Between calls from leading Republicans to get ready for war with Iran, remain in Afghanistan and Iraq, and intervening militarily in Syria, it’s no surprise that some on the left might label the GOP’s approach to foreign policy “bomb everyone tomorrow.” But when a Republican Senator says the same thing, it’s worth sitting up and taking notice. On Monday, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) did exactly that.
When asked about Republican political failures on CBS This Morning, Paul argued that the dominant GOP approach to foreign policy was turning off voters that might otherwise be inclined to support the party. His choice of language in describing this phenomenon was unusually harsh:
We shouldn’t be everywhere all the time. We should have a more defensive foreign policy, a less aggressive foreign policy. I think that would go over much better in New England than the typical ‘we need to bomb everybody tomorrow’ policy you hear from some Republicans…there were many Republicans that said let’s stay [in Afghanistan] forever, there are still some in the Senate who want to for 100 years in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The party’s general tenor appears to be well reflected in its presidential nominee. Mitt Romney is surrounded by a coterie of hyper-hawkish advisers who have pushed the candidate’s positions in a more aggressive direction with respect to the use of military force. Two prominent scholars of international relations referred to Romney’s “core world view” as “a global assessment distorted by ideological excess, pledged to wield power in a way that will leave the nation weakened and isolated, and demonstrated a failure to appreciate the key linkages between strength at home and influence abroad.”