- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 4, 2014

Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican, responded to critics questioning his foreign policy stances saying, “I am not an isolationist,” and laying out his own strategy to deal with Islamic State militants on Thursday.

“If I had been in President Obama’s shoes, I would have acted more decisively and strongly against ISIS. I would have called Congress back into session – even during recess,” Mr. Paul wrote in an op-ed for Time magazine.

Mr. Paul, a rumored contender for the GOP presidential nomination, has been the subject of harsh media scrutiny in recent weeks, being accused of flip-flopping on foreign policy in the middle east.

In June, Mr. Paul said “there’s no good case for U.S. Military intervention,” in Iraq in an editorial for the Wall Street Journal. But later said he had “mixed feelings” about airstrikes against the Islamic State and blasted Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton for her “war hawk” policies in Syria.

Now, Mr. Paul wants to set the record straight. He clarified his foreign policy agenda for confused pundits saying, “I’ve said since I began public life that I am not an isolationist, nor am I an interventionist. I look at the world, and consider war, realistically and constitutionally.”

Mr. Paul wrote on Thursday that he still sees war as a last resort, but added that no country should mistake U.S. Reluctance for war as a lack of resolve saying, “‘Peace through Strength’ only works if you have and show strength.”

He joined a chorus of other GOP leaders who have lambasted President Obama for saying he did not have a strategy to combat the Islamic State during a press conference last week.

“This administration’s dereliction of duty has both sins of action and inaction, which is what happens when you are flailing around wildly, without careful strategic thinking,” Mr. Paul said.

The Obama administration must first define the national interest and lay out a strategy to defend it, Mr. Paul said.

He wrote that the U.S. Should continue targeted airstrikes in Iraq and Syria, arm and aid allied Kurdish fighters, reinforce Israel’s Iron dome, and keep terrorists out of the country by securing the vulnerable southern border and revoking passports from any American or dual citizens fighting with jihadists groups.

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