Gary Johnson on Foreign Policy

Last Updated : Jul 23, 2012


Governor Johnson advocates for a foreign policy based upon bringing the troops home from Iraq, Afghanistan, and numerous other bases and leading by example. Part of this belief is based upon the view that the US should simply not be involved in nation building and part is based upon economic realities within the US.

In early 2011, Governor Johnson gave several interviews discussing foreign policy. In those interviews, he noted that while he is not opposed to military intervention, he opposes nation building. This translates to supporting intervention into Afghanistan to find those who attacked us, but he opposes remaining there to build road and bridges. This is especially wrong given the fact that these dollars are borrowed from other countries by the US. Governor Johnson also noted his opposition to the wars in Iraq and Libya.

The economic realities of borrowing 43cents of every dollar spent by the US has further driven the need to reduce the size of the military overseas. Governor Johnson notes that transportation and health care programs in Europe are subsidized by the US because we provide those countries with their security.

During the 2012 Presidential campaign, Governor Johnson put out a commercial entitled "Peace is Cheaper." The two minute video stated that Democrats and Republicans are two sides of the same coin, Thelma and Loise driving the country off the cliff. The video states that peace is simply cheaper than war and asks the people to elect peace.

2012 Foreign Policy Plan

Governor Johnson's foreign policy plan if elected mirrors the statements that he has made in the interviews and speeches. These statements indicate that

1. Bring the Troops Home

AMERICAN MILITARY ACTIVITIES IN IRAQ, AFGHANISTAN, AND, now, Libya should end, our troops returned home, and the focus of our foreign policy reoriented toward the protection of U.S. citizens and interests.

  • With Osama bin Laden now killed and after 10 years of fighting, U.S. forces should leave Afghanistan's challenges to the Afghan people.
  • Saddam Hussein has been out of power in Iraq for nearly eight years. America must leave so Iraq can have a chance to grow into a responsible member of the world community.
  • Without a clear goal for our military actions in Libya, fighting rages on, and the American people are footing the bill.
  • Decades after the collapse of the Soviet Union, American troops remain scattered throughout Europe. It is time to reevaluate these deployments.
  • The U.S. must make better use of military alliances which allow greater sharing of the human and financial burdens at less cost of protecting national interests.

2. Lead By Example

AMERICA CAN USE 'SOFT POWER' AS EFFECTIVELY as 'hard power' to further our foreign policy goals.

  • No criminal or terrorist suspect captured by the U.S. should be subject to physical or psychological torture.
  • Individuals incarcerated unjustly by the U.S. should have the ability to seek compensation through the courts.
  • Individuals detained by the U.S., whether it be at Guantanamo Bay or elsewhere, must be given due process via the courts or military tribunals, and must not be held indefinitely without regard to those fundamental processes


Fox News Interview

In early 2011, Governor Johnson appeared on Fox News and discussed both international aid and foreign policy. In that interview, he states that the US should not give foreign aid to other countries, especially considering the financial state of the US and its debt. He also noted that aid was different than defense spending.


Unschool Bus Interview

In April of 2011, Governor Johnson was interviewed by the Unschool Bus and discussed foreign policy. He notes his views that while Afghanistan was initially justified, staying there and building roads and bridges is not in the best interests of the US. He notes his opposition to the wars in Iraq and Libya.


Erwin Haas Interview

In March of 2012, Governor Johnson was interviewed by Erwin Haas. In the section of the interview shown below, they discuss foreign policy, Israel, war with Iran, foreign aid, and a number of other issues.


2012 Presidential Campaign Website Statements


Libertarian Party Platform


Peace is Cheaper

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