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Opening Arguments

Touch choice

The ruins of GOP foreign policy

Let’s face it: We Republican hawks have done an utterly execrable job of identifying and promoting vital American interests overseas. Our own base has turned on us and embraced Rand Paul’s isolationism. Barack Obama has done everything but hand blueprints for nuclear weapons to Iran, and the voters won’t listen to us. If Iran gets nuclear weapons, a couple of them might go off in American cities. And if Iran gets them, so will Saudi Arabia, Turkey and everyone else in the region. As Henry Kissinger points out, we came terrifying close to a nuclear exchange when the U.S. and the Soviets were the only prospective combatants, and both sides had good command and control and an interest in avoiding conflict. Create a multi-player game in the Middle East with poor command and control, Kissinger argues, and nuclear war is nearly certain.

Why can’t we persuade Americans that Obama is putting America in danger? Because they can’t hear the signal for the noise.

That's my choice, being an isolationist or a hawk? There isn't some sensible approach somewhere between cowboy diplomacy and leading-from-behind passivity? It isn't possible to identify legitimate American interests and articulate a strategy for protecting them?

I do agree with his premise that Republicans are missing a golden opportunity if they don't offer an alternative to Obama's approach -- lord, don't they have to in the next presidential race? As I've said here before, I like Rand Paul a lot. But his isolationist approach is one of the most troubling things about him. I'd like to hear more from people like Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio about foreign policy.