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John Block Reports from Washington

RSS By: John Block, AgWeb.com

John Block has dedicated his professional career to the fields of agriculture, food and health.

Policeman to the World

Apr 16, 2009

I think President Obama and his friends in Congress are spending too much money. Their budget plan is unsustainable. On the home front, I don’t like what I see.
 
However, for the most part, I like his international direction.
 
  • His announcement to liberalize travel to Cuba is a good first step.
 
  • I have no problem with cutting some of the expensive defense projects. One or two less ships or planes is not going to cripple us.
 
  • I’m encouraged to see the U.S. reach out to Russia. Let’s see if we can work something out. We don’t need to put a missile defense system in the Czech Republic or Poland. If it is that critical, let the Europeans do it. We don’t need to surround Russia with NATO and U.S. puppet states. Russia needs some room to breath. We’re not talking about the old Soviet Union.
 
  • Our tone of conversation with China sounds reasonable. We are wise not to antagonize China. That would be like picking a fight with your banker. He might foreclose. China is our banker.
 
  • President Obama’s plan to bring our troops home from Iraq is fine with me.
 
  • However, I don’t think sending thousands more U.S. troops into Afghanistan is a good idea. Every country that has ever tried to get control of Afghanistan has come home with their tail between their legs.
Examples – Brits and Soviet Russia.
 
In relative terms, there is far more value in having an influence in the Middle East where they have oil. What do they have in Afghanistan? Camels and poppy fields.
 
  • Did you know that we have 90,000 U.S. military troops stationed in Europe? They were stationed there to guard against Soviet aggression after World War II. That’s over. Bring them home. We have troops in South Korea. Troops all over the world.
 
This may sound like a military surrender, but we should not be expected to be “policeman to the world.” There are other strong nations that have a vested interest in a stable world – Europe, China, Russia, Japan are a few examples.
 
After World War II, the U.S. was the only country standing. Then, we took the lead in blocking the Soviet Union. The world is a far different place now. Today, there are a lot of countries that we should work with to promote stability and security. I’m saying that we can’t afford to do everything. I think President Obama sees it that way also.
 
Until next week, I am John Block from Washington, DC.

Listen to the report.
 
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