“I don’t see American interests on either side of the Syrian civil war,” Rand Paul said this morning on NBC’s Meet the Press. “You have Assad, who’s protected Christians for a number of decades,” and on the other side, Islamic rebels and al-Qaeda, he said. “I see it to be murky.”
“I think the Islamic rebels’ winning would be a bad idea for the Christians,” he warned, suggesting that it result ig ”another Islamic state where Christians are persecuted.”
The senator, known for his non-interventionist approach to foreign policy, suggested the president’s strategy is to use military force to create a stalemate, which would allow room for a political solution. Paul suggested that this plan was too weak a justification for risking American lives in an attack, again recalling Secretary of State John Kerry’s fierce opposition to the Vietnam War.
Further, Paul argued, “We haven’t engaged the Russians enough or the Chinese enough on this,” saying he believes if there had been more engagement, Assad could already be gone.
The White House’s request for authorization for the use of military force, however, actually does maintain a commitment to the Geneva process, which includes both of those nations; Secretary Kerry reiterated this desire for a “political solution” this morning. (The U.S. is currently pushing for the process to resume “Geneva II” meetings.)