Rand Paul: We Are Risking Nuclear War with Russia!

As Tad Cronn has written, Barack Obama has repeatedly antagonized Russia. Where will it end? One candidate is concerned for the ultimate failure in foreign policy.

Joel Gehrke writes in the National Review: “Rand Paul: Downed Russian Jet Could Lead to Nuclear War.”

Paul’s relatively dovish foreign-policy views have left him in a lonely political position of late, as international crises and terrorist attacks created an opening for hawkish rivals such as Senators Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) and Ted Cruz (R., Texas).

But this morning, Turkish fighter jets shot down a Russian Sukhoi Su-24 near the Syrian border, and Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that there would be consequences, leading Paul to argue that aggressive U.S. intervention in the Syrian Civil War would put the country at risk of a full-scale military confrontation with Russia — or worse.

“Those who are calling for a no-fly zone need to realize that shooting down other countries’ fighter jets will be the result and a war between nuclear superpowers a possibility,” Paul said.

I have to confess I have been somewhat disappointed in Rand Paul’s campaign. But still I find myself wanting to defend his reputation from other Republicans. It is commonly said that Paul’s “isolationism” is untenable with the security challenges we face in the Middle East.

But the reason we face those challenges is because we insist on interfering in other nations. There would be violent Muslim extremists, but without NATO support, they wouldn’t have conquered Libya and been able to plunder weapons and bring them to Syria. Without U.S. support for “freedom fighters” (ha!), ISIS would never have taken over territory in Syria and Iraq. There wouldn’t be a refugee crisis in Europe and there would have probably never been the Paris attacks.

More importantly we wouldn’t now be facing the risk of nuclear war with Russia because we would rather remove Bashar al-Assad than defeat ISIS.