Sen. Rand Paul, in a Heritage Foundation speech Wednesday, showed a commanding knowledge of U.S. foreign policy history - of the shortcomings of the Truman Doctrine and the strengths of George F. Kennan‘s post-WWII containment policy.
The Kentucky Republican said of himself that he is neither a neoconservative who favors U.S. military action to build other nations to our liking nor an isolationist who thinks U.S. should never get involved abroad.
He politely disputed the neoconservatives and their “war caucus” in Congress.
He successfully walked the fine line between finding ways to discourage nuclear weapons development by Iran without making military action by the U.S. or Israel inevitable or even realistically useful.
He said he agreed with those libertarians who say Western occupation fans the flames of radical Islam but he does not think that radical Islam disappears absent Western occupation of Islamic countries.
This may go down as one of the major foreign policy speeches of this still young century.
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Chief political writer Ralph Z. Hallow served on the Chicago Tribune, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Washington Times editorial boards, was Ford Foundation Fellow in Urban Journalism at Northwestern University, resident at Columbia University Editorial-Page Editors Seminar and has filed from Berlin, Bonn, London, Paris, Geneva, Vienna, Amman, Beirut, Cairo, Damascus, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Belgrade, Bucharest, Panama and Guatemala.
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