Commentary Magazine


Topic: national defense

Rand Paul Bombs on Defense Analysis

In an interview with CBS, Sen. Rand Paul argued that the GOP’s “bomb everyone tomorrow” policy is hurting it on the East and West coasts:

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul said Monday that Republicans can win in New England and on the West Coast if they’re willing to drop a “we need to bomb everybody tomorrow” foreign policy.

“I think one of the problems we face, as a Republican party, is that we’re behind the eight-ball to begin with,” Paul said on CBS’ “This Morning.” “We’re not winning the West Coast. We’re not winning New England. Maybe we need to embrace more Ron Paul Republicans, more libertarian Republicans. … It means people who are little bit less aggressive on foreign policy. They believe in defending the country, but they don’t believe we need to be everywhere all the time.”

If the Obama’s election illustrated anything, it’s that there’s not a major difference between the GOP and Democratic Party when it comes to a general willingness to intervene and a willingness to use force.

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In an interview with CBS, Sen. Rand Paul argued that the GOP’s “bomb everyone tomorrow” policy is hurting it on the East and West coasts:

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul said Monday that Republicans can win in New England and on the West Coast if they’re willing to drop a “we need to bomb everybody tomorrow” foreign policy.

“I think one of the problems we face, as a Republican party, is that we’re behind the eight-ball to begin with,” Paul said on CBS’ “This Morning.” “We’re not winning the West Coast. We’re not winning New England. Maybe we need to embrace more Ron Paul Republicans, more libertarian Republicans. … It means people who are little bit less aggressive on foreign policy. They believe in defending the country, but they don’t believe we need to be everywhere all the time.”

If the Obama’s election illustrated anything, it’s that there’s not a major difference between the GOP and Democratic Party when it comes to a general willingness to intervene and a willingness to use force.

The differences are much more apparent when it comes to where, when and how they choose to intervene, and in areas like diplomacy. The Obama administration has ramped up the drone program, gone into Libya, and surged in Afghanistan. And it’s the Obama administration that leaked stories about the “Kill List” and worked with Hollywood on a movie about the Osama bin Laden raid. By Rand Paul’s logic, Obama should be losing New York and California, which he obviously is not.

Of course Americans don’t want the military getting entangled in unnecessary conflicts. But most would probably disagree with what Ron and Rand Paul view as legitimate reasons for national defense. For example, polls show the majority Americans say they would support a preemptive U.S. strike on Iran’s nuclear program, if it came to that.  People generally understand that sometimes preemptive action needs to be taken to prevent larger conflicts down the road.

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