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News Link • Foreign Policy

Rand Paul Sketches an Alternative to Hawks Like Bush and Clinton

• http://www.theatlantic.com, Conor Friedersdorf

"Americans yearn for leadership and for strength," Senator Rand Paul planned to declare in a foreign policy speech Thursday evening, "but they don't yearn for war."

His remarks (quoted as prepared for delivery at New York City gathering of the Center for the National Interest), were seemingly pitched to Republican voters: the Kentucky Republican dubbed his approach "conservative realism," criticized President Obama and Hillary Clinton, and invoked Presidents Reagan and Eisenhower. But the substance of his speech seems likely to appeal to anyone who believes that U.S. foreign policy has gone astray since 9/11, due largely to imprudent interventions urged by George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton. Big parts of his message should appeal to constituencies as diverse as Code Pink and my Orange County-conservative grandparents. "After the tragedies of Iraq and Libya, Americans are right to expect more from their country when we go to war," Paul stated. "America shouldn't fight wars where the best outcome is stalemate.  America shouldn't fight wars when there is no plan for victory."

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