Obama Channeling Nixon
In his speech at the United Nations, President Obama, whose troops left Iraq in December 2011 and are scheduled to leave Afghanistan next year, made crystal clear to U.S. allies and other friends and allies that “Americans are tired of being the world’s police force and look to other nations to shoulder more of the burden for the common defense.” Richard Halloran was right to note the significance of his portion of his speech. President Obama thereby very nearly paraphrased two of predecessor Richard Nixon’s national security speeches. Nixon’s January 1970 State of the Union address first declared that “In two wars, first in Korea and now in Vietnam, we furnished most of the money, most of the arms, most of the men to help other nations defend their freedom.” Nixon elaborated with these words the following February in his first annual report to Congress on U.S. foreign policy: “America cannot – – and will not – – conceive all the plans, design all the programs, execute all the decisions and undertake all the defense of the free nations of the world.”
John Collins enlisted as an Army private in 1942; retired as a colonel 30 years later; served almost 24 more years as Senior Specialist in National Defense with the Congressional Research Service; conceived, recruited, and for 14+ more years steered the Warlord Loop, a unique national security debating forum; and meanwhile authored 12 books. He is a Contributing Editor at War on the Rocks.