The Corner

National Security & Defense

Rand Paul on the Kurds: Then and Now

Senator Rand Paul speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C., December 4, 2018. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

Kentucky senator Rand Paul, perhaps the most prominent non-interventionist in Congress, said in 2015 that the United States should defeat ISIS by arming the Kurds and promising the Kurds their own country: “I think they would fight like hell if we promised them a country.”

The Kurds did indeed fight like hell, dying by the thousands in the fight against ISIS. 

Now, Senator Paul is cheering on President Trump’s decision to abandon the Kurds:

As National Review’s editorial notes, President Trump is not withdrawing all U.S. troops from Syria, but merely moving 100 or so U.S. troops to enable Turkey’s attack on America’s Kurdish allies. The Washington Post reports Turkey’s invasion could allow 11,000 ISIS prisoners in Kurdish territory to run free.

Even if you’re a principled non-interventionist, how does abandoning the Kurds advance the national interest? A key objective of non-interventionism is relying on allies to fight our enemies, so America doesn’t get bogged down in wars. What lesson will this betrayal send to existing and potential allies, now and in the future?

And is potentially letting 11,000 ISIS prisoners run free so we can move 100 U.S. troops really what principled non-interventionism looks like? If it’s not, will the principled non-interventionists please speak up?

Most Popular

Elections

Lying Liz

Ever since she began explaining how her Medicare for all plan would be funded, and how she would pass it, Elizabeth Warren has been sinking. Ahead of last week’s debate, her camp leaked a story that her friend Bernie Sanders met with her in 2018 to discuss plans for 2020, and that at this meeting, Sanders had ... Read More
Elections

Lying Liz

Ever since she began explaining how her Medicare for all plan would be funded, and how she would pass it, Elizabeth Warren has been sinking. Ahead of last week’s debate, her camp leaked a story that her friend Bernie Sanders met with her in 2018 to discuss plans for 2020, and that at this meeting, Sanders had ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The Botched Democratic Case for Witnesses

The fate of the republic, we are now supposed to believe, hinges on whether there are witnesses at a Senate impeachment trial. Upon the long-anticipated transmittal of the articles of impeachment to the Senate, House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler said if the upper chamber doesn’t obtain the witnesses and ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The Botched Democratic Case for Witnesses

The fate of the republic, we are now supposed to believe, hinges on whether there are witnesses at a Senate impeachment trial. Upon the long-anticipated transmittal of the articles of impeachment to the Senate, House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler said if the upper chamber doesn’t obtain the witnesses and ... Read More
White House

The GAO’s Report

The Government Accountability Office issued a short report yesterday concluding that the administration had broken the law in freezing aid to Ukraine last summer. A common response from the president’s defenders has been that the GAO has found such violations of the law on many occasions, and the press did not ... Read More
White House

The GAO’s Report

The Government Accountability Office issued a short report yesterday concluding that the administration had broken the law in freezing aid to Ukraine last summer. A common response from the president’s defenders has been that the GAO has found such violations of the law on many occasions, and the press did not ... Read More