U.S. overextended, time to pull back

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There is a rather significant kerfuffle going on for direction of the Republican Party regarding foreign affairs.

On one side is the party establishment. Think of John McCain, George Bush, John Boehner and the like. These people tout a strong national defense. It is hard to argue against such wording until you realize that by "a strong national defense" they actually mean an obligation to police the world, "making it safe for democracy," I suppose.

The Republican establishment believes that spending American blood and treasure in pursuing endeavors such as Iraq and Afghanistan are really in America's interest. ... as is pushing NATO right up to the borders of Russia.

Challenging this assumption is the Rand Paul faction.

This movement claims that being the world's policeman is too expensive. Rand Paul asks why, for example, in 2012 the U.S. defense budget ($682 billion) was greater than the next 10 largest nations combined ($652 billion). It also questions why we have our military deployed in around 150 foreign countries with something like 900 overseas military bases. And then there are the countless "commitments" to defend other countries while getting little, if nothing, in return from them.

These numbers beg the question. Is all this really necessary for national defense, especially when the debt of the U.S. government is over $17 trillion, an amount that will burden generations of Americans come?

I think not. Count me in the Rand Paul camp. After the direct intervention disasters of Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya and behind the scenes meddling in Egypt and the Ukraine, the American public wants not isolationism, but to be more non-interventionist.

I feel that we are extended far beyond our resources. It's time for pulling back and stop feeling responsible for everything that happens in the world.

Peter Skurkiss, Stow

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