October 25, 2020

Gen Z Conservative

The thoughts of a young conservative on political issues relevant to all ages

avoid foreign entanglements

The Great George Washington Avoid Foreign Entanglements Quote

The George Washington Avoid Foreign Entanglements Quote:

“It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliance with any portion of the foreign world” -The George Washington Avoid Foreign Entanglements quote

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My Take:

George Washington was a political genius. Perhaps not to the same extent as Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison, but a genius nonetheless. As shown by this great George Washington avoid foreign entanglements quote, he knew that America couldn’t afford to get involved in foreign wars, and it definitely couldn’t afford to get involved with the European alliance system. Why could America not afford those things? There are two main reasons.




The first reason why this George Washington avoid foreign entanglements quote was so important for early America is that, at that time, America couldn’t compete with European powers. For example, America at the time was financially strained. Washington knew that becoming militarily tied to Britain, France, or Spain would prove disastrous.

Fighting a war is expensive. The American Revolution had been prohibitively expensive and that was basically a guerrilla war in our backyard. Fighting an expeditionary conflict across the Atlantic, or fighting back an invasion of the new American Republic, would have been too expensive. And we probably would have lost. America wasn’t military strong. It couldn’t fight again against a European superpower.

Luckily, those problems are no longer problems for America. We have the strongest military on Earth. And that is by a wide margin. Just read about the F-35 in my article “the Truth about the F-35“. No one else even comes close. Additionally, we are no longer financially strained. Yes, we probably shouldn’t take on new projects, like I talk about in my article on the infrastructure bill. But we have enough money to compete militarily.




So the economic reasons for Washington’s advice are no longer relevant. But the other reason for his advice that America should avoid foreign entanglements is that Americans are a democratic people (despite living in a republic). We, like citizens of other democracies, are unwilling to handle casualties on any scale, much less a large scale. By avoiding foreign wars, Washington was helping America remain united. That was why this George Washington avoid foreign entanglements quote was so important to early America; as Washington knew it would, it is what kept us together.

How His Advice Relates to the Modern Day:

Washington’s foresight was incredibly brilliant. By keeping America out of entangling alliances that would lead to foreign wars, he helped America stay together as a nation. Just think about the converse- the Vietnam War and the Global War on Terror.

Those wars, while perhaps not as bloody as other conflicts, have led to immense social turmoil. The Vietnam War led to huge problems for society, as you can read about in The Best and the Brightest. People rioting and fighting in the streets. Soldiers being attacked and defamed by American citizens. We had allowed ourselves to be drawn into a foreign war that threatened apart society.




Now think about the modern day. The Global War on Terror has had similarly deleterious effects on American society. Those effects on society aren’t as obviously related to the War on Terror as they were during the Vietnam War.

But they are just as present in society. Think of the rioting over militarized police. I don’t particularly agree with the rioters, but their view of the police was caused by the War on Terror. The police have been militarized by that war. Similarly, the NSA’s spying has profoundly affected American society and politics. We now worry that what we say and do will be read and watched by the government.

Julian Assange made sure we worry about that spying. Finally, many of our D.C. political squabbles are driven by foreign policy related to either entangling alliances or the War on Terror. Organizations like NATO and the UN and our membership in them have become fights that consume politicians and American politics. We have become too entangled in those alliance structures and need to find ways to relearn the great advice in this George Washington avoid foreign entanglements quote.

Conclusion:

Had our politicians listened to this George Washington avoid foreign entanglements quote, we would not be in our current predicament. We would not be spending exorbitant amounts of money on military operations around the globe each year.  Nor would we be having knockdown political fights about our involvement in those alliance structures.

Some temporary alliances can be valuable if they strengthen our military position in a region. South Korea, Japan, Israel, and Saudi Arabia are a few that come to mind. Those countries pull their weight militarily, invest in military technology research and development with us, and are generally good partners. Our NATO allies are generally not good allies. They are reliant on Russia for energy. The fact that we are still in alliances with them means that we have not learned the true meaning of this George Washington avoid foreign entanglements quote.

They import technology and investments in huge quantities from China. Furthermore, most NATO nations don’t even meet the 2% NATO spending requirement. That is ridiculous. Finally, it is full of nations that are unable to really help us militarily, even if they do meet the spending requirement. Countries like Montenegro, Latvia, and Estonia are militarily unimportant to us. They don’t help us. Why should we be in an alliance with them?




The answer is that we shouldn’t be. In my opinion, NATO is the definition of an entangling alliance. Just because they are nations that might align with our values doesn’t mean we have to be militarily committed to them. That is unreasonable.

Instead, we should focus on cultivating alliances that help us out militarily and let us reduce our defense burden. Those types of alliances, as long as they are not permanent, are not the type being lambasted in this George Washington avoid foreign entanglements quote. Rather, he is instead attacking the type of alliance that is either permanent or non-beneficial.

We shouldn’t be trying to increase that burden. Rather, we should try to find ways to reduce it. Once again listening to this George Washington avoid foreign entanglements quote would be a great way to reduce that burden. We should listen to his advice. It would be very helpful in pulling America back together.

President Trump, I think, understands perfectly the message of this George Washington avoid foreign entanglements quote. He is ending America’s interventionist era, striking back against the swamp and the forces of globalism in it, and doing what he can to make our NATO allies pay their fair share. Thank goodness for President Trump!

By: Gen Z Conservative

Links:

Read about the F-35 here: https://genzconservative.com/interesting-articles-the-f-35/

Read about the financial strain that the infrastructure bill will cause: https://genzconservative.com/pelosis-impeachment-roadblock/

And read my analysis of another great George Washington quote on politics here: https://genzconservative.com/george-washington-on-studying-politics/

Finally, read a Foreign Affairs article on this Washington quote: https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/1970-07-01/entangling-alliances

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