Josh Hawley: ‘Burden’ of U.S. Forever Wars Falls ‘Disproportionately’ on ‘Working-Class’ Americans

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) unveiled his foreign policy vision Tuesday that would “keep Americans safe and prosperous,” while ending America’s decades-long wars in the Middle East.

Sen. Hawley delivered his vision for a new American foreign policy strategy at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) that would replace the bipartisan foreign policy consensus that he called “progressive universalism” with a foreign policy that would benefit the interests of the American working class.

The Missouri conservative said that America’s new foreign policy should focus on keeping America prosperous while avoiding unending conflicts across the world. Hawley charged:

Meanwhile, the pursuit of the universalist dream left the United States without a clear strategic focus, but with metastasizing commitments--commitments that have been paid for in the dearly earned dollars of the American working class, and in the dearly precious lives of American soldiers. [Emphasis added]

And let’s not forget, as we honor our veterans, who these soldiers are. They are drawn overwhelmingly from middle- and working-class families, and from families with a history of military service. [Emphasis added]

The burden of this nation’s long wars has fallen disproportionately on these Americans, and this country cannot continue to ask them to fight on without a clear purpose and without clear priorities. [Emphasis added]

It is time for a new departure, based on America’s needs in this new century. Because the point of American foreign policy should not be to remake the world, but to keep Americans safe and prosperous. [Emphasis added]

Hawley’s call for greater restraint in the United States matches the interests of the American middle class and veterans.

A Rasmussen Poll in October found that most working-class and swing voters said that the United States is “too involved” in the Middle East.

The November Pew Research Center survey found that 64 percent of veterans and 62 percent of American adults find that the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are not worth fighting.

The Missouri conservative senator that the bipartisan consensus was built around “American hegemony” as well as the “expansion of progressive ideas, progressive institutions, and progressive values, worldwide.”

Hawley contended that the American left pushed for progressive universalism by emphasizing the creation and expansion of multilateral institutions such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the United Nations (UN), which “stressed international norms and international law as the building blocks of a progressive global order.”

On the obverse side, Hawley criticized those on the American Right, including neoconservatives, that called for “building a world of democracies” through regime change. Neoconservatives’ push for regime change and installing democracies abroad has led to the decades-long wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Sen. Hawley said that in the 21st century, it is time for America to replace the bipartisan progressive universalism that both protects the American middle class while preventing regional domination from countries such as China.

Sen. Hawley told Breitbart News in an interview in September that if the Republican Party “wants to have a future,” it will have to become a “movement of working people.” Hawley said that along with pursuing more fair trade deals and improving Americans’ health care, the American middle class wants to end America’s forever wars.

Sen. Hawley noted during his speech that America has “rejected” imperialist ambitions to control other countries.

“Imperial domination violates our principles, and it threatens our character,” Sen. Hawley said. “Our aim must be to prevent imperialism, not exercise it; to stop domination, not foster it.”

The Missouri senator said that instead of avoiding conflict in the Middle East, America should counter a rising and imperialist China, which threatens the freedom of those in Hong Kong and Taiwan, and pressures American corporations such as Disney and NBDA to “throw overboard free speech at the first sign of Beijing’s commercial pressure.”

Sen. Hawley said:

Ours must be a foreign policy for the people who built this country; one that honors our workers by protecting their livelihoods; protects our way of life by thwarting hegemons; and respects our service-members by asking them to sacrifice only for a justified purpose and only with a reasonable plan.

“Our nation will be safer for it. Our people will be more prosperous for it. And the world will be better because of it,” Hawley concluded in his speech.

Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.

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