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The Kentucky Republican also seemed to caution against aggressive calls for increased U.S. defense spending and engagement overseas.

“What the United States needs” Mr. Paul said, is “a policy that is not rash or reckless; a foreign policy that is reluctant, restrained by constitutional checks and balances but does not appease; a foreign policy that recognizes the danger of radical Islam but also the inherent weaknesses of radical Islam; a foreign policy that recognizes the danger of bombing countries on the pretext of what they might someday do.”