RFK Jr. Says US Should 'Vastly Scale Back' Its Military Budget

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by Tyler Durden
Saturday, Jun 15, 2024 - 08:20 PM

Authored by Jeff Louderback via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

Presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. speaks at the Nixon Library in Yorba Linda, Calif., on June 12, 2024. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., an outspoken critic of U.S. involvement in “forever wars,” reiterated his view that the nation should scale back its military presence abroad and shift its focus to domestic programs, during an address at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum on June 12.

Mr. Kennedy did not mention the Russia–Ukraine or the Israel–Hamas war, but he said that the United States should “vastly scale back the military budget” and proposed a 50 percent reduction in military spending if he is elected president.

This would lead to a “stronger, smarter, better targeted national defense,” he said, and would benefit the U.S. economy by reallocating that money to reducing the $34 trillion national debt and addressing domestic issues such as education, small-business development, and infrastructure.

“If we use those savings to rebuild our country in every way, we will reverse spending that is a constant drain on our nation’s vitality,” he said.

Mr. Kennedy appeared at the venue as part of the Richard Nixon Foundation’s Presidential Policy Perspective series, which has featured former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, former Vice President Mike Pence, and former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson.

Democratic National Committee spokesperson Matt Corridoni condemned Mr. Kennedy’s plan to cut defense spending.

“With Russia, North Korea, and the Chinese Communist Party all watching, RFK Jr. is more than eager to peddle Kremlin talking point. Just like Donald Trump, he can’t be trusted to stand up for allies and against totalitarianism,” Mr. Corridoni said in a statement released after the address.

Mr. Kennedy chastised U.S. foreign policy, stating that he believes it’s “stuck in a world that doesn’t exist” because the country believes “we’re still the world’s only superpower and can bend any nation to its will.”

“The foundation of a nation’s strength is the sound of its infrastructure, the integrity of its government, economic strength, and respect of choices abroad. We have to accept the emergence of other great powers in the world,” he said.

During his speech, Mr. Kennedy said, “We don’t need 800 bases abroad.” The United States spends more on its military budget than “the next 10 nations combined,” he noted.

Presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. speaks at the Nixon Library in Yorba Linda, Calif., on June 12, 2024. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Since the early stages of his presidential campaign, Mr. Kennedy has urged President Biden to negotiate a peaceful end to the Russia–Ukraine war, which started when Russia invaded the neighboring nation in February 2022.

“Russia is not going to lose this war. Russia can’t afford it,” he told The Epoch Times in September. “It would be like us losing a war to Mexico.”

Mr. Kennedy has said he’s sympathetic to the Ukrainian cause and that Russian President Vladimir Putin invaded the country illegally, but he has criticized the United States for its role, saying there had been multiple missed opportunities to peacefully settle the conflict and that “we have turned it into a proxy war between Russia and the United States.”

He believes the Russia–Ukraine war is one of the root causes of the United States’ current economic problems and that the U.S. government has an “addiction to war.”

“We’ve spent $8 trillion on wars since 9/11. If we kept that money home, we would’ve had child care for every American. We would have free college education for every American. We’d be able to pay for our Social Security system,” he told The Epoch Times.