Foreign Policy

Rand Paul: We Are Not All Georgians Yet

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Jack Hunter, co-author of Sen. Rand Paul's book The Tea Party Goes to Washington, thinks that Sen. Paul saved us from war with Russia. How? By preventing a unanimous consent vote pushed by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) from passing, a vote that would have demanded the president fight to get the republic of Georgia into NATO.

Details at the Daily Caller:

Behind the scenes, Rubio moved to have a unanimous consent vote that would have hastened Georgia's entry into NATO. The unanimous consent vote never happened because Senator Rand Paul single-handedly prevented it.

This is not a triviality. Make no mistake: Bringing Georgia into NATO could lead to a new military conflict for the United States, which is why any move that would facilitate Georgia's entry into the alliance should be publicly debated. Rubio's attempt to push this through by unanimous consent — that is to say, without any formal debate or vote — is highly suspect and calls into question the senator's better judgment.

Hunter goes on to discuss the cross-partisan forces, often led by John McCain, to more tightly link the fates of Georgia and the United States, and the danger of conflict with Russia such a link creates.

James Antle at American Spectator with more on Rand Paul, and this blocked Georgia vote:

Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, a fellow Tea Party triumph from last year's election, had bipartisan support for an amendment to bring the former Soviet republic of Georgia into NATO. "It called for the President to lead a diplomatic effort to get approval of Georgia's Membership Action Plan during the upcoming NATO Summit in Chicago," a Rubio spokesman explained in an email.

Paul blocked the amendment. He believed that NATO expansion in this sensitive area could embroil the United States in Georgia's conflicts with a nuclear-armed Russia, potentially risking war.

Matt Welch wrote back in 2008 on McCain and Georgia, and reviewed Paul and Hunter's book in Reason's June 2011 issue.