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Brian4Liberty
10-27-2014, 06:55 PM
Here’s How Rand Paul’s Conservative Realism Could Change the GOP (http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/heres-how-rand-pauls-conservative-realism-could-change-the-gop/)
By W. James Antle III • October 27, 2014

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It is necessary to present an alternative to the bipartisan foreign-policy consensus that has caused the United States to bounce from one ill-conceived military intervention to the next, with results that range from inconclusive to disastrous. Since the most extreme version of that consensus dominates Republican thinking, it would be optimal for the alternative to take root in the GOP.

To be a real alternative, it cannot simply be another set of views some Republicans could conceivably hold. It must be politically viable, palatable to sufficient numbers of the GOP nominating electorate to successfully put forward more than the occasional House backbencher.

Furthermore, this foreign policy must command enough assent from governing elites that qualified professionals would exist to implement it in the event sympathetic politicians were elected. And it must be a foreign policy that could actually work, not one that waves away genuine national-security threats or pretends that United States could become Switzerland.

That means politically this foreign policy must be able to galvanize the biggest constituency for peace within the Republican Party—the libertarians, constitutional conservatives, and other noninterventionists who backed Senator Paul’s father in the last two presidential campaigns. At the same time, it must be accessible to a larger swathe of the Republican rank-and-file.
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So what does Paul’s alternative foreign policy actually look like? He is skeptical of wars for regime change that seek to overthrow regional bad actors like the governments of Iraq or Libya, and also of arming rebels in an effort to influence the outcomes of civil wars in which there is no obvious pro-American side.

Paul is willing to use military force to contain and deny a territorial base to the kinds of Islamic radicals who attacked the United States on 9/11. But he also recognizes that some interventions can end up empowering those radicals: directly by inadvertently helping weapons fall into the hands of the very people we are trying to defeat or creating power vacuums they can fill, or indirectly by inflaming anti-Western passions that help terrorists recruit.
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Yet with Hillary Clinton looming as the likely Democratic nominee and most other Republican presidential hopefuls still singing from the same Bush-era song sheet, a lot is riding on whether Paul can resurrect conservative realism.
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More:
http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/heres-how-rand-pauls-conservative-realism-could-change-the-gop/

Brian4Liberty
10-27-2014, 07:50 PM
A Foreign Policy That “Works” (http://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/a-foreign-policy-that-works/)
By Daniel Larison • October 27, 2014


Jim Antle considers the foreign policy alternative offered by Rand Paul. He sets out a number of conditions for a successful alternative Republican foreign policy, including these:

"Furthermore, this foreign policy must command enough assent from governing elites that qualified professionals would exist to implement it in the event sympathetic politicians were elected. And it must be a foreign policy that could actually work [bold mine-DL], not one that waves away genuine national-security threats or pretends that United States could become Switzerland."

This sums up very well why Republican foreign policy reform seems so unlikely to happen in the near future. A large number of the “qualified professionals” associated with the GOP don’t agree with a lot of what Paul said last week, and many of them support an aggressive and interventionist foreign policy that has already been proven not to “work” on its own terms. In order to gain their “assent,” Paul would have to strip out whatever he got right in his speech while re-emphasizing the things he got wrong, and at that point the alternative becomes a copy of the Republican foreign policy we already have. This wouldn’t “work” because that foreign policy is currently founded on a number of false assumptions about what the U.S. role in the world should be and how it should carry out that role.
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http://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/a-foreign-policy-that-works/