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Congressman John Duncan

Representing the 2nd District of Tennessee

Foreign Affairs and Foreign Aid

Actually, about half of what the Defense Department does is foreign aid, building schools, bridges, power and water systems, training police and even farmers.  Almost every other federal department and agency spends big money in other countries. 

We really spend several hundred billion all over the world each year – money that we really cannot afford. 

I am opposed to running and building other nations, and believe we need a more humble foreign policy.

We could have trade and tourism, and cultural and educational exchanges, and help out during humanitarian crises without spending several hundred billion each year that we do not have. The U.S. is the most generous nation in the world. Unfortunately, sometimes we are too generous for our own good.

Most of our spending in other countries has done us very little good because we have also taken sides and intervened in far too many religious, ethnic, and political disputes around the world. 

Conservative syndicated columnist Steve Chapman summed it up best in this way:

“If there has been a flaw in U.S. foreign policy in recent years, it has not been an excess of disengagement, but the opposite: an irrepressible urge to use force for purposes that do not enhance our security but expose us to needless risk. The result has been that we find ourselves with more enemies, weakened influence, higher costs, greater strains on our military and less safety. After the Iraq debacle, you would think our leaders would be willing to undertake a fundamental examination of the long established and broad-based folly that made it possible. Not a chance.”

The U.S. has some type of military presence - often very large - in almost every country. Conservative Columnist Charley Reese wrote about the many problems this causes:

“Americans had better get shut of their imperial delusions and fast, because we are following the path of every empire that has ever existed toward bankruptcy. Do you really want high gas prices, food rationing, healthcare rationing and unbearable debt? What kind of standard of living do you think we can maintain with a collapsed education system, a broken infrastructure, a debilitated manufacturing sector and a debt-imploded failed economy…. One reason we are so in debt is that the brainless in our country have been paying for the defense of Europe and Japan ever since the end of World War II.”

Georgie Anne Geyer, a foreign policy columnist, wrote several years ago that Americans “will inevitably come to a point where they will see they have to have a government that provides services at home or one that seeks empire across the globe.”

More on Foreign Affairs and Foreign Aid

April 7, 2017 Press Release
While I do not think we should become entangled in another ground war in the Middle-East, this measured response was appropriate to send the message that the United States will not tolerate the use of chemical weapons to murder innocent civilians, especially children.
September 21, 2015 Editorials

For most Republican members of Congress, the vote on the Iran nuclear agreement seemed to be a very easy one.  For me, it was one of the most difficult since I have been in Congress.

Throughout my career, I have favored diplomacy over war and have been very critical of “chickenhawks” who have been far too eager to send others to do their fighting.

April 25, 2015 Editorials


The following article by U.S. Rep. John J. Duncan, Jr. appeared in The American Conservative in April 2015:

April 24, 2015 In The News
Republicans once stood for peace through strength, not endless war.
April 3, 2015 In The News
“One of my biggest concerns is sending jobs overseas,” the congressman told the Downtown Maryville Association on Thursday, after thanking local business owners for providing jobs.
October 14, 2014 Press Release

WASHINGTON – In a radio interview Tuesday, Congressman John J. Duncan, Jr. (R-Tenn.) called for immediate measures to restrict travel from countries with an Ebola outbreak.

Duncan told radio host Andrew Wilkow on the Sirius-XM network that the U.S. response has been lacking.

September 11, 2014 In The News
U.S. Rep. John J. Duncan Jr., R-Tenn., said he supports a limited number of air strikes against the terrorists who beheaded two American journalists, but he is opposed to the use of thousands of ground troops.
June 11, 2014 Speeches

Hello, I am coming to you once again from my office in the Rayburn House Office Building across the street from the capitol.