his responsibilities as Commander-in-Chief. I will only place America’s armed forces in harm’s way when necessary to protect America and her allies. Every deployment will begin with a clear vision, a strategy to achieve victory and the necessary resources to succeed.

With Carson's aforementioned strategy of antagonizing everyone other than Israel, it is hard to see how he keeps this promise. Also, an all out American led war on ISIS would likely make the situation much, much worse. Only a carefully orchestrated political resolution combined with a coordinated multilateral military campaign  has a chance of succeeding (and that is still a stretch), so Carson's promise to "destroy" the Islamic state with boots on the ground directly contradicts his pledge to "only place America’s armed forces in harm’s way when necessary to protect America and her allies". Carson's plan does precisely the opposite, so he cannot promise anything to America's service men and women.

6. Reviving Economic Prosperity:
A sound foreign policy approach requires a similarly sound economic plan, and our ability to mount and sustain viable responses to global threats is undergirded by our economic strength. Unfortunately, years of fiscal irresponsibility are threatening to put limitations on our defense capabilities. As president, I will curtail overreaching government and galvanize entrepreneurial endeavors, put the United States on the glide path to a balanced budget and bolster our ability to project power and lead the world.

Where to begin with this one... firstly, thanks to Obama America leads the world on economic growth. He has out performed Ronald Reagan on jobs, growth, and investing, pulled the US out of the worst recession in 80 years, and handily beat George Bush when it comes to lowering unemployment. Ben Carson's economic plan would reverse all of that almost instantaneously, because his numbers don't add up and he relies on fantastical thinking for it to work. As Tim Worstall of the arch conservative Adam Smith Institute wrote in Forbes, Carson's plan flies in the face of "the simplest of logic and mental arithmetic." Carson plans to pay for America's foreign adventures with gigantic tax cuts for the wealthy that will apparently create boundless economic wealth because rich people always allow their money to trickle down -- a notion that even the IMF has discredited.

In short, Ben Carson's foreign policy plan is a stupid as his economic plan. It doesn't bear any relation to reality, and Carson is promoting it knowing full well his audience doesn't have the intellectual ability to see how utterly ridiculous it is.