Foreign policy restraint:
The United States currently does not have a codified set of foreign policy principles to guide policymakers which is why we see inconsistencies when it comes to alliances or treaties such as joining the Iran Deal, then the next administration leaves the Iran Deal, then the next administration promises to rejoin. Pacificus was the pen name of Hamilton in seven letters arguing for US neutrality in the war between France and England.
The following set of principles can help guide foreign policy; The United States recognizes and respects the national sovereignty of all countries regardless of the differences in culture, government structure, geography, natural resources, and legal protections of its citizens. The US should not interfere with any of these national differences unless provoked into conflict by that nation. The United States should remain out of alliances and treaties that alienate other nations but work towards ending universal threats such as nuclear proliferation. The United States is interested in expanding American values and rights abroad through popular sovereignty of those foreign nations and not military or economic force.
In accordance with these principles, the United States should end all military alliances and any other foreign obligation that is not universal in nature. Such obligations that we should maintain would be nuclear arms treaties since nuclear warfare is a universal threat and does not obligate us to favor one country over the other. US efforts to combating climate change should be maintained.
Given the expanse of the US military due to the treaties we currently have, ending those treaties would require a major overhaul of military assets and operations. In order to separate ourselves from foreign conflicts, the United States should sell all army bases abroad to the nations that they reside in. To encourage these purchases, the Army generals in charge of the bases, with the support of the President, will decide which weapons, ammo, ordinances, vehicles, and fuel that is currently stationed at each base would be included in the purchases.
With the end of most operations, this should include all mercenary contracts including the subsidies and tax deductions, and exemptions to mercenary companies. Mercenary armies degrade America’s image and prevent the US from being neutral. Along with decreasing military operations, we should decrease foreign aid and end subsidies and tax deductions/exemptions to corporations that send aid abroad.
The decrease of US involvement means that we can allocate military funds to domestic projects; I suggest the US decrease the Army’s budget by 70%, from around $200 billion to $60 billion, and allocate $40 billion of that amount to the Navy, $10 billion to the Air Force, and $90 to domestic infrastructure. The infrastructure projects should include a fully developed and connected high-speed rail system and the renovation of our waterways. Since the money is from the Army and since infrastructure has a military purpose to it, the Army should oversee construction, development, maintenance, and operations of the rail system. As an incentive for the Army to speed up development, we should return the Army’s budget back to the prior amount once the infrastructure projects are complete. The money sent to the other two branches for research and development of defensive technologies and tactics to update our military.
Since equal treatment is a principle of our foreign policy, we should end all sanctions on other countries and adopt a progressive tariff system that is based on the GDP of a nation along with the total trade of that nation and the individual industries themselves. For example, a nation that has a high GDP and billions of dollars worth of trade with the US will have a higher tariff rate than a nation with a small GDP and only millions of dollars worth of trade with the US. Individual industries of a country will also have their own tariff rate. This way we are encouraging purchases to smaller countries to alleviate the economic dependence America has on larger and more prosperous nations while supporting smaller nations. This will also normalize America’s relations with foreign nations since we will not be arbitrarily putting tariffs on nations simply because we don’t like them.
This restraint does not mean isolationism from the international community and we should still have an open dialogue with every nation, share our medical and scientific research, collaborate on climate issues, and work with every country to deter nuclear armament and use. The United States should remain the host for the UN and support open dialogues between nations to deter conflicts worldwide which can only be done with foreign policy restraint.