Rand Paul's righteous quest

W. James Antle III
September 18, 2017

Republicans who supported Donald Trump because they wanted to change the party's approach to immigration are starting to wonder if they bet on the wrong man. But Republicans who backed Trump to shift the party's hawkish foreign policy in a more realistic direction ought to be sure they made a bad gamble.

They should have bet on Rand Paul.

Yes, it was enjoyable to watch candidate Trump dispatch some of the GOP's loudest hawks in places like South Carolina, no less while declaring the Iraq war a "big, fat mistake." He went on to defeat Hillary Clinton, whose disastrous intervention in Libya and clamoring for a greater U.S. role in Syria demonstrated how little she learned from her Iraq vote, while also swearing off wars for regime change in the Middle East a relative rarity for a Republican.

There's even a study making the case that Clinton's support for bipartisan military adventurism compared to Trump's relative restraint helped cost her the White House, a possibility omitted in the endless relitigation of the campaign.

Since taking office, however, is there a single area where the United States is involved militarily where President Trump hasn't escalated compared to former President Obama (whose own dovishness is greatly exaggerated)?

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