Thursday, July 7, 2011

Rassmusen... 75% Support Military Action Only When U.S. Vital Interests Are At Stake

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Birthplace of Independent Conservativism
Liberty -vs- Tyranny

Americans in general support a more limited view as to when the U.S.A. should commit to overseas military action than our last four Presidents have shown. It seems the nations populace is closer to Ronald Reagan's view on this issue than those who have occupied the White House following him.

Rasmussen Reports:
Thursday, July 07, 2011

Compared to the four presidents who followed him, Ronald Reagan had a more limited view of when to send U.S. military force into action overseas and voters today still embrace the more restrained use of force that he advocated.

Seventy-five percent (75%) of voters nationwide agree that “The United States should not commit its forces to military action overseas unless the cause is vital to our national interest.” A Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that only 12% of voters disagree while 13% are not sure.

That was the first point in “a set of principles to guide America in the application of military force” that Reagan recommended to future presidents in his autobiography.

By an even larger 79% to 9% margin, voters believe that when the president sends troops into military action there should always be a clear intent to win with clearly defined and realistic objectives. That was Reagan’s second guiding point, designed to avoid a “halfway or tentative commitment.”

Reagan also thought the president should have a “reasonable assurance that the cause we are fighting for and the actions we take will have the support of the American people and Congress.” Voters support this concept by a smaller 56% to 29% margin. {Full Report Here}

Via: Memeorandum


  1. It sounds like they (we) support the Powell Doctrine (overwhelming force, clear objectives/exit strategy) much more that they (we) do the Rumsfeld Doctrine. Hm, maybe they (we) aren't as stupid as we (they) thought.

  2. Ah, Les, when you are right, you are soooooo right!

    I love that you mentioned that Reagan avoided any large scale hot wars, though he certainly had the same or more impetus to do so as per the doctrine of the last four presidents, you might add.

    Don't give Reagan too much credit, though. Cost-wise, there's not all that much difference between a massive standing military and one that's acting.

    Reagan was in engaged in a constant, growing, massive military exercise - the Cold War. We engaged covertly in many nations, and gave away a fortune in arms and aid.

    Our direct engagements during that period seem small by today's standards, but the consequences were devastating.

    There's a terrible Cold War story about a war in Afghanistan when the US undermined the Soviet Union at the expense of the Afghan people. Years later, a product of that effort became the rhetorical excuse to drag us into another Cold War - the War on Terror. Little good ever came from either. And blowback is blowback, even if it's from an explosion you set on yourself.

    Just the same, when the marines were bombed in Lebanon, Reagan pulled them out and essentially told the Lebanese they could fend for themselves. He did not try to save Lebanon. There was and is a reasonable argument that perhaps he should have tried. Lebanon's been nothing but a festering problem for decades, and it's a shame - it was a beautiful and peaceful country not all that long ago.

    Reagan chose to let it go. Given our recent experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan, perhaps he was right. Although, Lebanon is much smaller, and Reagan had a highly competent foreign service at his side. Success in Lebanon could have been great for Israel, too. But even with 20/20 hindsight, who knows how all that would have wound up?

    All in all, though, it's good to see you and most of the American people are tiring of "foreign entangements." This country wasn't founded by morons. We seem to be realizing that these days.

    (By the way, when it comes to the current budget divide, the Constitution is not with the Tea Party folks in congress right now. They're going to realize that soon enough.)


  3. i wouldn't put too much credibility into that poll, les. for one thing the questions were too generalized in nature. the "vital interests" clause is very debatable in definition. you could see the idea of vital interests in one light, i could see it in another light and someone else could put an entirely different spin to it.

    in any war the goals are already clearly defined and that goal is to fight until the other side surrenders, with condition or unconditionally. wars, in my opinion, is the primary reason the founding fathers gave the federal gov't the power to borrow moneys, as a means to finance wars until its ultimate end, surrender. and a "cease fire" agreement is never a way to try to end a war.


As this site encourages free speech and expression any and all honest political commentary is acceptable. Comments with cursing or vulgar language will not be posted.

Effective 8/12/13 Anonymous commenting has been disabled. This unfortunate action was made necessary due to the volume of Anonymous comments that are either off topic or serve only to disrupt honest discourse..

I apologizes for any inconvenience this necessary action may cause the honest Anonymous who would comment here, respect proper decorum and leave comments of value. However, The multitude of trollish attack comments from both the left and right has necessitated this action.

Thank you for your understanding... The management.