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|Subject: Rand Paul Supports Bases in Iraq Mon Apr 01, 2013 4:00 pm|| |
"There are some who want to come completely home. Some want to stay forever. And the answer might be somewhere in the middle that we'll still have bases in places, but we don't necessarily have to maybe have 900 bases. Maybe we have less," he said.
The fact that Paul expressed support for the idea of some military bases abroad, and even some in or near Iraq, is interesting because it is a significant difference from his father, former Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas). Asked on Fox News in June of 2011 which bases on foreign soil he would like to see closed, the elder Paul answered succinctly, "All of them."
Rand Paul shares his father's belief that U.S. troops being stationed on foreign soil often increases anti-U.S. sentiment in the countries where they are stationed. "If U.S. occupation is a primary recruitment tool and what inspires Islamic terrorists, are many of our current efforts overseas actually fighting terrorism and diminishing the threat?" he wrote in his 2011 book, The Tea Party Comes To Washington.
But Paul has expressed interest in running for president in 2016, and a full withdrawal of all U.S. bases from the world would clearly mark him as an isolationist, even though his father and his father's supporters call themselves "non-interventionists." Rand Paul calls himself "a realist."
And Paul has also acknowledged, during a foreign policy speech at The Heritage Foundation last month, that "the West is in for a long, irregular confrontation not with terrorism, which is simply a tactic, but with radical Islam."
"Some libertarians argue that Western occupation fans the flames of radical Islam -– I agree," Paul said in that speech. "But I don’t agree that absent Western occupation that radical Islam 'goes quietly into that good night.'”
Paul favors a more surgical approach to foreign policy, is vehemently opposed to nation-building and wants to limit the power of the president and the executive branch to initiate and wage war.
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