Last week, Sen. Rand Paul (R., Ky.) received the Distinguished Service Award from the Center for the National Interest. In his remarks, Paul laid out the basic principles of what he described as a “conservative realism of strength and action.” He also cited the admonition of diplomat George Kennan that the United States must distinguish its vital interests from its peripheral ones.
My must read of the day is “The Revenge of Rand Paul,” in the New Yorker.
Even war dove Rand Paul, who was recently attacked by the Democratic National Committee (yes you read that right) for being insufficiently hawkish, has a strategy for defeating ISIS. President Obama, on the other hand, does not.
According to an Associated Press report on Paul’s speech at an Americans For Prosperity gathering in Dallas last week:
[S]ome of the loudest applause for Paul came when he quipped: “If the president has no strategy, maybe it’s time for a new president.”
In an emailed comment, however, Paul elaborated by saying: “If I were President, I would call a joint session of Congress. I would lay out the reasoning of why ISIS is a threat to our national security and seek congressional authorization to destroy ISIS militarily.”
On Wednesday, Senator Rand Paul (R., Ky.) published an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal blaming the United States for the rise of the terrorist group known as the Islamic State, while taking shots at “interventionists” like former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, as well “hawkish members” of the Republican Party.
Beyond that, it is unclear what Paul is trying to argue, as the op-ed is only semi-coherent. As best I can tell, he is suggesting that U.S. policymakers talking about military intervention in Syria, and then ultimately deciding against it, is a major reason why ISIS came to power. Or something. He also comes out in favor of having both foresight and hindsight.
Paul’s column invited a lot of predictable criticism, but it was also trashed by an unlikely source: