Reflections on a political race: Foreign affairs issues

Kent Kingsley's picture

In the recently concluded Third District congressional race I was surprised by a number of things (not the least of which was the result, but that’s a story for another article).

One area that was surprising was the complete lack of questions from the press and public on foreign affairs issues. In the seven months I ran for office I was asked twice about Afghanistan, both times by radio station WKEU in Griffin. Considering what is going on in the world today, it is amazing. Let’s take a look at a few hot button issues around the world.

Afghanistan: The war is 11 years old and we have little to show for it and only a vague notion of when we might withdraw.

How would you like to be a soldier or the parent of a soldier engaged in combat half way around the world fighting a war the United States has no intention of winning?

That is where we are today; we are losing our best men and women for a corrupt country that will continue to be corrupt when we leave and in all likelihood will revert to the same status they were prior to 2001.

Why isn’t the public more outraged? Why hasn’t Congress demanded a change in policy? Why has this President not taken his role as Commander-in-Chief position seriously and implemented a win or go home policy? Why is this country still attempting to “nation build” a country that has no intention of joining the 21st century?

Our policy is wrong and it is a disgrace. I would urge you to ask the tough questions to our federally elected officials. But you and I already know the answer that you will receive from our elected officials, “I am trying all I can, but I am only one person.” The result is more needless deaths, more needless injuries, more borrowed money wasted.

Iran: Another classic case of American neglect will result in Iran in relatively short order either joining the nuclear club or in Israel taking matters into their own hands and risking full-blown war in the Middle East in order to protect their very survival.

The fault lies with our past two presidents and their unwillingness to make the tough decisions early and their inability to convince Russia and China to do the right thing and prevent Iran from going nuclear.

Put yourself in Israel’s place: They are surrounded by hostile countries and faced with the possibility of its greatest enemy developing nuclear weapons.

Keep in mind three things about Iran: firstly, they are the primary sponsor of terrorist organizations Hezbollah and Hamas in Lebanon and Palestine respectively and each is dedicated to destroying Israel.

Secondly, Iran has demonstrated they have the strategic missile capability to deliver warheads to Israel. Iranian leaders have publicly said their goal is the destruction of Israel.

Finally, Iran has a developed a military far in excess of what is needed for defense. The conclusion must be that we must take seriously their stated intention of becoming the Middle East’s dominant force.

China: China has become the second strongest nation in the world. China is very close to becoming the world’s second super power and in my opinion our greatest long-term threat. They have become a world power economically; not always by playing fair, but always acting in the best interests of China.

From a geographic standpoint they dominate Asia and the Pacific region. The only aspect of power where they fall short in is the capability to project and sustain military forces globally.

Once China has that capability, and they are working to feverishly to build that capability, China will be that second international superpower.

We can’t prevent China from obtaining superpower status, but we can revise our policies vis-a-vis China to delay and frustrate them.

While it is obvious that 2012 election is about “the economy, stupid” and our debt and deficit, we must not ignore the very real challenges facing us throughout the rest of the world.

I didn’t mention North Korea, Syria, the economic collapse in Europe or our Cuban policy; we can’t ignore these and other issues.

We as citizens must demand our press do a better job of voicing these issues and having our elected officials explain their solutions. We as a nation may be ignoring them, but the rest of the world isn’t.

[Kent Kingsley was a Republican candidate for Congress in the Third Congressional District which includes Fayette and Coweta counties. He is a retired U.S. Army Infantry lieutenant colonel, owns a small real estate company in Lamar County and lives in Milner, between Griffin and Barnesville. He is an advocate for the Fair Tax, balanced budgets and federal term limits.]