The Case for Douglas Macgregor

On July 27, 2020, the Trump administration nominated retired U.S. Army Colonel Douglas Macgregor to the post of Ambassador to Germany.

For those unaware of Macgregor’s credentials, he served in the Persian Gulf War and was responsible for strategic planning during the Kosovo Air Campaign. After retiring from the military in 2004, Macgregor held several consulting positions and is now vice president of Burke-Macgregor, LLC.

Since 2018, Macgregor has made appearances on Tucker Carlson Tonight where he espoused non-interventionist views on topics ranging from North Korea to Iran. In 2019, Macgregor further solidified his noninterventionist bona fides by speaking at the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.

After former National Security Adviser John Bolton was fired back in September of last year, Macgregor was in consideration to fill Bolton’s role. Unfortunately, Robert C. O’Brien, another seasoned hawk, would later assume the position and continue the same policies promoting D.C. hegemony.

Now, Macgregor is receiving a consolation prize as Ambassador to Germany. In a saner political timeline, Douglas Macgregor would be nominated to much more consequential positions such as Secretary State or Secretary of Defense, where he could actually unwind the warfare state and bring large numbers of troops stationed overseas back home. Alas, this is the hand we’ve been dealt with, so we take whatever we can get.

Let’s face it, despite President Trump’s talks about America First and stopping endless wars on the campaign trail, his administration’s efforts to scale back the interventionist overreach of previous administrations have been lackluster at best. And it starts with his personnel choices such as neocon Nikki Haley when she held the post of U.N. ambassador or the aforementioned Bolton who was egging Trump on to pursue conflict in Iran and Venezuela.

Macgregor on the other hand is outspoken about the failures of intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan. In addition, he has criticized calls for intervening in Iran. He does not view peripheral countries such as Venezuela as threats and is of the opinion that broad-based sanctions on the country would make matters worse. Unlike most foreign policy experts stuck in 20th century-style thinking, Macgregor believes it’s time to pull troops out of places such as Japan and South Korea and bring them back home for actual national defense purposes.

Sounds reasonable, right? Well, for most of the interventionist crowd the very thought of having Macgregor in the Trump administration would be a nightmare. After all, the war machine needs to be running on all cylinders and anyone who challenges fundamental pillars of the warfare state must be condemned. We’re already hearing the same tired tropes about how he’s "anti-Semitic" simply for questioning the US’s overly cozy relationship with Israel. Similarly, Macgregor is also receiving flak for not buying into the orthodox line surrounding Iran – every neocons’ biggest boogieman.

As opposed to the propagandists babbling about Russiagate and a new Cold War with China, Macgregor recognizes that the Cold War is over and both China and Russia do not pose existential threats to American interests. It goes without saying that someone with such levelheaded views on foreign affairs will be subject to a bevy of attacks from foreign policy gatekeepers and their media mouthpieces now that he’s been nominated as Ambassador of Germany.

As frustrating as these criticisms may be, this goes to show that Macgregor is the real deal. When you have all the right people squawking, you know you’re on the right path. Most importantly, it’s a sign that antiwar voices are beginning to frighten the elites. The reason foreign policy doesn’t normally get much press is that the typical foreign policy nominee is cut from the same interventionist cloth as the rest. They’re essentially assembly-line robots who faithfully carry out their neocon designers’ plans.

Rest assured, once the Senate hearings begin for Macgregor’s nomination, expect elected officials and the media to spew all sorts of invective towards the retired Colonel. The road to fixing the foreign policy mistakes of the last few decades will be bumpy, but we must be prepared to fight back. Macgregor’s nomination gives us a good place to start our fight against the interventionist consensus. It’s not ideal, but it will get the conversation moving in a way that was unthinkable a decade ago.

Douglas Macgregor merits our full support. It’s the least we could do for the noninterventionist cause that has been long ignored by DC.

José Niño is the author of the e-book The 10 Myths of Gun Control. Sign up for his mailing list here. Contact him via Facebook, Twitter, or email him here.