Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Foreign Policy Showdown - Rand Paul Emphatically States: Obama Will Not Get Away With a Syria Strike On My Watch

1971, Secretary of State John Kerry famously questioned: “How can you ask a man to be the last one to die for a mistake?” I would ask Secretary Kerry how can you ask a man to be the first one to die for a mistake? That is what he would be doing if the U.S. intervened in the Syrian civil war. 

While the death and destruction stemming from the Syrian civil war is difficult to watch, I believe the U.S. must exercise maximum restraint and uphold the constitutional requirement that grants Congress, not the president, the right to declare war. The president’s announcement that he will seek congressional approval before unilaterally going to war is a step in the right direction.

From a strategic standpoint, there are three questions that should always be asked and sufficiently answered before going to war: What is the U.S. national interest? What is the military objective? What is the exit strategy?

We should also be skeptical of the Islamic rebels that our nation would be fighting alongside. Our knowledge of the relationship with these rebels is murky at best. What reason do we have to believe that they have America’s best interest? The enemy of my enemy is not always my friend. On one side, we have Assad; on the other, we have Al-Qaeda. On one side we have Islamic jihadists; on the other, we have Christians. We have priests and civilians kidnapped and killed by Islamic rebels. It seems on all sides we have chaos and it is unclear if any side will, in the end, be a friend to the United States.

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