Foreign Policy Lessons from Marine and Sen. JD Vance | #Heritage50

Foreign Policy Lessons from Marine and Sen. JD Vance | #Heritage50

Senator JD Vance delivers an address at Heritage’s 50th Anniversary Leadership Summit.

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I want to thank all of you for being Here and I want to thank especially Kevin Roberts and all of the Heritage Foundation for 50 years of incredible Work on conservative policy uh you know The old famous story of course is that When Ronald Reagan took over he went to The Heritage Foundation to identify all The things how could he translate his Campaign promises into reality and I Really believe that we are on the Forefront of a new conservative majority In this country and we are going to Hopefully in 2024 take back the White House and this organization is going to Play a major role in helping us figure Out how to govern at the White House at The Senate at the house and all across Our great country so Kevin thank you for Your leadership and thanks for being at The Forefront of the things that matter I have 17 minutes here which for you as Senator is actually not that much time When you put a microphone in front of a U.S senator you don't have security About to escort them off stage they can Get a little a little long tooth or a Little uh a little long-winded here but Let me let me talk about something Um that is is is maybe not as inspiring As some of the remarks you're going to Hear today but I think is is so Important because we are in 2023 faced With an incredible fork in the road in

This country and this organization and Every single one of you in this room Will play a big role in which pathway we Choose and that fork is about the Foreign policy that we will choose as a Country and whether we will have a Foreign policy that ruthlessly and Rationally pursues our own interests or Whether we have a foreign policy that Sends American troops American blood and Treasure to where it simply doesn't Belong and will do no good in the Process Now I'm 38 years old I graduated from High school in um in in June of 2003. Before I graduated from high school in April of 2003 just a few weeks after we Invaded Iraq I I enlist in the United States Marine Corps my entire life has Been influenced and affected by the Decisions that we made a month before I Enlisted in the Marine Corps in just a Few months before I graduated from high School and let me tell you I changed my Mind on this when I was a young High School student I read books I consumed Information I watched Sean Hannity Debate Alan Combs back in the day if any Of you remember that Um and and I and I remember thinking to Myself that what we would do in Iraq was Transform it from a horrible Dictatorship into a flowering democracy And I hate to say that didn't happen

And I also hate to say not just that it Didn't happen not just that some of us Were wrong myself very much at the top Of the list even though I was only a High school student but the people who Were most wrong suffered no consequences In the American foreign policy Establishment has learned zero lessons From what is perhaps the most unforced And catastrophic error in the history of This country trillions We spent trillions of dollars we killed Thousands of Americans and more Iraqis We eradicated the oldest Christian Population in the world all in the Service of increasing the power of Iran And putting our Ally Israel under Greater threat and yet the people who Pursued that policy the people who Pushed it still have cushy Think Tank Jobs thankfully not here They still have great media consultant Ships they make a lot of money and they Have a lot of prestige I think it's time To throw those ideas on the ash sheep of History and tell the people who made the Mistakes of 20 years ago we're not going To let you make them again in 2023. I mean just think about this people that I mean I I know a lot of you in this Room and I'm sure a lot of you have Different views on foreign policy but Think about all the people that 20 years Ago 10 years ago we thought of as

Friends and allies in the conservative Movement people like Bill Crystal people Like David from right now maybe all of You knew more than I did at the time but These guys were people who I thought Knew everything they knew exactly what We needed to do in American foreign Policy it doesn't bother me that they Were wrong what bothers me is that They've suffered no consequences think About this if you had been put in a Position of power where you had Advocated for a catastrophic decision in Your company in your personal life in Your business certainly at the height of American foreign policy don't you think You should suffer some consequences when You screw it up That Common Sense this is maybe the most Important lesson in Iraq is that the People who drive our foreign policy very Often don't know what they're doing but They suffer no consequences when they're Wrong we in this room need to change That we need to make sure that the People who have made catastrophic Mistakes at the very least have to Apologize for it before they Advocate The next catastrophic mistake for the Next Generation how about that But if lesson one from Iraq is that we Should stop rewarding people who get us Into the wrong Situations again and again lesson two is

That there is something I think in the Heart of every American an admirable Thing in the heart of every American This love of Freedom this love of Democracy this love of Liberty and Ladies and gentlemen we have to Recognize that while I believe that that Fire is alive in the heart of every American that doesn't mean it's alive in The heart of every other person all Across the world we cannot take American Values and force them on people who Don't want them and we have to stop Running our foreign policy based on Moral slogans instead of on cold hard Reality remember Iraq was all about Freedom Liberty and democracy it was all About bringing the American way of life To Iraq and yet what we actually got out Of it was was Iran Iran becoming even More powerful than they were 20 years Ago that is what happened because we Weren't thinking we were too busy Talking about moral slogans it was a Disaster Now let's go back let's move forward a Little bit because I think we need to Apply these lessons importantly to a new Conflict in a new war that a lot of People in this town think America should Get more involved in and frankly we're Learning apparently that America already Maybe has troops on the ground in Ukraine ladies and gentlemen get America

Out of Ukraine get American troops out Of Ukraine it is a disaster for this Country Now why is a disaster for this country Because I want to be clear and I want to Be specific look I admire the brave Ukrainians as much as any person in this Room or any person in this town they Have against incredible odds fought a Very terrible enemy and they have fought Bravely but let's not mistake the Courage of the Ukrainian troops on the Ground with the fact that they have the Most corrupt leadership and corrupt Government in Europe and maybe the most Corrupt leadership anywhere in the world Can any person here I'm a U.S senator And I don't know the answer to this Question where have the 130 billion Dollars that we spend in Ukraine where Have they gone We don't know it hasn't been properly Tracked and when U.S senators and Congressmen try to find out the answer The Biden Administration shuts us down But here's where set us aside the fact That we don't have enough money in this Country why are we spending 130 billion Dollars on Ukraine when we can't even Pay our own bills at home set that to The side and let's talk about the most Important part of this war Now I have been an advocate for a very Long time that America we need to make

More of our own stuff we need to Manufacture our own weapons our own Technologies right here in the good old Us of a we made a mistake ladies and Gentlemen to Offshore all of our Important manufacturing technology to China to Mexico to other countries but Now what that means is that we don't Have the manufacturing capacity here to Support America's military goals of the Future let me highlight this with one Very extraordinary statistic right now As we speak the Russians are firing 20 000 artillery shells a day in Ukraine Russia has one tenth the size of the Economy of the United States do you know How many artillery shells we're sending To Ukraine how many we're able to Manufacture in our country about a Thousand a day So an economy that is 10 times smaller Than our own is able to manufacture Weapons 20 times more than we can how Did we let this happen but since we let It happen let's deal with the reality There are missile systems there are Artillery systems there are bullets Basic weapons of war that we are sending To Ukraine right now that the real enemy Is watching Because the thing that we need to Prevent more than anything is a Chinese Invasion of Taiwan it would be Catastrophic for this country it would

Decimate our entire economy where the Computer chips so much of those are made In Taiwan it would throw this country Into a great depression and right now do You know that Joe Biden is not sending Weapons to Taiwan weapons that we Promised the Taiwanese because we're Sending those weapons to Ukraine or Elsewhere how does that make any sense Now here's the thing that I here's the Thing that I'm often confronted with When people tell me that we can focus on Ukraine and Taiwan at the same time they Say that we have to show Putin that we Mean business so that she in China will Know that we mean business too but the Unfortunate fact is that Putin and she They don't care about our chest thumping They don't care about what we say they Care about whether we can make enough Bullets to fight the war that we may Have to fight that is all that matters It's time to bring our manufacturing Home it's time to manufacture our Weapons in the United States and it's Time to send a message to the world that America is the arsenal of democracy but We cannot do that unless we get out and Stop the focus on Ukraine we got to Focus on China because that's where the Real enemy is Foreign This is hard for a lot of us to accept It's hard for a lot of us to accept that

The Arsenal democracy in World War II is Making one twentieth the artillery Shells that Russia is making but that is The reality and let me close this Question of foreign policy this argument On foreign policy with what we need to Do to rebuild our own country Yesterday I I stood on the senate floor Of my first speech on the senate floor Actually and I objected to a Biden Administration I sometimes say the Obama Administration and I confuse myself and I say well it's actually the same thing So who cares But a bite Administration Ambassador by Demonstration Ambassador who went to the Very conservative country of Ghana where She was the Ambassador and decided that It would be an America's best interest To hang up the trans pride flag In the American Embassy in Ghana okay we Are led by unserious people ladies and Gentlemen we're led by a bunch of fools If we're being honest let's be more Direct now here's the thing The Chinese Larry Summers the Obama Administration Economist once said when The Chinese come to Africa they want to Build you an airport when the Americans Come to Africa they want to lecture you They want to lecture you about Progressive politics ladies and Gentlemen let's get progressive politics Out of our foreign policy if a majority

Of Americans don't believe something we Shouldn't be forcing it down the throat Of somebody else But this is what American foreign policy Has become we ignore the fact that we Don't manufacture enough of our own Weapons and we send woke gender studies Professors to Africa when the Chinese Are building roads and bridges and Hospitals and you know why this matters It matters because Africa has an Incredible future in the economy of the 21st century and if all the minerals and All the resources and all the Possibilities of Africa in the 21st Century are controlled by China we are Going to suffer can't manufacture Computer chips without some of those Minerals you can't manufacture weapons Without some of those minerals so let's Get the woke stuff out of our diplomacy And let's get back to an American Foreign policy based on our national Interest it's really that simple Now let me just thank you Now let me just let me just finish with This one final thought here uh you heard This from Tim Scott great colleague you Heard he'll hear this from a lot of Other people in the future we live in an Incredibly dangerous World in a very new World I talked earlier about how it's Hard for a lot of us especially a kid 38 Years older I grew up in the in the era

Where America was the sole foreign Policy power in the world What will determine whether we win the Battle against China I really don't Believe it's it's it's not a question of Whether we have the best people of Course we have the best people Not a question of whether we have the Best economy of course right now we have The best economy it's not a question of Anything other than of leadership and of Whether we are willing to trust and Believe in the American people to Support their values instead of trying To destroy them in other words if you Have an American leadership that is Trying to destroy the American family if You have an American leadership that is Convincing 12 year old kids that they Were born in the wrong body and we're Going to impose crazy surgeries on them To fix this if you have an American Leadership that teaches Americans not That we have a common history and a Common future together but that they Should hate one another based on the Color of their skin that is what the Modern left is doing to this country and That's what we have to fight against if We are strong here at home if we build Things here at home if we have the Self-confidence and the will to say we Are all Americans we believe in an American past and importantly in an

American future we will win the battle Of the future but that's what this is All about don't give up the culture Don't give up our economy don't give up The very things that make us who we are Because whether we beat back the Chinese It has nothing to do with China and it Has very little to do with the rest of The world it has to do with whether we Allow American leadership to disgrace us And Destroy what makes this country Special or whether to build on what Comes from the past I believe we ought To build on what comes from the past and I believe we will and let me leave you With one final thought You know I'm a new Senator I'm a new Politician I ran for office actually I Hate calling myself a politician it sort Of I feel like I need to go take a bath Or something Um but I guess I am when you run around Asking the people of Ohio to vote for You you become a politician I I've been Doing this for all of two years but let Me say something Um Adam talked about I think you know You don't hear people in America talk About their their faith anymore you Don't hear people in America talk about The fact that we were as John Adams said A foundational Republic created for Moral and religious people well I'm Going to talk a little bit about God

When I was I was actually talking to a Good friend about two years ago actually When I was thinking about running for Senate and you know there was a lot Going on in the country at the time There were a lot of bad things that Joe Biden was doing this was when remember Delta and some of the big corporations In Atlanta were going after Georgia for Passing Common Sense voter ID you Remember that it was about two years ago And I remember thinking to myself well If the corporations are teaming up with The left what can we really do here and I was doing something there's a Technical term for what I was doing when You sometimes talked to a friend and You're not feeling great about things I Was whining There's a whining to a buddy about how Things were going and he kind of stopped Me dead in my tracks he's a person who's Very influential to me returning to my Own Christian faith and he said JD Despair is a sin Thought a lot about this because I Talked to a lot of people from all walks Of life in the conservative movement I See a lot of despairing right now in our Movement and I'd encourage you to think Despair is not just bad because it Allows the other side to take advantage Of us it's not just counterproductive Despair really is a sin Our Hope in this

Country is not that everything has been Going perfectly in the last 10 years Because it hasn't Our Hope in this Country is that we have the best people In the world we have the best Republic In the world we have the best Constitution in the world ladies and Gentlemen despair is a sin let's fight For this country and take it back God Bless you and thank you for having me

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