December 17

Rand Paul’s Different Foreign Policy

Rand Paul’s Different Foreign Policy

As the son of Congressman Ron Paul, the Libertarian hero for many of his steadfast supporters, it is not surprising that he holds a different foreign policy point of view than the other presidential candidates for the Republican Party. Last night, in a debate that focused on national defense and global issues, Paul separated himself from the other war hawks in his view of how to tackle problems in the Middle East. Here are some of his main points:

In his opening statements, Paul immediately laid out a different strategy than other members in the GOP. By pulling out in the Middle East, Paul believes we can let countries in the region take care of their own problems. Furthermore, by aiding Syrian rebels with weapons, we further enhance ISIS’s military arsenal (think about the video of ISIS taking a package meant to go to the Syrian rebels). Also, Paul has a different point of view when it comes to the dictators. He believes that removing Hussein and Khadafi, a vacuum of power opened, allowing radicals to move forward to take power, money, and land.

Paul said:

“Regime change hasn’t won. Toppling secular dictators in the Middle East has only led to chaos and the rise of radical Islam. I think if we want to defeat terrorism, I think if we truly are sincere about defeating terrorism, we need to quit arming the allies of ISIS. If we want to defeat terrorism, the boots on the ground — the boots on the ground need to be Arab boots on the ground.”

This differs from other candidates, such as Jeb Bush, who think America must lead the entire world, and spread democracy to corrupt countries (he said in his opening statement: “America is under the fun to lead the free weld to protect our civilized way of life,” the implication that America should definitely be involved in the Middle East).

Paul also talked about the NSA’s collection of bulk data. He went against the PATRIOT Act a few months ago, filibustering the law until it expired. He took a lot of heat from his Republican colleagues over this action, but continues to believe that Americans are not safer from the bulk collection of data on law abiding citizens. Here, he went head to head with Marco Rubio, highlighting the Florida senator’s Gang of Eight bill which would have “liberalized immigration.” This is what Paul said:

‘We are not any safer through the bulk collection of all Americans’ records. In fact, I think we’re less safe. We get so distracted by all of the information, we’re not spending enough time getting specific immigration–specific information on terrorists.”

Paul continued that we need more “scrutiny” instead of more “security.”

Paul does not want to “take care of the world’s refugees.” He said,

“Nobody in the Middle East is doing anything. Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait–all the Gulf Nations are doing nothing. They need to step up and take…”

Paul was then cut off, but he applied his same foreign policy stance when it came to the refugees. Why are no Arab countries surrounding Syria taking in refugees? And why is it America’s responsibility, when there are already so many homeless and unemployed in our own borders?

For the debate, Paul distinguished himself as different than your average GOP politician when it came to America’s role on the world’s stage. For this, he shined brightly.