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'We Can't Have Perpetual War': The Realism of Rand Paul


When he gave his much-anticipated foreign policy speech to the Center for the National Interest, reporters were live-tweeting it as they would a presidential inaugural. And, unlike earlier media frenzies over such nonentities as Herman Cain, Michelle Bachman, and Chris "close the bridge" Christie, this level of attention is surely warranted.

Not since the days of Senator Robert A. Taft – another somewhat aloof, irascible, and highly intelligent GOP presidential wannabe – has the Eastern Republican establishment faced such an articulate and calculating challenger. And what annoys – and, now, frightens – GOP mandarins the most is Sen. Paul's challenge to their failed foreign policy, which has given us so many years of bloodshed and misery, along with a multi-trillion bill we cannot possibly pay.

He started out taking some easy shots, reminding Francis Fukuyama that "history has not ended" – no kidding – and doing a little bit of pandering, albeit not to the people in the room. Russia, he averred, "slides backward vainly hoping to resurrect the Soviet Union" – a view not shared by many writers for The National Interest, who have mostly resisted Washington's fashionable Russophobia.

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