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Rand Paul Says It’s Time To Go After ISIS, But With Constitutional Restraint

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Unread 09.04.14, 01:44 PM
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Rand Paul Says It’s Time To Go After ISIS, But With Constitutional Restraint

09.04.14 11:48 AM

Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.), in a Thursday opinion column for Time, set out to dispel questions about whether his “predisposition to less intervention” applies to the Islamic State terrorists sweeping across the Middle East.

It doesn’t.

“Some pundits are surprised that I support destroying the Islamic State in Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) militarily. They shouldn’t be,” Paul begins in his piece. “I’ve said since I began public life that I am not an isolationist, nor am I an interventionist. I look at the world, and consider war, realistically and constitutionally.”

The senator contends that President Barack Obama’s foreign policy approach is the antithesis of the “peace through strength” military positioning that has been touted by U.S. politicians for decades. The phrase achieved meme status thanks to President Ronald Reagan.

Paul leaves little doubt that he is looking ahead to 2016, writing that “as Commander-in-Chief” he would restore U.S. “peace through strength.”

“As Commander-in-Chief, I would not allow our enemies to kill our citizens or our ambassadors,” Paul writes.

Conjuring Obama’s recent remarks that the White House currently lacks a clear strategy to deal with ISIS Paul writes, “This administration’s dereliction of duty has both sins of action and inaction, which is what happens when you are flailing around wildly, without careful strategic thinking.”

The senator contends that Obama should have already gone to Congress, even if it meant calling lawmakers back to Washington during recess, with a clear plan for military and diplomatic action in the region.

“The immediate challenge is to define the national interest to determine the form of intervention we might pursue,” Paul writes. “I was repeatedly asked if I supported airstrikes. I do — if it makes sense as part of a larger strategy.

“There’s no point in taking military action just for the sake of it, something Washington leaders can’t seem to understand. America has an interest in protecting more than 5,000 personnel serving at the largest American embassy in the world in northern Iraq. I am also persuaded by the plight of massacred Christians and Muslim minorities.”

Among the steps Paul suggests are arming U.S. allies such as the Kurds and other stable potential partners in the region. The Senator also suggests that the U.S. take steps to restore order in Libya, a terrorist “sanctuary,” and Syria, “a jihadist wonderland.” Both of those countries were destabilized by U.S.-aided rebels in recent years.

“To develop a realistic strategy, we need to understand why the threat of ISIS exists. Jihadist Islam is festering in the region. But in order for it to grow, prosper, and conquer, it needs chaos,” Paul writes.

The junior Republican also calls for defensive actions such as securing U.S. borders to prevent ISIS infiltration and revoking the passports of U.S. citizens determined to be fighting with ISIS. He also wants a full review of immigration and visa policies.

Paul’s strong call for the White House to seek Congressional approval to clean up the region and launch further attacks against ISIS has drawn criticism from pundits who accuse the lawmaker of flip-flopping on the issue of military intervention. But, taken in full context, Paul’s positions on eradicating ISIS don’t interfere with his conviction against unnecessary military force if the official line on ISIS’s gains, actions and threats is accurate.

The terror group has publicly executed two American citizens, actively recruited Westerners to its cause and vowed to drown the U.S. in blood. Furthermore, the group’s territorial gains, fundraising ability and existing infrastructure and military supplies have it on course to achieve its goal of establishing the caliphate it seeks, essentially an Islamic nation state to serve as home base for large-scale international jihad.

With Republican lawmakers vowing to act if Obama doesn’t address the ISIS threat, Paul appears to be positioning himself to call for a Constitutional path to military action. The true test of whether the Kentucky lawmaker’s dedication to taking on threats to the nation in a legal manner will be in his response to legislative proposals like Rep. Frank Wolf’s (R-Va.) bill to authorize military action anywhere the president claims terror exists.

More on Wolf’s bill here: Lawmaker Introduces War Anywhere, Anytime Bill Because… TERRORISTS

The post Rand Paul Says It’s Time To Go After ISIS, But With Constitutional Restraint appeared first on Personal Liberty.

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