We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Depending on how you define it, "American interests" deserving of military force or threats thereof can be construed to involve everywhere on earth. However, we have just elected a guy with far less warlike or quasi-imperialist tendencies than the John Boltons, the Bushies, the Neocons, and Hillary. That's good. Governments often look for enemies for their own purposes.
Just because countries like pathetic Russia or growing but still adolescent China want to play geopolitics does not make them enemies or even adversaries. America today has no credible enemies but, as always there are plenty of bad actors and nasty talkers in the world. There always are and always will be.
The world is not America's sandbox. In my view, Europe can take care of itself. NATO is obsolete. If China wants to be a tough guy in south Asia, it's fine with me. It's not critical to the US. The middle east will be a mess for another 100 years unless the Ottoman Empire is restored. Of course America should be militarily competent - Always Be Prepared.
historically, and this includes pre-WW2, the US used military or naval force to protect its commercial interests well over 200 times with most of these being historical footnotes and only five declared wars, and the president should have the flexibility to do this subject to very strict congressional oversight.
nation building is not an American interest important enough to spend one American life over.
protecting freedom of navigation / trade and defense of certain of our allies, certain humanitarian assistance (Darfur should have been one) is important enough to send Americans in harms way. where and when we decide to project force it should be rarely, overwhelming and decisive.
I think, Barrister, that your view is too short sighted. If America does not step up, and by stepping up I mean goading its allies into action as much as acting unilaterally, America will soon have credible enemies. And sooner than you might like.
The America First Doctrine will be better served by dealing with international conflicts on grounds of America's choosing. Surely those grounds would not be its own backyard. But if America takes its eye off Europe, the Middle East and the Western Pacific the chances of conflict increase.
Confused Old Misfit
It is a cavalier, elitist, and arrogant way of viewing the world and America's place in it. I've got mine and to hell with the rest of you. I suppose you would have told Jefferson to not send the Marines to Tripoli and thus be still paying the Danegeld. Which is exactly what we would be paying China decades hence by following your prescription. I mean, you think they will stop at South Asia. That some fine diplomatically articulated balance of power will satisfy the desire of the Communist leadership for world hegemony. Delusional.
the inability of the War / Navy Department to cover checks written by the State Department resulted in the disasters in December '41 and Spring '42. If the US wants to save the world, it better have the muscles and will to do it.
1. talking to yourself is a sign of mental illness.
2. you're not reading for content, because I am in favor of a strong military that must not be squandered.
3. I don't discuss my service in the USN / DoD because it would be an argument by appeal to authority and because its none of your business but mostly because of internet warrior assholes like you and if you told me you ever stood a watch or walked a post or even watched over a school crossing or did anything more than play Space Marines I'll call you a fucking liar.
You will now go ahead and concoct your service record.
Will, I can't see above where I questioned 'your' service, so find your response somewhat mystifying, though I guess you're saying any use of 'appeal to authority' is wrong, in general. I didn't actually do that though, if one were to read for content, they might notice that. Though you're right, none of your business and not that it matters, but 4 years USMC, two tours RVN 66-68, 0311 Squad Leader, lots of shit. 16 years USAFR, retired SMSgt. So stuff it with your "internet warrior" bullshit. Jerk.
XRay: though I guess you're saying any use of 'appeal to authority' is wrong, in general.
While a combat soldier can be considered an authority on the cost of war, that doesn't make them an authority on the geopolitics of war. Conversely, a scholar on geopolitics may not understand the human cost of war. Successfully combining the two is a very rare thing. Furthermore, even the wisest authority can be wrong, and when it comes to war, being wrong can come with a very high price.