Daniel R. DePetris
04/17/2014 3:37 pm EDT
Senator Rand Paul wants to set the record straight on an issue that the foreign policy community in Washington considers one of the biggest priorities on its docket: the Iranian nuclear program. He is not... repeat, not... for containment of Iran. But by the same token, that doesn't mean that the United States should forget about containment as an option.
To be against a 'we will never contain Iran' resolution is not the same as being for containment of a nuclear Iran. Rather, it means that foreign policy is complicated and doesn't fit neatly within a bumper sticker, headline or tweet. Those who reduce it to such do a disservice to their reporting and, potentially, to the security of our nation.
For foreign policy realists everywhere, this is a principled and logical stand to take. No president should ever take an option off the table when dealing with such an important issue of such global proportions -- especially as monumental as nuclear proliferation.
Yet unfortunately for Paul, even saying the word containment in the same sentence as Iran is a politically dangerous position for a politician in Washington to have -- particularly when that same politician is widely expected to take a stab at being a presidential nominee in 2016.