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Foreign Policy & Vacuum theory

Have you noticed lately that news analysts keep saying Dr. Paul's ideas on bringing our troops home from around the world will leave a "vacuum" militarily. Supposedly this vacuum is going to be filled by China, or Russia, or something along those lines. -It seems that a real easy way to argue this idea is to simply compare it to the "domino theory" of the Vietnam War. When we left Vietnam, that "vacuum" did not get filled by communism like they predicted! Plus have you seen the graph that shows each country and their military budgets. What are these countries going to fill the vacuum with? One of their 10 ships? PLEASE...

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how about the fact

that China has zero foreign bases. That must mean they too are weak on national defense. So why are they a threat then?
Also, even if they wanted to fill that void, they are not going to fill it during RP's 1st term. Not in 4 years when they have no bases to start from. So after 4 years, if RP's policies aren't working they can vote in someone else.

Bringin' it all back home

Within the power vacuum theory is the premise that there is another superpower willing and able to fill it.

To the extant that regional hegemons will fill power vacuums left behind by a U.S. withdrawal simply means those regional hegemons will be taking the burden of empire (smaller though it may be) upon themselves. The burden of hegemony falls on them. To the extent these regimes are hostile to the U.S. so much the better that such a burden be upon them.

The idea that nations such as Iran will close the Straights of Hormuz if the U.S. does not maintain absolute military supremacy in the region is to suggest the Iranians will cut off their nose to spite their face. They need oil for revenue.

The power vacuum theory - and the specific scenarios it engenders, like Iran closing the Straights of Hormuz - indicate a fundamental lack of trust or understanding of market mechanisms. If Iran closed the Straights of Hormuz the price of oil would adjust accordingly and market players would be incentivized to continue to deliver oil where it is most needed.

Military intervention is in this sense an attempt at price fixing - controlling the market.

To the extant that American military power is used to maintain commercial shipping routes open and free from hostility (in the vein of say, Somali pirates) I'd suggest that such military power is a subsidy to commercial enterprise. Is there anything preventing commercial enterprises from contracting protectionary escorts?

To the extent that this economic system requires the forceful expansion of markets is an indictment of the - yet again - the American subsidiary economy.

One would expect that under free market business conditions, production would be more regional, for the reasons that a) a large producer will saturate their locale with their product and b) unless this producer can and does invest in expanding their distribution capabilities their productivity will depress prices and resulting in feedback to reduce production.

The structure of our system is that businesses receive distribution subsidies precisely because their reception of production subsidies creates "over-production" from a local/regional point of view.

Military protection of commercial enterprise may be counted as yet another subsidy of distribution.

GATT/NAFTA etc., are other reflections of this phenomena whereby this excess subsidized production and distribution are managed.

The global military presence is a commercial subsidy not a defensive necessity. I don't think this a particularly compelling argument against foreign entanglement vis-a-vis the mainstream voter but I think it is accurate and fundamental nonetheless.

How we do business here at home greatly influences what our geopolitical 'imperatives' are.

Thank you for your post.

My husband read an article in the NY Times today and they questioned RP's plan to bring them all home, specifically, whether this would reduce costs since many of the bases are subsidized by the local countries they are in. We spoke about it and of course the article mentioned the Iran - straights of Hormoz, etc.

To make a long story short, he asked me to see if anyone on the DP addressed these issues and I have just sent him a copy of your post. Thanks again.


Well put!

Deserving of cheer for finally getting "extent" spelled right on your third use.

This is a very good response and ought to be spread to other venues (after correcting the first two "extant"s).

Freedom is the ability to do what you want to do.
Liberty is the ability to do what you ought to do.
"Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty." 2 Corinthians 3:17


for the encouragement, third times a charm. :)

I noticed that too...except I always notice after I've posted.

The only vacuum

is the one sucking up our money and using it to prop up unelected dictators.


Reminds me of the argument that Santorum made about our ships not being there to rescue the Iranian hostages off Somalia. You know, those people he dislikes so much...
My dad was in the navy and I remember that the ships did cruises on a regular basis.
Not having bases around the world does not mean we will no longer make trips to foreign, friendly ports!

When Fascism goes to sleep, it checks under the bed for Ron Paul!

Love your signature


Freedom is the ability to do what you want to do.
Liberty is the ability to do what you ought to do.
"Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty." 2 Corinthians 3:17

Vacuum Theory?

That sucking sound is our troops coming home and spending their paychecks here.


Ha! Yeah, I just heard Glenn Beck make this argument. What a tool.