Patterico's Pontifications

8/3/2022

Josh Hawley: One Is A Lonely Number, Indeed

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:03 pm



[guest post by Dana]

Of course he ran away from a yes vote:

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) was the only senator to vote against a resolution on Wednesday backing Finland’s and Sweden’s entry to NATO. The Senate approved the resolution in a 95-1 vote…

[…]

He said he does not believe the U.S. should expand its security commitments in Europe, because America’s “greatest foreign adversary” is China.

Hawley argued that growing the country’s security commitments in Europe would make Americans less safe.

“Finland and Sweden want to join the Atlantic Alliance to head off further Russian aggression in Europe. That is entirely understandable given their location and security needs. But America’s greatest foreign adversary doesn’t loom over Europe. It looms in Asia,” Hawley wrote.

“I am talking of course about the People’s Republic of China. And when it comes to Chinese imperialism, the American people should know the truth: the United States is not ready to resist it. Expanding American security commitments in Europe now would only make that problem worse—and America, less safe,” he added.

[…]

“Finland and Sweden want to expand NATO because it is in their national security interest to do so, and fair enough. The question that should properly be before us, however, is, is it in the United States’s interests to do so? Because that’s what American foreign policy is supposed to be about, I thought,” Hawley said.

“Expanding NATO will require more United States forces in Europe, more manpower, more firepower, more resources, more spending. And not just now but over the long haul. But our greatest foreign adversary is not in Europe. Our greatest foreign adversary is in Asia. And when it comes to countering that adversary, we are behind the game. I’m talking, of course, about China. The communist government of Beijing has adopted a policy of imperialism,” he added.

I like how the St. Louis Dispatch editorial board summed it up:

His rationale is a retread of the case he once made against U.S. assistance to Ukraine: that containing Russian aggression somehow diminishes America’s readiness to confront future Chinese aggression. It’s a strained argument. Since when can’t America walk and chew gum at the same time, geopolitically speaking?

Reminder to Hawley: This is America, dude.

More:

Hawley’s condemnation of China for “dominating its neighbors and bullying free nations into doing its bidding” is valid but could just as accurately describe Russia today. And unlike China, the Russian threat against freedom isn’t speculative, but is unfolding right now in Ukraine.

The senator who sprinted through the Capitol ahead of a mob that was partly of his own making doesn’t exactly have a great track record when it comes to sound judgment. Putting more guardrails around Vladimir Putin in the form of NATO-member neighbors is a sign of strength and solidarity by the free world — and a far more useful message to China regarding that solidarity than the one Hawley is hawking.

Anyway, Mitch McConnell called a yes vote for Sweden and Finland a slam-dunk:

“If any senator is looking for a defensible excuse to vote no, I wish them good luck,” McConnell said Wednesday. “This is a slam dunk for national security that deserves unanimous bipartisan support.”

Interestingly, while there are rumblings that the Trumpian Hawley may run in 2024, three other possible contenders (Cruz, Cotton, and Rubio) criticized their colleague for his no vote.

Note: Even Sen. Rand Paul, who opposed the last two additions to NATO, voted “present” on Finland and Sweden.

–Dana

45 Responses to “Josh Hawley: One Is A Lonely Number, Indeed”

  1. Hello.

    Dana (1225fc)

  2. Hawley will be the last rat to jump off the burning USS Trump.

    norcal (da5491)

  3. Since when can’t America walk and chew gum at the same time, geopolitically speaking?

    Since January 20, 2021:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2UfsqZ1T6E8&t=21s

    “Double your pleasure; double your fun; with double-good, double-good, Doublemint gum!”

    https://soundcloud.com/advertisingage/double-your-pleasure-double

    DCSCA (c6b58a)

  4. The only defensible position is a desire to leave all “foreign entanglements.” Not wise or prudent, but it’s defensible as long as it’s consistent.

    Of course, if your senator is consistently imprudent, you may want a different one.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  5. Next year, when Joe gets us into a two-front war with Russia and China, we may be glad we have NATO.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  6. Finald’s army can be surprisingly large:

    The number of active military personnel in the Finnish Defence Forces is a modest 23,000, but the country boasts a wartime strength of 280,000 because of its massive conscription system.

    Oh, and in theory, they could call up more, since they have a “total of 900,000 Finnish reservists”.

    In 2017, Sweden reactivated conscription, to build up its reserve forces.

    Jim Miller (406a93)

  7. Next year, when Joe gets us into a two-front war with Russia and China, we may be glad we have NATO.

    Again:

    “Double your pleasure; double your fun; with double-good, double-good, Doublemint gum!”

    https://soundcloud.com/advertisingage/double-your-pleasure-double

    DCSCA (11c16c)

  8. Sweden Built a Russian Fighter Jet Killer and Stealth Is Totally Irrelevant

    https://www.businessinsider.com/sweden-built-a-russian-fighter-jet-killer-and-stealth-is-irrelevant-2019-2

    Saabdrivers. 😉

    DCSCA (11c16c)

  9. The twerp had his reasons for objecting to the election, too. And no, no, not it was not because of Trump. It was to investigate the “irregularities”.

    And now it’s not because Trump is anti-NATO and pro-Putin. It’s because of China, China, China!

    He’s a sick puppy.

    nk (dab1dc)

  10. Morale should go up w/Sweeden in NATO. They do have a secret weapon, you know:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDjcvf0Q4Vk

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-c2NEFPqTwY

    DCSCA (11c16c)

  11. dcsa

    Sweden had the first mach 2 fighter by 3 years – which was also stealth in clean mode to radars until the 80’s.

    Swedish engineers designed the f14, the f15 and the f22 for access to jet engines and sidewinder missiles

    they developed the Erickson aegis radar which is used by 4 Navies

    they invented the AIP system for submarines – their submarines are on order by 3 countries – the Japanese are building a longer version

    they invented the german 88 in 1936 they designed the L7 tank gun – which is the main gun of all modern non russian tanks
    the CV90 is being considered for a replacement for our striker, the bradley and the abrahms and the m109. its the most advanced AFV in the world

    EPWJ (98e917)

  12. @11. Not to mention the Bikini Team. 😉

    They’re a welcome addition to NATO– on so many levels.

    DCSCA (11c16c)

  13. Hawley is only bolstering his fascist creds. I guess objecting to popular votes wasn’t enough, he had to take the pro-Putin side of the NATO vote.

    Paul Montagu (062b7e)

  14. FWIW all, the St. Louis Post Dispatch is a partisan lefty rag so factor that in when you read them.

    I think Hawley is being useful here forcing people to ask the hard questions, even though he’s the lone guy (Rand Paul abstained) on a vote that wasn’t anywhere near in jeopardy.

    And the Post’s, “dude this a ‘Murrica” is bloody disingenuous, because it avoids the question of whether or not we should be supporting this.

    The idea that we can simultaneous contain/engage Russia and be able to confront Chinese aggression is definitely an unknown at this point.

    Especially in light of our failures in Afghanistan.

    I definitely question the competency required to fight a multi-front war, ala WW2, exist anymore in America.

    whembly (b770f8)

  15. Self-appointed or designated MAGA leavening? Or just the rodent dropping in the kitchen?

    nk (dab1dc)

  16. @all: Here’s Hawley’s op-ed about this:
    https://nationalinterest.org/feature/why-i-won%E2%80%99t-vote-add-sweden-and-finland-nato-203925

    Some excerpt:

    As the 2018 and 2022 U.S. National Defense Strategies both acknowledge, the United States cannot defeat China and Russia in two major wars at the same time.

    To be clear, America shouldn’t abandon NATO. But it’s time for our European allies to do more. In particular, they must take primary responsibility for the conventional defense of Europe by investing more in their own militaries.

    For decades, NATO stood as a bulwark against a militant Soviet Union, protecting the Western world by blocking Communism’s westward expansion. But more than three decades after the Soviet Union’s fall, the geopolitical landscape is very different. Russia is still a threat, but the Chinese Communist Party is a far greater one. And a truly strategic American foreign policy—one that looks to this nation’s strategic interests now, rather than the world of years ago—must embrace this reality, and prepare for it.

    Care to respond to his op-ed?

    whembly (b770f8)

  17. But they also serve who fistpump and run. Like Bernie Sanders. Even if the wackos accomplish nothing, they still bring up the census of the party caucus which translates into leadership, committee assignments, and blocking the other party.

    And it further illustrates why the House Democrats would go double or nothing on Peter Meijer. A Republican is still a Republican, Trumpy or not.

    nk (dab1dc)

  18. Care to respond to his op-ed?

    Sure: “And Putin smiled.” Same old MAGA blather to make the Europeans distrust us and the hillbillies elegize Trump.

    Even giving it the undeserved benefit of good faith argument, how is NATO admitting two additional nations with strong militaries not “tak[ing] primary responsibility for the conventional defense of Europe by investing more in their own militaries”?

    nk (dab1dc)

  19. the vote to add Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary to NATO was 80-19 twenty some years ago

    but one no vote today is colossal news

    I’ll take it, considering Hawley will vote no on things orders of magnitude more significant like Build Back Broke and judgeships, and other votes that aren’t diversions from demented Joe’s mess

    JF (a6d404)

  20. demented joe fist pumps and the voters run

    JF (a6d404)

  21. Care to respond to his op-ed?

    Yes. If Hawley wanted European NATO members to do more, then he should’ve voted “yes” because Finland and Sweden can do more, they can strengthen NATO, thereby lessening our involvement. Both nations have effective militaries, Finland especially. Sweden has geostrategic value given its location along and in the Baltic Sea, not unlike Turkey and it’s position along the Black Sea.

    Also, I think Hawley’s “pivot to Asia” is as smarmy now as when Obama said it, only today it serves as an excuse to go soft on Putin versus Obama using it to rationalize cutting and running from Iraq (regardless of conditions on the ground) and for pandering to the Iran theocrats to cut a nuclear deal. Further, his notion implies that a nation that multi-tasks every minute of every day cannot multi-task with Russia and China.

    Lastly, a primary reason for NATO is for deterrence against Russian aggression, an aggression that is scarcely different today than when they were Soviet Russia, and it has worked. Ukraine and Georgia are occupied by Putin and NATO members have militarily untouched since its inception. Sweden and Finland would only strengthen that deterrent effect. Note how quiet Putin was after the parliamentary votes actually happened.

    If anything, we should grow NATO further and include other free nations. Why not include Japan, South Korea, Australia, India, maybe even Taiwan. The reason it was created in the first place was for a common defense, and land-grubbing despots like Putin and Xi can’t stand that.

    Paul Montagu (062b7e)

  22. I will be the first to agree that Hawley is not necessary to anything, JF. In fact, I already did, almost. I compared him to Bernie Sanders and his function as a warm body in the caucus.

    nk (dab1dc)

  23. @16. He’s right. But they still tossed Galileo into the pokie for heresy. Unfortunately, SEATO is defunct.

    DCSCA (c6b10d)

  24. I definitely question the competency required to fight a multi-front war, ala WW2, exist anymore in America.

    The next “world war” won’t last six years, more like six months.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  25. @21.

    Why Putin’s Russia is weaker than the USSR, in one chart
    https://www.vox.com/2014/9/4/6105491/putin-russia-chart

    If anything, we should grow NATO further and include other free nations. Why not include Japan, South Korea, Australia, India, maybe even Taiwan. The reason it was created in the first place was for a common defense, and land-grubbing despots like Putin and Xi can’t stand that.

    Been there, tried that. See details of the defunct SEATO for details:

    ‘Despite its name, SEATO mostly included countries located outside of the region but with an interest either in the region or the organization itself. They were Australia (which administered Papua New Guinea), France (which had recently relinquished French Indochina), New Zealand, Pakistan (which until 1971 included East Pakistan, now Bangladesh), the Philippines, Thailand, the United Kingdom (which administered Hong Kong, North Borneo and Sarawak) and the United States. The Philippines and Thailand were the only Southeast Asian countries that actually participated in the organization… Though Secretary of State John Foster Dulles considered SEATO an essential element in U.S. foreign policy in Asia, historians have considered the Manila Pact a failure, and the pact is rarely mentioned in history books. In The Geneva Conference of 1954 on Indochina, Sir James Cable, a diplomat and naval strategist, described SEATO as “a fig leaf for the nakedness of American policy”, citing the Manila Pact as a “zoo of paper tigers”. As early as the 1950s Aneurin Bevan unsuccessfully tried to block SEATO in the British Parliament, at one point interrupting a parliamentary debate between Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden and Leader of the Opposition Clement Attlee to excoriate them both for considering the idea.

    In the early 1970s, the question of dissolving the organization arose. Pakistan withdrew in 1972, after East Pakistan seceded and became Bangladesh on 16 December 1971. South Vietnam was defeated in war by North Vietnam and France withdrew financial support in 1975, and the SEATO council agreed to the phasing-out of the organization. After a final exercise on 20 February 1976, the organization was formally dissolved on 30 June 1977 during the Carter Administration.’https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southeast_Asia_Treaty_Organization

    NATO is a defensive alliance established poat-WW2 in response to deter 20th century Soviet Union encroachment into Western Europe. The Soviet response: creation of the Warsaw Pact alliance in 1955. NATO expansion- upon the dissolution of the USSR and membership of ex-Soviet satellites — is precisely what fuels current provocations from 21st century Russia. Wise diplomacy starts with recognizing the POV of the other side.

    DCSCA (c6b10d)

  26. Care to respond to his op-ed?

    Not one word you quoted suggests a reason to oppose Sweden and Finland joining. In fact, the idea that the EU needs to step up in its own defense would support them joining.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  27. I definitely question the competency required to fight a multi-front war, ala WW2, exist anymore in America.

    In 1940 the US didn’t have that competency either, nor a military able to fight a two-front war against Germany and Japan. The military had been starved for funds for at least a decade as isolationism and Depression put them at the end of the line.

    The Army and the Navy took it in the teeth in December 1941, both at Pearl Harbor and the Philipines, and our British allies were already reeling.

    And yet we rose to the task.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  28. Hawley is right about one thing: China is the greater danger, if only because we don’t have NATO, or anything like that, in the area. We even demand that Japan NOT have armed forces. South Korea is about it for allies. We probably want to revisit that.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  29. @26. Not really. NATO has demonstrated it is quite capable of deterring aggression (except for 9/11.) Both nations have had years to apply for membership when the Soviet Cold War threat loomed larger- [the state of the border fences speaks volumes.] Applying now is an economic decision as much as anything else. Let others help pay for defense and keep those national healthcare systems funded instead. And as NATO members, it eliminates two nations which could have operated as ‘neutrals’ for supply routes, go throughs and various surreptitious ops. 21st century NATO expansion is a provocation from the Russian POV. And the Ukraine stalemate indicates invasion is a lot easier than occupying and controlling.

    DCSCA (c6b10d)

  30. Paul

    Reports are the s400 ant aircraft systems that are supposedly the equivalent of our Patriot missile systems are a massive failure, they cannot shoot anything down. This is what the Chinese have bet the farm on.

    The US have 4 missile submarines that carry 4000 long range stealth cruise missiles those will be volley fired and cause the chinese to expend their entire anti missile inventory

    layered on that is 10 B2 and 36 B1 and 90 Poseidon bombers following up 8 minutes later with 1200 missiles destroying power plants, refineries, bridges, ports, airfields.

    Then Taiwan launches its emp MOABS – rendering their nuclear missiles unable to launch and their electronics, computers, tele communications, radar systems destroyed beyond repair.

    Their navy is no match for 2 aircraft carriers and a dozen submarines

    EPWJ (98e917)

  31. The next “world war” won’t last six years, more like six months.

    It takes 240,000 years for Plutonium-239 to decay into Uranium-235. 704 million years for Uranium-235 to turn into lead.

    But here’s the question: If WWIII were to start over Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, would she turn into legend like Helen of Troy? “Is this the face that launched 1,000 ICBMs and burnt the topless towers of just about every place?”

    nk (68fcb1)

  32. If WWIII were to start over Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, would she turn into legend like Helen of Troy?

    More like Archduke Ferdinand.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  33. U.S. Delays Minuteman III Missile Test Amid Tensions Over Taiwan

    The Biden administration postponed a routine test launch of an Air Force Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile to avoid escalating tensions with Beijing as the Chinese military engages in a show of force near Taiwan, U.S. officials said Thursday.

    The Air Force had planned to conduct the test launch this week from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. But the test has now been delayed, the officials said.
    ……..
    “This is a long-planned test but it is being postponed to remove any misunderstandings given the PRC’s actions around Taiwan,” the defense official said, referring to the People’s Republic of China.
    …….
    The postponed Minuteman III test is known as a “Glory Trip” and is generally done a few times a year to assess the reliability of the ICBM.
    …….
    U.S. officials didn’t say how the new delay might last, but one said it might last 10 days.
    ########

    Already surrendering to the PRC.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  34. More like Archduke Ferdinand.

    More like Gavrilo Princip actually. Ferdinand just sat there.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  35. Already surrendering to the PRC.

    Indeed. I would have tested two of them.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  36. GOP senators bash Josh Hawley’s opposition to adding Finland and Sweden to NATO: ‘We beat China by standing with our allies’
    ……..
    …….Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas told Politico that Hawley was “mistaken.”

    “We don’t beat China by retreating from the rest of the world,” Cruz said. “We beat China by standing with our allies against our enemies.”

    Similarly, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida wrote an op-ed article that served as a rebuttal to Hawley’s stance on the matter. Rubio’s article was titled “A stronger NATO allows America to focus on the threat of Communist China.”

    “A strong and unified NATO is a powerful asset in the contest with Beijing,” Rubio wrote. “When Finland and Sweden join the alliance’s ranks and the free peoples of Europe become stronger than ever, more US resources will be available to focus on countering Communist China. If we do not rise to the challenge, it will be too late, and Americans will be held hostage by a totalitarian regime half a world away.”
    ………
    GOP Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas on Wednesday also appeared to offer indirect criticism of Hawley as senators debated the resolution on Sweden and Finland’s accession to NATO.

    “It would be strange indeed for any senator who voted to allow Montenegro or North Macedonia into NATO to turn around and deny membership to Finland and Sweden,” Cotton said. “I would love to hear the defense of such a curious vote.” Hawley in 2019 voted to allow North Macedonia into NATO, which seemed to be what Cotton was alluding to in his remarks.
    ……..
    ……..Hawley also zeroed in on defense spending in his op-ed article, writing: “It’s time for our European allies to do more. In particular, they must take primary responsibility for the conventional defense of Europe by investing more in their own militaries.”

    Rubio countered this point in his op-ed article, writing: “Finland and Sweden are strong, stable countries with a long history of security cooperation with NATO allies. They are committed to national defense and would more than live up to their NATO obligations. Finland already spends more than the required 2% of gross domestic product on its military, and Sweden is on a fast track to do the same. Both nations require military service of their citizens.”
    ……..
    Hawley’s office didn’t offer a comment when contacted by Insider.
    ##########

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  37. Finland and Sweden both have significant military capability and having them in NATO essentially grants complete control over the Baltic Sea and Russia’s cold water ports in that area (we did already have significant control of entry and exit via Denmark, but this removes a lot of possible diplomatic difficulty had NATO chosen exercise that control). Adding Ukraine to NATO at some point would give similar strategic advantages against Russia’s warm water port in the Black Sea. That would leave Vladivostok, on the Pacific, as the only significant uncontrolled Russian port and transportation between populated Eastern Russia and Eastern Siberia is… problematic, which limits some of the quick response military ability of the port.

    Nic (896fdf)

  38. U.S. Delays Minuteman III Missile Test Amid Tensions Over Taiwan

    Guess who blinked. Or perhaps– squinted, eh, McStumblebum?!

    DCSCA (c76c58)

  39. @37. Now look at it from the Russian POV. NATO expansion–a defensive alliance, post-USSR is viewed as an aggressive provocation, not defensive. Like installing missiles in Cuba was back in the day was to the U.S. Historically, the Russian people have proudly- and defiantly- demonstrated a capacity to endure the unendurable. Wouldn’t underestimate them too much.

    DCSCA (c76c58)

  40. @DCSCA Oh, I understand Russia’s disinclination to have that happen, but it wouldn’t have come to this if Russia hadn’t been so aggressive to its neighbors over the last 25 years. All they had to do was play nice, but they wouldn’t and now its neighbors plan to force them to play nice. And it is not the job of Russia’s neighbors to make Russia feel good by becoming puppet states again.

    Nic (896fdf)

  41. EPWJ (98e917) — 8/4/2022 @ 10:48 am

    That’s partly why I Hawley’s version of a “pivot to Asia” such a silly argument, EP. Like Kevin mentioned, the US multi-tasked 80 years ago.

    Paul Montagu (062b7e)

  42. Now look at it from the Russian POV. NATO expansion–a defensive alliance, post-USSR is viewed as an aggressive provocation, not defensive.

    This doesn’t you have to validate their wrong and self-centered POV, DC. The sooner they learn their sh-thole status and that they no right to extend their sh-tholiness beyond their borders, the better off this world is.

    Paul Montagu (062b7e)

  43. Already surrendering to the PRC.

    Indeed. I would have tested two of them.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9) — 8/4/2022 @ 11:44 am

    How about five or six, launched from our bases in Wyoming, Montana, and North Dakota?

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  44. Expensive. 😛

    Nic (896fdf)

  45. @40. Well, nobody forced them to become so energy dependent on Russia and Putin did make with the some melodic sucker bait toward the West as strategy to make it so:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hl0TBYFB08M

    “Thrilling.” 😉

    DCSCA (94e3e4)

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