Monday, March 10, 2014

Notes from The National Security Forum not at CPAC. What should be America's role in the World?

CPAC was great! At CPAC you hear from all of the top tier conservative politicians. I heard rousing speeches by Rand Paul, Mike Lee, Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, Newt Gringirch, Sarah Palin and many others. There were also panel discussion on gun rights, health care, prison and sentencing reform, the budget crisis, marijuana legalization, the roots of the conservative movement, the libertarian and conservative tension and fusion, and more.

In addition there were movies and entertainment and an exhibit hall with dozens of booth manned by people promoting their cause, viewpoint, product, organization or publication. Despite CPAC being great however, it was not as great as last year. My only complaint is that this year there were fewer small break- out session. I like the cheer-leading and rah rah political rally and theater, but I also want sessions of substance that make me think and sessions where I learn something. The break- out session provide a greater opportunity to ask questions and interact with a panel of experts and see famous scholars and authors up close. They provide an opportunity to delve into more detail on a topic on interest.

One thing I wanted was a more in-depth discussion of foreign policy and America's role in the world. CPAC did have some panel discussion on this topic but they were in the big room with thousands of people. Unless you were up close, it was almost like watching it on TV.  Also, the panel session are short and may only last thirty minutes and have five people on a panel. That is hardly time to get in-depth on a topic. I ending up not being disappointed however. I got my fill of discussion of foreign policy issues, but I got it from a source that was not officially part of CPAC.

Across the street from the Gaylord where CPAC was taking place, at the Weston Hotel, Breitbart News Network hosted an event called "Uninvited: The National Security forum during CPAC." The event included a full day of events with top conservative leaders, scholars, ex- generals and other foreign policy experts and it was free to anyone attending CPAC. The speakers had impressive credentials and were well respected scholars and experts in their field and had  distinguished careers. They provided in-depth exploration of the security threat facing the world, America's national interest, and America's role in the world.  Panels included: "The Muslim Brotherhood and their enablers," "Amnesty and Open Borders," "Behghazigate,"  "The Case of Peace through Strenth,"  "Crisis in the Ukarine," and more. Ted Cruz spoke at the event and the closing address was by Judge Neanne Pirro.

While I do not think America can be the world's policeman and we cannot solve every conflict, neither do I think we can disengage from the world. I am convinced that President Obama's weakness and attempt to solve the worlds problems by simply being nice and "leading from behind" has inviting aggression on the part of our adversaries.  The cutting of America's military strength to pre World War II levels will only invite further aggression. While I opposed the invasion of Iraq and think the neo-conservative policies of George W. Bush were a mistake, and while I do not think we can spread Democracy everywhere and nation-build in countries that do not have the prerequisites for Democracy, neither do I think we can ignore the expansionist desires of Russia and China and the threat from radical Islam and the nuclear danger posed by North Korea and Iraq. We need to have a thorough debate about America's role in the world and develop a realistic foreign policy. Barack Obama is leaving the world a much more dangerous place than he found it. We must again realize the World is a dangerous place and take a leadership role in maintaining the peace. This was a thought provoking and insightful conference.

Herman Pirchener shown speaking, Frank Gaffney the moderator, Clare LopezSebastian Gorka, Ariel Cohen, and Joel Pollack (not shown) discuss "Crisis in the Ukraine: Putin's Bid for USSR 2.0 and the needed U.S. Response."

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