Rand Paul (Sort of) Clarifies His Position on Iran

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky, heads to the Senate floor to advance a bill supporting aid to Ukraine

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

AA Font size + Print

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky, heads to the Senate floor to advance a bill supporting aid to Ukraine

Calling it 'strategic ambiguity' ahead of the 2016 election, the Republican senator tries to explain his stance on a nuclear Iran. By Philip Bump

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul wrote a column for The Washington Post on Wednesday in which he clarified a position that has come under fire: He opposes allowing Iran to get nuclear weapons and he opposes statements meant to demonstrate to America’s opposition to its getting nuclear weapons. Perhaps the word clarified above should be in quotes.

Paul is running for president in 2016, in the it-is-two-years-away-and-the-FEC-is-watching way that one runs for president a few years in advance. His 2010 Senate campaign drew some attention to his foreign policy positions, in large part as he tried to differentiate his views from his father’s. On the 2008 campaign trail, then-Rep. Ron Paul became popular with younger voters by advocating a staunchly isolationist worldview, opposing the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — and pretty much everywhere else. This (and other opinions) put him outside the Republican mainstream and limited his viability. Rand’s goal has always been to straddle the line: appealing to mainstream Republicans, but leveraging his father’s support from younger, more libertarian voters.

In an interview on ABC that aired Sunday, Paul stepped outside of the mainstream entirely, indicating to Jonathan Karl that a policy of containment on Iran — accepting the country’s nuclear weapons without resorting to military conflict — could work. “We woke up one day and Pakistan had nuclear weapons. If that would have been our policy toward Pakistan, we would be at war with Pakistan,” Paul said. “… The people who say ‘by golly, we will never stand for that,’ they are voting for war.”

Read more at The Wire

Close [ x ] More from DefenseOne
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from DefenseOne.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Software-Defined Networking

    So many demands are being placed on federal information technology networks, which must handle vast amounts of data, accommodate voice and video, and cope with a multitude of highly connected devices while keeping government information secure from cyber threats. This issue brief discusses the state of SDN in the federal government and the path forward.

    Download
  • Military Readiness: Ensuring Readiness with Analytic Insight

    To determine military readiness, decision makers in defense organizations must develop an understanding of complex inter-relationships among readiness variables. For example, how will an anticipated change in a readiness input really impact readiness at the unit level and, equally important, how will it impact readiness outside of the unit? Learn how to form a more sophisticated and accurate understanding of readiness and make decisions in a timely and cost-effective manner.

    Download
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    Download
  • A New Security Architecture for Federal Networks

    Federal government networks are under constant attack, and the number of those attacks is increasing. This issue brief discusses today's threats and a new model for the future.

    Download
  • Information Operations: Retaking the High Ground

    Today's threats are fluent in rapidly evolving areas of the Internet, especially social media. Learn how military organizations can secure an advantage in this developing arena.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.