Rand Paul: Use Containment against Radical Islam

by Nathaniel Botwinick

In a foreign-policy address at the Heritage Institute this morning, Senator Rand Paul (R., Ky.) called for a shift in American foreign policy, saying that the U.S. should apply a strategy of containment to radical Islam and declaring himself “a realist, not a neoconservative.”

Senator Paul suggested that the U.S. should model its strategy in the “long, irregular conflict” with radical Islam on George Kennan’s Cold War policy of containment. He called for “a foreign policy that finds a middle path . . . [and] that understands the difference between vital and peripheral interests.” Paul pledged to be “a voice for those who wish to see a saner, more sensible foreign policy,” seemingly trying to distinguish himself from traditional Republican foreign-policy views. In his view, a saner, more sensible policy means “less soldiers overseas, less bases,” and “no nation-building.” While he acknowledged in his speech that “the Cold War ended . . . because the engine of capitalism won,” the Kentucky senator did not explicitly go into how containment would defeat the threat of radical Islam.

You can read the full transcript of the address here.

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