In an interview with Tom Graham on WMRA’s Virginia Insight, U. S. Senate candidate Jamie Radtke stated the following when asked about the tea party’s opposition to ending the war on drugs and their reluctance to speak out against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan:
I don’t support us being in Libya and I think that we need to draw down in Iraq and Afghanistan and kill the terrorist, do our job and move on.
Radtke has opposed the Libyan intervention since day one, yet this appears to be the first inclination that she now supports any sort of “draw down” or withdrawal of troops for Iraq and Afghanistan. In fact, in a criticism of Barack Obama’s decision to involve the United States in Libya, Radtke reiterated her support for both wars:
I support the war in Afghanistan, which was in response to the terrorist attack on U.S. soil that killed thousands of Americans, and the war in Iraq, which was intended to stop a WMD program that we and nearly all other nations believed that Saddam Hussein was undertaking. While I would have preferred declarations of war, Congress did at least pass war resolutions for the use of military force in both wars.
It appears as though Radtke’s foreign policy, of which scant little is outlined on her website, is malleable to fit the political climate. With skepticism of the U. S. military presence in Iraq and Afghanistan growing among tea party types, Radtke’s platform seems to be shifting to fit the new demand.
For a self-professed fiscal hawk, Radtke has no issue of the $3.2-4 trillion (not to mention the countless lives) spent on the wars. It goes without saying that George Allen has long been a supporter of both Republican-started wars. Bishop E. W. Jackson believes that the U. S. military does no wrong and that “the world owes us a debt of thanks.” Only the two remaining candidates (on the Republican side), Tim Donner and David McCormick, have at least expressed skepticism about either wars. McCormick’s website clearly states his position of ending deployment in Iraq, though it makes no mention of Afghanistan and also states that homophobic bigotry should not only be tolerated but excused in the military. Only Tim Donner’s campaign website list an extensive position on our foreign policy:
…even those who fully supported our military incursions into Afghanistan and Iraq must now admit that after a combined 18 years of war and almost 5000 American casualties, it is time for the governments of those very different nations to assume the lion’s share of their own defense. Our presence in Iraq appears to no longer be welcome (if it ever was to begin with) and centuries of history have taught us that Afghanistan is ultimately unconquerable. The reasons for our continued involvement in both nations are increasingly unclear and indefensible. Nation-building and securing the safety of citizens are the primary requirements in both countries, and are not tasks for which our military is designed or suited.
I share the increasing skepticism of the American people about our involvement in conflicts such as Libya, in which there is no identifiable national interest, we are followers rather than leaders, the mission and strategy are not clearly defined, and the forces we support are hardly known to us.
And entering into such conflicts for humanitarian purposes would, for the sake of consistent policy, require us to engage in many more hot spots around the globe. That, of course, is entirely unfeasible for a multitude of reasons.
It is time for America to apply one basic but rigorous test to all potential foreign involvements: a clear and compelling national interest