Republican presidential hopeful Nikki Haley is pushing for a more assertive U.S. foreign policy, including the objective of completely eradicating Hamas. At a campaign gathering in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Haley proposed transforming the U.S. Department of Defense to a “Department of Offense,” stating that the focus should be on instilling fear among international adversaries.
Haley urged the U.S. to back Israel unconditionally in its conflict with Hamas, advocating for providing Israel with “unfettered support. She also proposed withholding federal funds from educational institutions where pro-Palestinian protests occur, emphasizing that the objective should be to “exterminate Hamas, not merely weaken it.
A previous South Carolina governor and U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under President Donald Trump, Haley warned against being misled by the recent release of two American hostages by Hamas. She cautioned that such acts were merely attempts to gain U.S. favor and should not be trusted.
Haley’s Controversial Military Advocacy Explored
Haley criticized President Joe Biden’s administration for its handling of various international crises. She argued that a stronger U.S. military presence could have averted the Israel-Hamas conflict and the Russia-Ukraine tension. She lambasted Biden for the ill-planned withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021 and for a recent prisoner exchange with Iran, contending that these actions have empowered America’s enemies.Read:Abbas and Biden Discuss Gaza Crisis, Aid Plans
“I want to shift the conversation from a ‘Department of Defense’ to a ‘Department of Offense’,” Haley said, emphasizing the need for America’s enemies to fear the nation’s military prowess.
Despite calling for a more robust and apparently combative U.S. military, Haley’s advocacy comes when the Pentagon already has an annual budget of close to $832 billion, which outpaces the combined military budgets of the next nine countries. The U.S., with approximately 750 bases in 80 countries, has a lengthy record of military interventions and regime-change operations globally.
Commentators have criticized Haley’s stance as dangerously hawkish. Joey Mannarino, a U.S. podcast host, described her as a “fanatical warmonger” in a post on X (formerly Twitter).
Financial disclosures reveal that Haley has profited from her ties to the military-industrial complex. After stepping down as Trump’s UN ambassador in 2018, she joined the board of U.S. defense contractor Boeing in 2019. Although she left the company the following year, she retained up to $250,000 in Boeing stocks as of her latest financial filing.
Haley has also garnered substantial fees for public speaking and consulting. She received over $230,000 from the Center for Israel and Jewish Affairs, and $127,500 as a consultant for United Against a Nuclear Iran, an organization advocating for military action against Iran. Additionally, she collected more than $708,000 in consulting fees from Prism Global Management LLC, an investment firm. Her husband also has financial interests in companies tied to the defense sector.Read:Who benefits from nord stream sabotage?