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Nikki Haley Needs To Atone For Her Neocon Foreign Policy If She Wants To Be GOP Nominee

Nikki Haley announces 2024 presidential campaign
Image CreditNews 19 WLTX/YouTube

If Nikki Haley wants a shot at a successful GOP campaign, she has to prove that aimless military adventurism is behind her.


Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley officially launched her bid for president this week, but if she really wants to resonate with conservative voters and win the Republican nomination, Haley needs to atone for her long list of foreign policy failures.

Haley says she’s tired of the Washington establishment failing U.S. voters and she’s ready to “rediscover fiscal responsibility, secure the border, and strengthen our country, our pride, and our purpose.” Her history of pursuing an interventionist agenda, however, will not be easily forgotten. To have a shot at a successful GOP campaign, she has to prove that the aimless military adventurism that puts America last and the U.S. war machine first is behind her.

The Bush Era Revived

Haley officially advanced her failed foreign policy agenda during her tenure as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations from January 2017 to January 2018. By that time, it was clear from both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars that U.S. interventionism in the Middle East was a huge waste of time, funds, and American lives. Yet Haley repeatedly advocated for the U.S. to insert itself and our military in conflicts with Iran, Syria, North Korea, and other foreign countries.

Despite former President Donald Trump’s explicit demands that his administration pivot away from the Bush-era intervention that plagued his GOP predecessors, Haley pushed Trump to take a more militant approach to Iran.

In late 2017, Haley furthered her quest by claiming there was “undeniable” evidence that Iran supplied weapons to Yemeni rebels in their fight against Saudi Arabia. The UN later said that evidence was insufficient, but that didn’t stop Haley from trying to conjure up a U.S.-led global crackdown on Iran and “what they’re doing.”

“The fight against Iranian aggression is the world’s fight,” she declared.

U.S. national security was not immediately threatened because several Middle Eastern countries were infighting, but Haley wanted to involve America.

She did the same thing with Syria in early 2017. The same year she advocated for American meddling in Saudi Arabia’s battle, Haley led the administration’s change of tune on regime change in Syria. In March 2017, Haley announced, “our priority is no longer to sit there and focus on getting Assad out.” Days later in April, Haley pivoted and said one of the Trump administration’s top priorities was evicting the Bashar al-Assad regime, not orchestrating peace settlements.

She claimed there was “not any sort of option where a political solution is going to happen with Assad at the head of the regime” and expressed a strong desire for the U.S. military to continue its attacks on Assad against UN opposition.

Later in 2019, when Trump withdrew American troops from Syria to avoid another decades-long, expensive stint of U.S. intervention in the Middle East, Haley complained that her former boss was leaving U.S. allies “to die” and leaving a regional hole that would be quickly filled by bloodthirsty Turks.

Haley opposed the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan — botched and deadly though Biden’s attempt was — in 2021 on similar grounds.

“Our enemies have always hoped this day would come,” she said. “They know from history that when America retreats, freedom falters.”

The Warmongering Continues

Even after she left her foreign policy post, Haley pursued warmongering activism. Thanks to her hawkish behavior during her time in the Trump administration, Haley was rewarded with a seat on the board of Boeing, one of the biggest defense contractors in the U.S. war profit machine. Her foreign policy influence was also sustained by regular speaking engagements geared toward escalation-hungry audiences via her Stand for America nonprofit.

Haley has been clear she’s “no fan of tariffs” against enemies like China even though they work. She prefers more hard-hitting actions like threatening to send the U.S. to war with the communist country over Taiwan. Ironically, Haley is one of the many American politicians who support U.S. involvement in the Russia-Ukraine war even though spending money in Eastern Europe leaves fewer resources for Taiwan.

American support for funding the war in Eastern Europe has plummeted drastically since the U.S. first started sending cash and weapons to Volodymyr Zelensky in 2022, and Haley appears to have toned down her pro-Ukraine rhetoric ahead of her presidential announcement — but her support for dumping endless taxpayer dollars into the conflict is no secret. She has criticized the U.S. for coming “late to the game” in funding Ukraine. Likewise, over and over, Haley claimed the U.S. has a “duty” to fund the Ukrainian regime, which is plagued with allegations of corruption, to advance “freedom and democracy” and weaken, by proxy, Russian head Vladimir Putin.

“When you see a freedom-loving country trying to protect their own turf, we should give them every ounce of ammunition they need,” Haley said in April 2022.

If Haley doesn’t apologize for and change her warmongering ways, she signals a return to the Bushian interventionism that so many conservative voters overwhelmingly reject through their embrace of candidates like Trump.

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