HOOKSETT, N.H. – Can American foreign policy be predicated upon peace? Marianne Williamson thinks it can.
Williamson stressed that point in a Q&A with the World Affairs Council of New Hampshire on Wednesday night at Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) as the group hosted its first Foreign Policy on the Ballot event with U.S. Presidential candidates.
She told the audience at SNHU and watching online that two percent of the U.S. military budget should be dedicated to a “Department of Peace” which work to prevent war and conflict domestically and internationally. Additionally, she called the military budget bloated and recommended a comprehensive budget audit. She also criticized U.S. President Joe Biden for naming former four-star general and Raytheon board member Lloyd Austin as Secretary of Defense, believing Austin’s connections with Raytheon only heightened needless overspending from the Pentagon.
If elected, Williamson said she would not send troops overseas without a declaration of war and chastised Congress for abrogating their constitutional responsibility in this regard. She also said she would reduce the number of U.S. military bases around the world, end arms sales to dictatorships and would re-center American foreign policy toward more collaboration due to what she sees as decades of overly confrontational and counterproductive efforts.
She believes that approach, through the expansion of NATO, provoked Russian President Vladimir Putin into invading Ukraine. Although she said she does not support Putin’s actions, she believes that the conflict in Ukraine will eventually require a negotiated settlement and Western nations have not given Putin the incentive to enter negotiations that would end the war.
Williamson said she would help Ukraine, but not under any circumstances. That would also be the approach she would take regarding the Israel/Palestine conflict, stating that Israeli’s blockade of Gaza was wrong, their settlements in the West Bank were illegal and she would simultaneously end arms sales to Saudi Arabia.
She also said that it was necessary to prevent war between China and Taiwan, but felt it was inappropriate to send U.S. soldiers to Taiwan if conflict did arise. Regarding China, she also felt that more investigation was needed regarding the beginning of the COVID-19 epidemic in that country and felt that the pressure placed upon the American public to take COVID-19 vaccines was inappropriate.
Williamson emphasized the importance of economics in foreign policy, stating that the U.S. has taken an exploitative stance toward other countries, particularly in Latin America. On that point, she said that immigration from those countries is not a crisis beyond the impact on the migrants themselves and the path toward integrating hardworking migrants that have come to the U.S. without documentation is a problem.
“Unless you have descended from enslaved people or indigenous people, where do you think you came from?” She asked. “We put (immigrants) into such despair, but what is happening is that they’re paying more in taxes than they are benefiting. There is an illusion that (those who immigrate) are sucking off of you, that they are a problem, but they are contributing more to the American economy than taking from the American economy.”
Williamson said that immigration reform would help stop drug cartels, adding that she would also end the War on Drugs. Domestically, she added that she opposes “Cop City” in Atlanta, a proposed police and fire training facility, building on her general support of the Black Lives Matter movement.