The Coburn Doctrine: Troops Can't Come Home Until We Gut The EPA

August 19, 2011 10:39 am ET — Jamison Foser

Sen. Tom Coburn

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) says the U.S. shouldn't leave Afghanistan until after unrelated Coburn-favored regulatory changes:

Coburn said he disagreed with the president about setting a date of next summer to remove troops from Afghanistan.

America's foreign policy would be different if the U.S. was energy independent and its economy was growing again, he said:

"The best way to get us out of Afghanistan is to grow our economy, change the regulations, have a vibrant, growing America where people are afraid to come against us," Coburn said.

Coburn didn't specify which regulations should be changed before bringing troops home from Afghanistan, though given his track record, it's safe to assume he thinks blocking enforcement of the Clean Air Act would be a good start.

Coburn's attempt to link leaving Afghanistan with reducing government regulations that have nothing to do with the military is certainly a novel approach: Coburn is essentially saying that U.S. troops should stay in harm's way until he is able to enact his unrelated domestic agenda. And in light of his view that a vibrant, growing economy will cause people to be "afraid to come against us," one wonders whether Coburn remembers the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, which came immediately following the longest economic expansion in American history.