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Rand Paul Backs Away from Romney’s Neocon Foreign Policy
October 12, 2012
On Wednesday, Kentucky senator Rand Paul issued a scathing criticism of Mitt Romney’s foreign policy speech delivered earlier in the week.
In August, Paul came out in support of the Republican presidential candidate much to the dismay of his father’s supporters and others who saw him as inheriting Ron Paul’s political mantle.
“Romney chose to criticize President Obama for seeking to cut a bloated Defense Department and for not being bellicose enough in the Middle East, two assertions with which I cannot agree,” Paul said. “In North Africa and the Middle East, our problem has not been a lack of intervention. In the past 10 years we have fought two full wars there, and bombed or sent troops into several others.”
Paul characterized the war with Libya last year as illegal and said the president must consult Congress prior to any military action. “No president, Republican or Democrat, has the unilateral power to take our nation to war without the authority of the legislature,” he said.
The son of Texas congressman Ron Paul came out against military action by the United States in Syria. “I do not… support a call for intervention in Syria. And, if such intervention were being contemplated, it is absolutely necessary that Congress give any such authority to the president.”
“We owe it to ourselves, our soldiers and our children to take a more careful look at our foreign policy, to not rush into war, and to not attempt to score political points with wrongheaded policy ideas,” Paul concluded.
Romney’s foreign policy team is a remix of Bush’s neocons. Fifteen of the 22 members of Romney’s team were policy advisers under the Bush administration and six are former members of PNAC. More than 70 percent of Romney’s foreign policy advisers worked for the Bush administration.
“Veterans of George W. Bush’s administration pepper the team, including Cofer Black, a former CIA official and executive at the controversial private-security firm Blackwater USA. Also on the list: Eliot Cohen, who worked in the State Department under Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and Paula Dobriansky, who served in both Democratic and Republican administrations, including as undersecretary for democracy and global affairs in the Bush years,” the Wall Street Jounral wrote in July.
“Romney’s malleability is an advantage for his neocon advisers, giving them an opportunity to shape his worldview, as they did with Bush after 9/11,” writes Ari Berman, who has covered the neocons and their agenda extensively. “Four years after Bush left office in disgrace, Romney is their best shot to get back in power. If that happens, they’re likely to pursue the same aggressive policies they advocated under Bush,” including taking out Syria and Iran.
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