This blog is mostly devoted to a discussion of the big fiscal and economic problems facing our country. A growing and fiscally prudent economy will do the most good for the greatest number of Americans. I have also argued that “A Strong Country Requires a Strong Economy” in the sense that our adversaries take us more seriously because we have the world’s dominant economy.
In addition, I strongly believe that U.S. power plays a critical role in maintaining stability around the world. More bluntly, the world is better off because the good guys are also the strong guys. It is often said that we can’t police the whole world but whether we want to or not we have this role.
In this regard, the Wall Street Journal has just published an informative article, “New Way the U.S. Projects Power around the Globe: Commandos.” The U.S. Special Forces currently has 70,000 people in uniform and an annual budget of $10 billion. Last year they operated in 81 different countries on six continents. For example:
- Navy SEALs and Army Green Berets are stationed in the Baltics, training troops from Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia for the type of proxy warfare Russia is conducting in eastern Ukraine.
- U.S. forces are helping Filipino forces stymie al Qaeda aligned Abu Sayyaf Group.
- The U.S. has trained Columbian troops to fight rebels and drug traffickers.
- A Navy Seal raid killed Osama bin Laden in his Pakistani hideout.
- U.S. special operators work with Ugandan troops to hunt the leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army.
- 1,300 troops from 18 western nations are training commandos from 10 African countries to fight extremist organizations such as Islamic Maghreb and Boko Haram.
The world is a messy, chaotic place. Our own wellbeing depends on maintaining at least a minimal degree of stability. We have accepted this responsibility and are meeting it head on. This represents America at its best.