The Pentagon’s recently released Military Strategy of the United States for 2015 concludes that Russia and China are the greatest threats to the US — more so than even non-state actors like ISIS.
Perhaps. But who is the greatest threat to our liberties?
Ron Paul: Hello everybody and thank you for tuning in to the Liberty Report. With me today is Daniel McAdams. Daniel, good to see you today.
Daniel McAdams: Thank you, Dr. Paul.
Ron Paul: Good. The news has changed a little bit. We’ve heard a lot about ISIS. It’s still in the news, but they’re not the greatest threat in the world. It used to be last week, for last year too. Perpetual war for perpetual peace and spend more money and start a new engagement here and there, but this week the greatest threat to our national security are the Russians. I guess they’re going to march in. The greatest threat. I wonder if it’s greater than it was during the Cold War, but anyway Joseph Dunsford, who’s up for Chairman of U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, is testifying before the Armed Services Committee, which is John McCain’s committee, he’s Chairman. This is where he made the announcement that the greatest threat to our security are the Russians and the Russian government. For some reason all of a sudden it wasn’t a big deal to be talking about ISIS, but I guess it depends on their mood and what they are doing. Guess what, John McCain sort of liked what he heard, because he also obviously got into points ‘Sure, we have to do this, but we have to send more weapons to Ukraine in order to counteract this great threat’, yet I think most of this is concocted. Did this just come out of the clear blue, or is this a strategy change in the administration?
Daniel McAdams: Well, it’s interesting that we see a coordinated effort, because we saw the Dunford testimony before the Committee this week, but we also saw a couple of weeks ago the release of the national military strategy of the United States. That is also a shift, because it focuses away from non-state actors as the greatest threat to the U.S., which as you point out, we were told was the case and it refocuses on state actors that are ‘challenging international norms’ and what that means in real terms is that any nation that pursues independent foreign policy and it specifically mentions Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, these are the greatest threats. The threat is existence of sovereign states, whose independence of action makes them ‘revisionist states’. That’s what Paul Craig Roberts wrote about the new strategy that we have up on the Institute’s website today.
Ron Paul: I think they’re good in orchestrating the PR when they are shifting gears like this, because this week the U.S. Air Force Secretary Deborah James Was interviewed and guess which words she used ‘Russia is the greatest threat to our national security.’ All of a sudden, this is it, they’re ready to go. They are sticking to the message. Some days I wonder whether we’ll ever be interested in the greatest threat to our liberties. That might not come soon, because then we’d have to hit home, closer to home. That should be really our main concern, about the threat of our liberties. Right now, though, this is being orchestrated obviously for four reasons that they don’t tell us, but James, the Secretary of the Air Force, I think she, sort of, leaked out the real thing. She came down critical of our NATO allies, our buddies in NATO. They’ve done our bidding and pestering Ukraine and trying to stir up trouble and participating in the coup and the overthrow of the elected government of the Ukraine. She is upset now, because of the 28 NATO countries, only four of them are spending enough money buying weapons. Now, I imagine they’re buying it from us. They are supposed to, under the rules of NATO, spend 2 percent of their GDP when buying weapons. They say it’s military and they say it’s defense, but it’s buying weapons is what it’s all about. Who do you think is going to benefit from all these expenditures, if she’s able to get them to spend more money?
Daniel McAdams: Certainly the military industrial complex, of both in Washington, Berlin and Paris. It’s interesting this 2 percent was an aspiration that came out of the NATO summit last year, I think it was. But, the fact of the matter is even these four countries who are spending their 2 percent are relatively insignificant countries. One of them is Lithuania, which I think has about 15,000 man and women in arms. The others as I wrote about in a recent article for the Institute, the real big players in Europe are actually decreasing their defense spending. Germany’s at 1.2 or 1.3 percent, the UK has decreased its defense military spending. On one hand, Russia is the greatest threat and obviously it would be to Europe, because it’s next door, but these countries’ response to this greatest threat is to decrease their military budgets.
Ron Paul: And of course Greece continues disbanding in their bankruptcy, but I think that’s the important point that you make, that if this was a real threat, that the tanks are going to roll in and take over Eastern Europe, there would be a little bit of concern. NATO would be begging and pleading for us to spend more money and do all these things that they’d be willing to know. They’re not that much interested. The reality of Russia being a real threat. In the matter of fact, I think Putin’s tone is not always that soft tone, because he does not want to be pushed around, but I think the tone has softened a little bit and he even took the step of cutting off the gas to Ukraine, because they’re not paying their bills, which actually undermined he didn’t get some gas into Western Ukraine. He just doesn’t sound like somebody that is going to roll with the troops and the tanks all over Ukraine. The odds of that happening, it’s just so remote and yet they still have to build up this animosity.
Daniel McAdams: I think the odds are there, because there are ethnic Russians in Eastern Ukraine who don’t like the way they’re being treated and they’re being treated very badly. They’re being shelled on a regular basis, so if the same were the case when there were a bunch of Americans in Mexico, who were being shelled by the Mexican government, there would be certainly some concern in Washington.
Ron Paul: Sometimes this war-mongering comes from economic problems, the crises, the revolutions. That’s when countries go broke and they have to try to resort to ‘how are we going to take care of our country’, because of their huge debt. I think this is something that they won’t admit to the problem that debt is the major problem throughout that region and they are resorting to other things. Now, our policy toward Russia is actually creating an economic climate which may be the threat to the United Stated, because if they push too hard. We see Putin, although he doesn’t really have a strong deck, he’s not bashful. He will talk to the Greeks. He’ll say ‘We want to be your friends.’ He even talks to the Saudis. In theoretics ‘What if the Russians and the Saudis get together’ and we’ve already pushed them into the arms of the Chinese and the Indians are going to be sympathetic to that group, not to us.
If our currency breaks down and this currency system, if the entire Dollar system breaks down, like the Euro breaks down, maybe something is going to fill this vacuum and maybe that the biggest concern is the economics. Usually wars are fought over natural resources and over how you handle debt and who’s going to pay the bills. I think economics are very important here, but I think we have created a monster and a lot of harm for the people of Eastern Europe and Ukraine and all these areas. Of course the mess in the Middle East is of our doing to the most part and we say ‘They’re talking now about a lot of oil coming out of Iran.’ I hope that is the case where they have a settlement there. Even that isn’t going to solve all the problems. There are still going to be a lot of economic factors going on. I think we may be in worse shape economically than people admit and we’re resorting to these directions towards the military, this old theory that war will distract the people from the real issue from the depression.
Daniel McAdams: If you read between the lines in this new military strategy, although it does mention China as a threat, it seems to soft pedal the threat a little. I think the sort of the criminology and the analyzing of this report, you could suspect that the U.S. is concerned about China and Russia getting together. You mentioned Saudi Arabia, we talked about it before the show, that we don’t see a change in alliance happening over night, but the Saudis aren’t stupid people, they’re probably hedging their bets.
Ron Paul: Yeah and I think we are less close to the Saudis than we were before, but we are very much engaged. We are partners in an illegal, unconstitutional, immoral war of bombing and killing. Just the other day there were quite a few more and I think some of the planes killed the wrong people.
Daniel McAdams: In Yemen.
Ron Paul: And we are part of that. We have a moral responsibility and I’m sure we are financially liable for a lot of this as well. So, we are locked in there, but not permanently. Things can change rather rapidly, but I don’t think Saudi Arabia is as they were ten, fifteen, twenty years ago and that our close alliance with Saudis has been going on since Roosevelt, the end of World War II and there’s nothing that says that something like that is going to be permanent. We’ll have to wait and see. Other than oil, would we’ve ever be a natural ally of Saudi Arabia?
Daniel McAdams: Let’s hope not.
Ron Paul: Even now, when we overlook in order to try to play these games of going after our enemies, last week’s enemies, ISIS and Al-Qaeda, we align ourselves of getting involved in these wars and then we condemn some countries for their human rights behavior and then our best friends are the Saudis.
Daniel McAdams: It almost becomes comical when you look at the Dunford testimony, because it gets to the point when everything he says about Russia is really more true about the U.S. He says that ‘The problem with Russia is that it does not respect other nation’s sovereignty.’ Look at how the U.S. bomb Libya, it’s bombing Syria, it violates sovereignty on a regular basis. He says that ‘Russia’s military actions are undermining regional security.’ What about moving NATO troops right onto Russia’s border? Doesn’t that undermine the stability?
Ron Paul: I guess my message didn’t get through. This meager suggestion about a foreign policy with the golden rule, don’t do to other countries what we don’t want to have done to us. But you are absolutely right. If you do it it’s OK and if they do it to us, or even not do it to us, they get accused of doing it, which is not very healthy for the world.
I’d like to thank everybody for tuning in today to the Liberty Report and I want everybody to pay close attention to what’s going on with Russia right now, because it has been declared. The outright enemy of our national security, above everything else. This week don’t worry about ISIS; don’t worry about Al-Qaeda, that may come later. But, like I said at the beginning, the real concern that we all should have is the concern for our liberty and who is the greatest threat to our liberty. What happens to be here at home, what happens to be not only us who become apathetic and don’t say much and put up with the spying on us and apathetic on what our government tells us and lies to us, spies on us constantly. Out liberties are being undermined. Right now we have been taught for the last fifteen or twenty years that the only reason people dislike us is because we are rich and because we seek peace. That just is not true. They are resentful to us, because we are in their face in their country and meddling in their internal affairs. So, I would say let us be concerned about our liberties and about our security, but the best security we can have is to mind our own business and take care of ourselves and provide a free and prosperous society, so we can set an example for the rest of the world. That should be our goal.
I want to thank everybody for tuning in today to the Liberty Report and please come back soon.
This video was published by the Ron Paul Institute.