You’ve probably heard the famous line attributed to Mahatma Ghandi, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
When it comes to America’s over-extended, wasteful, and often ineffective foreign policy, this is certainly the case. If Americans want to see military spending reigned in, the perpetual state of war come to a close, and our troops brought home they need to challenge the foreign policy establishment.
There is a shortage of principled conservatives working in Washington, D.C.’s foreign policy circles, particularly in the State Department. This troubling issue was highlighted by Capital Research Center vice president Dr. Steven J. Allen at The American Conservative’s 4th annual conference entitled, “U.S. Foreign Policy in the Trump Era: Can Realism and Restraint Prevail?”
Where do you find the people to fill these positions so that we can have good people at the State Department and Pentagon?
William Ruger, the Charles Koch Institute’s Foreign Policy fellow, admitted, “It’s really difficult.”
Since its founding in 2002, The American Conservative magazine has advocated for a truly conservative foreign policy: one that rejects the expeditionary goals of neoconservatism without being isolationist. This foreign policy—which prioritizes defending liberty at home as opposed to crusading abroad in search of monsters to destroy—is known as “realism and restraint.” And it’s very rare to find a congressman or a U.S. State Department official who holds this worldview.
As The American Conservative covered in its most recent November-December 2017 issue, there are only two senators (Rand Paul & Mike Lee) and six congressmen (Justin Amash, Dave Brat, John Duncan, Tulsi Gabbard, Walter Jones, and Thomas Massie) who espouse realist views.
There are few-to-none in the State Department or the Pentagon. President Trump is attempting to clean house, but is struggling to find replacements.
The solution to this problem is twofold. First, the U.S. needs more principled conservatives to seek careers of public service in the State Department and identify themselves to the Trump administration. Second, more educational programs are needed to produce such conservatives, like those at the Charles Koch Institute. Only then can “realism and restraint” prevail.
Watch Dr. Allen’s question to the panel here (1:34:00).