In this incoherent feature in the WSJ, it’s not hard to come away with a fuzzy view of Senator Paul’s foreign policy position.
This, of course, may have been the intent for a publication deeply in bed with the military/industrial complex. On the other hand, the intent simply may have been to update readers on the most current/revised foreign policy thinking of Rand Paul.
The Cato Institute’s Chris Preble offers a template that Rand Paul and a majority of Americans may feel comfortable embracing. Mr. Preble writes in The Power Problem:
What do we truly need in terms of military capacity? I contend that we need enough to ensure our peace and national security. We must be able to deter any state foolish enough to threaten the American homeland. … As for the threat poised by terrorist groups and other non-state actors, 280 modern warships, 8,000 military aircraft, 30,000 tanks and armored personnel carriers, and more than 1.4 million men and woman at arms did not deter nineteen angry young men from flying airplanes into buildings on 9/11; twice or three times the number of ships, planes, and tanks would have been equally irrelevant. If anything, our reliance on massive military force often has the effect of increasing the terrorist threat. If U.S. counterterrorism efforts rely on conventional Army and Marine Corps units stationed abroad—especially in predominantly Muslim countries—al Qaeda and other violent groups will feed on the anger and resentment generated by this presence to grow their ranks.
The wisest choice, therefore, is to adopt policies that will allow us to extricate ourselves from regional squabbles, while maintaining the ability to prevent a genuine threat to the United States.
Mr. Preble wraps up: “Some military is necessary: too much is a problem.”