Via James Joyner we have this realist wisdom from a campaign long, long ago:
- “Let me tell you what else I’m worried about: I’m worried about an opponent who uses nation building and the military in the same sentence. See, our view of the military is for our military to be properly prepared to fight and win war and, therefore, prevent war from happening in the first place.” – Nov 6, 2000
- “Somalia. It started off as a humanitarian mission then changed into a nation-building mission and that’s where the mission went wrong. The mission was changed. And as a result, our nation paid a price, and so I don’t think our troops ought to be used for what’s called nation building. I think our troops ought to be used to fight and win war. I think our troops ought to be used to help overthrow a dictator when it’s in our best interests. But in this case, it was a nation-building exercise. And same with Haiti. I wouldn’t have supported either.” – Oct. 11, 2000
- “I think what we need to do is convince people who live in the lands they live in to build the nations. Maybe I’m missing something here. I mean we’re going to have kind of a nation-building corps from America. Absolutely not. Our military is meant to fight and win war. That’s what it’s meant to do and when it gets overextended, morale drops.” – Oct. 11, 2000
- “I think we’ve got to be very careful when we commit our troops. The vice president and I have a disagreement about the use of troops. He believes in national building. I would be very careful about using our troops as nation builders.” Oct. 4, 2000
Boy, we would have saved ourselves a lot of trouble if we’d just elected this guy.