On Foreign Policy

Foreign policy is often a labyrinth of twists and turns because of an always-changing world so it is not as concrete as domestic policy. However, the principle of the non-initiation of force should ALWAYS, and I mean always, guide how America interacts with other people in the world, not just those here at home.

Here is more about my beliefs. I believe the United States of America should focus on protecting the individual liberties of every citizen and defend our lives from foreign invaders. I do not believe we should be the world’s peacekeepers or law enforcement. I do not believe in nation-building. I am a non-interventionist. I am NOT an isolationist. I believe in a strong defense, a strong and prepared military, but the use of international diplomacy and free trade when there is no imminent threat. When there is an imminent threat Congress, as laid out in the Constitution, must be the deciding branch to declare war. The Executive Branch should lead the conflict, and our only intention should be the defense of Americans.

This is where I stand on three more specific areas of international policy…

ISRAEL & the Middle East: I believe Israel has the right to exist as a free nation as well as Palestine. The conflict will not be solved by American intervention. I hope and pray for peace in the Middle East, but I do not believe the U.S.A. has a role. It is time to bring our soldiers home from the endless wars and close a large portion of the bases we have scattered around the globe. We should use trade agreements with peaceful nations and use diplomacy whenever possible with nations who commit human atrocities and violate human rights. Israel is a strong ally of the United States and we should show loyalty through trade and lifting bureaucratic restrictions from private charities who give to Israel and other peace-loving peoples. I would not use American tax dollars to aid in Israel’s defense unless there was a vote put directly to tax-payers, not Congressional legislators who are prone to complete submission to lobbyists, that detailed how and when our finances would be used. This would need to be done for every conflict where we consider aid whether for Israel or other allies. This same strategy could apply to sending financial aid for each international emergency. In addition, we must stop arming and aiding those who literally threaten America or do not respect the human rights of their own people such as Saudi Arabia and Syria.

Iran & North Korea: I congratulate President Trump on the peace deal with North and South Korea and for withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal that Obama signed. However, we now need to take this authority away from the Executive Branch so that when agreements are made agreements are kept going forward, not at the discretion of any President, regardless of political party. Congress in cooperation with the State Department, or perhaps the President, should negotiate America’s own deal with Iran using trade and diplomacy, not threat of war. Threats of violence do not work. What does work is the Reagan principle of a strong and prepared military ready to defend us as a deterrent to foreign aggression. America should be wary of entering into international peacekeeping agreements which leads to my third point.

The United Nations: The United States should immediately defund and withdraw from the United Nations. America launched it in an effort to bring countries together for the sake of peace and the protection of human rights through communication and unity. Instead of that being accomplished, the U.N. has consistently slacked off in its purpose, specifically by neglecting to confront human rights violations. It has wasted billions and billions of dollars on lining its own pockets as well as those of corrupt governments that are not accountable to their nation’s people. The U.N. has also shown repeated aggression against the sovereignty of the American people. Ambassador Nikki Haley should immediately hold a joint session of Congress to lay out a 5 year strategy of complete withdraw and defunding on our part. She should present alternatives for world cooperation that embrace the values of individual life, liberty, and dignity and utilizes smarter and more efficient financial costs, preferably directly accountable to the people whose tax dollars will be funding its endeavors. Perhaps the best way is to submit this creation of a new international peacekeeping body to private organizations and charities (not corporations). Congress could have oversight of such a network if necessary. Congress should absolutely pass an amendment to the Constitution that keeps America from re-entering the United Nations. I am optimistic that the states would approve such an amendment.

For life & liberty,

– Richard Castaldo

Grove, Oklahoma

Pastor/Libertarian Candidate for US Congress OK-CD2

{Note: I do not have experience in international affairs, but I do have cultural experience. Countries I have visited include: Dominican Republic, Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Germany, Venezuela, and Canada. As Congressman I would prioritize trips to countries where American policies are urgently in need of reform or strengthening in order to make informed decisions.}