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22 Oct, 2023 00:10

US needs ‘Department of Offense, not Defense’ – presidential candidate

Republican Nikki Haley has called for a more belligerent foreign policy, including the elimination of Hamas
US needs ‘Department of Offense, not Defense’ – presidential candidate

Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley has called for instilling fear in Washington’s foreign enemies by transforming the US Department of Defense into the “Department of Offense.”

Speaking at a campaign event on Friday in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Haley demanded that the US respond to the Israel-Hamas war by providing the Israeli government and military with “whatever they need whenever they need it.” She added that Washington’s goal must be to “eliminate Hamas, not weaken them,” and she called for cutting off government funding to colleges whose students or employees hold protests in support of the Palestinians.  

Haley, a former South Carolina governor who served as US ambassador to the UN under then-President Donald Trump, suggested that the administration of US President Joe Biden must not be fooled by Friday’s release of two American hostages by Hamas. “They are doing this to earn favor with America because they want to try and look good in the eyes of America,” she said. “Don’t fall for it.”

Having a stronger military and strong leadership in the White House could have prevented the war in Israel, as well as the Russia-Ukraine conflict, Haley argued. Biden’s botched withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan in 2021 and his administration’s recent prisoner-swap agreement with Iran emboldened America’s enemies, she claimed, adding that only a stronger military can restore US credibility. 

“We’ve got to be smart, and we’ve got to be ready,” Haley said. “I’m tired of talking about a ‘department of defense’. I want a ‘department of offense’. Every enemy needs to fear us.”

Haley is calling for a bigger and apparently more aggressive military despite the fact that the Pentagon already boasts annual spending of nearly $832 billion – exceeding the world’s nine next largest defense budgets combined. The US has about 750 bases in 80 countries, and it has a long history of regime-change programs and military interventions around the world.

“This woman is a crazed warmonger,” US podcast host Joey Mannarino said in an X (formerly Twitter) post. “Don’t let the sweet Southern accent fool you. She’d have us in every war she could find.”

Haley has reportedly been enriched by the US military industrial complex since resigning as Trump’s UN ambassador in October 2018. She was hired as a board member with US defense contractor Boeing in 2019. Although she left the company the following year, she still owned as much as $250,000 in Boeing stock as of a financial disclosure filing in May.

Haley has earned six-figure fees for speaking engagements, including over $230,000 from the Center for Israel and Jewish Affairs, and she was paid $127,500 for her work as a consultant to an advocacy group called United Against a Nuclear Iran, which has lobbied for military strikes against Tehran. She also netted more than $708,000 in consulting fees from Prism Global Management LLC, an investment fund, and her husband holds stakes in two firms with ties to the defense industry.

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