Potential NSA Pick Doug Macgregor: We Need an End to Global Police Missions

Retired Army Col. Doug Macgregor, whose name is being floated as a potential successor to former National Security Adviser John Bolton, told Tucker Carlson on Tuesday that there should be an end to global police missions.

“I think the president has to go back to his first principles. He recognized two things, which is one of the reasons he was elected. First, it’s been 75 years since the end of the second world war,” Macgregor said. “The war has changed as has the interests of various countries in the world that once saw the world through a bipolar lens that now see a multipolar lens.”

“And then the second part of it is we need to put an end to the global police missions, the use of military power to impose solutions that other people don’t want or need. Put an end to the forever wars,” he added.

Trump announced on Twitter on Wednesday that he had fired Bolton, who disagreed with the president on Iran, North Korea, and Afghanistan.

Macgregor, should he be picked, would be more ideologically aligned with Trump, who has wanted to bring troops home from Afghanistan and Syria, end the Korean War and downsize the U.S. military presence in South Korea, and seek a new and better nuclear deal with Iran.

“First of all he’s got to get out of Afghanistan. That has to happen as soon as possible,” Macgregor told Carlson. “Talking to the Taliban is unnecessary; they’re not going to honor any agreements. It’s time to get our forces out, get the embassy out. The nations in the region have an interest in the place … let them deal with it.”

He said a similar approach needs to be taken in Syria:

We have perhaps 2,000 men on the ground in Syria right now, very vulnerable force. Iran, Russia, Turkey, Israel, the Kurds, Iraq, all of these countries have an interest in what’s happening there. We really don’t. But we do know that if we withdraw our force they will come to an accommodation because all of them want to see the same thing — an end to the fighting in the region, so we’ve got to get them out.

On Iran, he said, “We need to listen very carefully to the Iranians, privately behind closed doors; find out what their interests are and look for areas where we can cooperate.”

“This is after all, what President Trump set out to do with President Putin; he set out to do it with President Xi. We need to do the same thing with Iran. And beyond Iran, Afghanistan, and the Near East, we have Korea,” he said. “He’s got to start with an end of war declaration.”

Trump has been criticized by the foreign policy establishment for wanting to talk to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and work with Russian President Vladimir Putin, but he has been insistent in trying to find a way to disentangle the U.S. from costly military engagements around the world.

Macgregor suggested on North Korea that Trump, Kim, Chinese President Xi Jinping, and South Korean President Moon Jae-in should sign an end of war declaration to the Korean War that would renounce the use of force to change anything on the peninsula. “That’s what Beijing wants, that’s what Pyongyang wants,” he said.

Macgregor continued:

Then he needs to turn over operational control of the peninsula militarily over to President Moon and to the Koreans. Make them a truly sovereign state; give them responsibility for their own country. Then we can sit down and we can come up with a measured, deliberative approach to dismantling the nuclear weapons, and at the same time, linking that dismantlement to a troop withdrawal plan that moves our forces out of the peninsula.

“Because there is no threat to us in South Korea or to our South Korea allies or to Japan from North Korea. President Trump was the first to recognize that North Korea was circling the drain. He was right,” he said. “It’s time for us to get out of the way and let the problems on the peninsula be resolved peacefully and deliberatively as I’ve outlined.”

On Venezuela, another area that Bolton took the lead on, Macgregor advised the president to relook at sanctions.

“We have been sanctioning everyone all over the world constantly. Venezuela has probably become the poster child for the damage that sanctions can do,” he said. “We have sanctioned that country to the point where if we do not relieve the sanctions, we run the risk of eight million more people leaving that country.”

“If that happens, then Maduro has no opposition in the country. That is a catastrophe,” he said. “So you’ve got to go back through these sanctions. Look at what makes sense and does not make sense from a humanitarian standpoint because the only thing sanctions have done is make the populations miserable; they do not change regimes.”

Kristina Wong

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