ISIS

Rand Paul's ISIS Proposal Allows Boots on the Ground… Say What!?

|

Rand Paul
Gage Skidmore

The Daily Beast reported earlier today that Sen. Rand Paul has flipflopped on his opposition to "boots on the ground" in the conflict against ISIS. The shock headline, from Olivia Nuzzi: "Rand Paul Declares War on ISIS—And Allows Boots on the Ground." Egads! Has the libertarian-leaning senator finally been unmasked as a secret neocon?

In a word, no. But it does seem like Paul's approach to the ISIS conflict has grown less restrained over time—and his latest plan deserves at least some of the criticism it has received.

Paul plans to introduce a resolution in the Senate next month that would declare war on ISIS. Nuzzi obtained a draft of the resolution, which states that ISIS has already declared war on the U.S. and is a threat to American embassies and consulates in the region.

It also authorizes the president to commit small numbers of American ground forces "as necessary for the protection or rescue of members of the United States Armed Forces or United States citizens from imminent danger [posed by ISIS]… for limited operations against high value targets," and "as necessary for advisory and intelligence gathering operations."

Nuzzi bills this as a contradiction of Paul's previous statements on the subject. In September, he said he didn't want American ground forces involved in the conflict, although he would be willing to provide logistical and intelligence support to U.S. allies in the region: "The people on the ground fighting these battles, going hand-to-hand with ISIS, need to be their fellow Arabs and those who, I think and hopefully do, represent civilized Islam," Paul said back then, according to The Daily Beast.

Paul's office told Nuzzi that there isn't really any substantive difference between the two positions:

Doug Stafford, a senior aide to Paul, said the senator has not flip-flopped: "He doesn't believe we should send a bunch of troops in to start a ground war. But he has always said we have an obligation to defend people in the region. The declaration is tailored to allow for this."

Stafford later added: "It has always been a given that American troops could be required to secure the people and property of our embassy and consulate. Senator Paul believes that boots on the ground beyond those limited number as outlined in the declaration should come from allies in the region, as he has previously stated." 

Nuzzi, on the other hand, maintains that this is a big flip-flop. Via Twitter, she wrote: "Rand Paul in September: no boots on the ground. Rand Paul today: sure, boots on the ground!"

Let's look at the proposal again. It authorizes ground forces for three reasons:

1. "as necessary for the protection or rescue of members of the United States Armed Forces or United States citizens from imminent danger [posed by ISIS]"

2. "for limited operations against high value targets"

3. "as necessary for advisory and intelligence gathering operations"

Paul has always been clear on the fact that he thinks ISIS poses an evolving threat to the American embassy in Baghdad and the consulate in Erbil. And he was previously in support of advising regional allies. So to my mind, 1 and 3 aren't anything new. Paul might have had a reputation for opposing ground troops, but in reality, if you count defending the consulate and advising allies as "boots on the ground," then he was actually already in favor of that. That stance might be wrong, but it isn't a contradiction.

Situation 2, however, does strike me as quite different—and more problematic—than his initial stance. It's nice that it has the word "limited" in it, I suppose, but there is really nothing limiting about authorizing the use of ground troops for offensive military operations. And it's easy to see this rationale being used to justify all sorts of pro-active skirmishes with ISIS.

It's worth keeping in mind that this is just a draft of Paul's resolution. But if this version were approved by Congress, it would be difficult to say that it places any kind of meaningful restraint on the use of ground forces. I would have expected Paul to realize that this wasn't going to cut it, given the slippery-slope nature of American military adventurism.

Reason's Matt Welch interviewed Paul recently about his case for a limited war against ISIS. Read that article here.

NEXT: What the International Olympic Committee Looks for in a Host City

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Would you please stop with the bullshit phrase “boots on the ground”? What’s wrong with “deploying troops”?

    1. I prefer the phrase “walking and fighting”.

      1. Odd, I never walked and fought…I was either still or running.

        1. If you’re walking and fighting, you’re doing it wrong.

          1. Either that or you’re a Terminator.

            1. Or possibly a Zombie.

    2. It’s not real war unless the right boots are “on the ground”. Never mind the few thousand there already.

    3. Because, Homple, you only “deploy troops” in wars, you fucking retard. This is just a goddamn kinetic military action you fucking halfwit.

      1. It’s a fucking KINETIC OVERSEAS CONTINGENCY OPERATION!

        1. Speaking of euphemisms, a Washington Post writer recently described the Revolutionary Communist Party as advocating “a turbulent version of nonviolence and civil disobedience” in Ferguson. I propose we adopt that as needed. “It’s not violence against women, it’s just turbulence!”

          1. I saw that on the Volokh Conspiracy today (VC is WP property now). I guess what they might have meant was simply really disruptive, confrontational types of non-violent civil disobedience (like blocking passageways or aggressive sit ins).

            1. It’s still sort of like saying “the KKK is advocating a turbulent version of nonviolence and civil disobedience”: we all know, from what the organization is, what they really want, and it’s not “nonviolence and civil disobedience.”

      2. I stand (shamefacedly) corrected.

      3. Reason reports the following:

        Paul plans to introduce a resolution in the Senate next month that would declare war on ISIS.

        anon displays its brilliance:

        you only “deploy troops” in wars, you fucking retard. This is just a goddamn kinetic military action you fucking halfwit.

        (snicker)

        1. Did the sound barrier break, when that joke wooooooshed over your head?

        2. dumbass

    4. I think we should use whatever language Obama used when he explicitly promised the troops (to their faces) not to send them back into Iraq on a “combat mission”.

      “I want to be clear; the American forces that have been deployed to Iraq do not and will not have a combat mission. As your commander in chief, I will not commit you and the rest of our armed forces to fighting another ground war in Iraq.”

      —-Barack Obama

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/…..nd-troops/

      That was a revision of what he said before–back when sending troops at all was going to be unnecessary.

      Anyway, it should work like “ObamaCare”. Why call it the “Affordable Care Act”, when we can link it to Obama’s lies? Whatever it was Obama said he wasn’t going to do in Iraq–but did? That’s what we should call it.

      1. Don’t all of his best lies start with “I want to be clear…”?

        1. Nope. Sometimes he says “Let me be clear.”

          1. Make no mistake, he’s a “wanna be”.

          2. And ends in “period”.

    5. Because “boots on the ground” allows for hoverboots and other gravity-defying technologies.

      1. Well, now that we have a more open LGBT program, maybe a nice set of pumps on the ground. But do save the slingbacks for the pentagon.

      2. If they hover, they won’t actually be on the ground.

        1. Gah, forgot the exclamation point of sarcasm!

    6. I agree, the military uses the phrase to indicate the distinction between when an operation starts and when Soldiers are engaged, as in the BOG (Boots on Ground) date of a unit would be “xxx”.

    7. In my mind, Apache gunships at Baghdad is one step past the SOF and logistics line. Conventional forces imply a certain amp up.

    8. What’s wrong with “rootie tootie aim and shootie”?

  2. Am I the only one who has learned to read “limited” as “LOL but seriously, unlimited”?

    1. You can also translate it to “Yee-Haw!” in Maj. Kong’s voice.

      1. +1 iconic scene

    2. That’s basically what I hear too.

    3. I read it as “we plan to lose”.

      It will cost as much as a real war, but everyone knows we’ll do it with one hand behind our backs for 1 or 2 elections cycles tops. Then whatever assholes we were trying to stop can take over again.

      1. You can translate anything about military action in the Middle East that way. There are three options once you decide to go in:

        1) Permanent occupation.
        2) Kill literally everyone in the region.
        3) Sooner or later, you lose.

        1. No there is a forth alternative which is realistic. Go in to cause as much damage to ISIS that is possible and then get out. This concept is from Sun Tzu’s Art of War in helping an enemy of my enemy. Even if they are not our “friend” they are a “frenemy”. This option is better because we go in, kick butt, and leave. Then let them fight among themselves without the winner being the one who declared on us. Its not our job to win. Our job is to cause devastation to the capabilities of ISIS. No Nation building. Just in and out doing as much destruction as possible to ISIS within international norms. It just codifies existing realities and follows the Constitution. If Obama goes further than that (very possible anyway) then that is on him not Paul or the Congress.

      2. No advanced democracy is going to support a truly ‘unlimited war’ long enough for it to be successful.

        1. About 70 years ago we went pretty damn unlimited.

          1. Hiroshima and Nagasaki do ring a bell…

        2. The Second World War SCREAMS disagreement with you.

          1. Actually, they were still pretty limited. I think of Carthage when I think unlimited.

            The Romans pulled the Phoenician warships out into the harbour and burned them before the city, and went from house to house, capturing and enslaving the people. Fifty thousand Carthaginians were sold into slavery.[23] The city was set ablaze, and razed to the ground, leaving only ruins and rubble. After the fall of Carthage, Rome annexed the majority of the Carthaginian colonies, including other North African locations such as Volubilis, Lixus, Chellah, and Mogador.[24] The legend that the city was sown with salt remains widely accepted

            That’s how you do unlimited warfare! Kill all of their soldiers, capture all of the civilians and sell them to slavery and then reduce the entire city to rubble. Then you take anything of value left – any oil or mineral deposits, fishing rights, you name it. Even Hitler was a bit of a piker on that front.

            1. Sherman’s March.

          2. But now the filthy progressives sap our collective will to exterminate our enemies and we end up going half ass and having ridiculous rules of engagement. Maybe we should declare war on progressives first.

        3. By placing a one year participation and funding, this is not “unlimited war”. This only codifies current realities but limits the action to one year. Doing nothing will not change the current situation nor will it change if it does grow in scope to be unlimited. It is unlimited war now. Obama doesn’t care what the citizens of this country think or the Constitution. It does however limit the ability of others from attempting to tie the current war and laws already passed to the 2000 declaration of war which is Obama’s current position The ownership belongs all to Obama with no excuse of “Bush’s war”.

        4. Victor Hanson Davis wrote a book Carnage and Culture… that argues total war is a hallmark of our democratic tradition. Pretty good argument and much better than Cum, germs, and steel.

          1. Total war occurs across almost all cultures and is hardly a “hallmark” of ours, and certainly not of democracy. The few societies that don’t have a history of total war are the few hunter-gatherers that simply don’t have the ability, but they certainly try.

        5. The indian wars lasted pretty damn long and were pretty damn successful too.

          “Unlimited” or “Total” war is when either all the Assets of a nation are devoted to war, or when all of the assets of the enemy nation are considered targets, or both.

          Some examples

          the Indian wars were total wars because the primary target was Indian food sources (farmland, Hunting grounds, Buffalo) resulting in famine which forced their surrender. This however did not require America to mobilize all of its assets.

          WWI was a Total war because the various nations involved mobilized every asset they possibly could, via conscription, rationing, scrap drives, and the like. However most civilian populations/assets were not targeted (due mostly to an inablilty not for lack of wanting)

          WWII Was a total war in both respects, the belligerents nationalized every available resource and strategic bombing meant that targeting industry and civilian targets was both possible and widespread.

  3. Nuzzi obtained a draft of the resolution, which states that ISIS has already declared war on the U.S. and is a threat to American embassies and consulates in the region.

    You mean this draft obtained from the internet of all places? Are you sharing sources?

    http://www.paul.senate.gov/?p=…..se&id=1249

    1. “terminate the authority under the 2002 Iraq AUMF, and set a date for expiration of the 2001 Afghanistan AUMF.”

      This sounds like a good thing.

      1. And this:

        SEC. 6. EXPIRATION.

        The declaration and authorization in this joint resolution shall expire on the date that is one year after the date of the enactment of this joint resolution.

        Go win and get the fuck out or ask Congress for another authorization bill.

        1. Considering there are already several thousand “boots on the ground” this may be an attempt to realistically get something for nothing on Rand’s part.

        2. Congress has no such power. Sorry.

          1. Where in the Constitution does it say that Congress can’t revoke or limit its very own personal declaration of war, Michael?

    2. While I don’t agree that we should be going to war, I like the embedded sunset and the realization that the declaration is required.

  4. If I hear “boots on teh ground!” one more fucking time, I might launch my boot up someone’s ass.

    1. They will change the uniform for contingency operations from boots to penny loafers… or shower shoes.

      Voila! No boots on the ground!

    2. “I’m sick of these mortherfuckin’ boots on the moetherfuckin’ ground!”

  5. Seeking a Congressional Declaration of War? The horror!

    1. Amazingly, many people seem to have a serious problem with saying we shouldn’t send our army out to kill people unless we have a declaration of war first.

  6. Canadian military veterans plan to enlist with Kurds battling ISIS

    “I got put on this Earth to do one thing,” explained one of the men, who served in Afghanistan and who spoke with CBC on condition he not be identified. “I got this fire in me. I still want to soldier on.”

    He characterized Canada’s military response to ISIS as “OK, but it’s definitely not adequate,” and said there should be “boots on the ground.”

    1. Canadian military veterans plan to enlist with Kurds battling ISIS

      There’s a poutine joke in here somewhere, I just know it…

  7. Ron must be so proud.

    1. Yeah, I’m sure Thanksgiving at the Pauls’ house is going to be a lot of fun this year.

    2. If Rand Paul thinks that it’s in the best interests of American security to declare war on ISIS, then I don’t think his dad has any reason to be ashamed of him.

      If Rand Paul thinks that the President needs an authorization from Congress before he goes to war–and he’d rather shove one down the President’s throat than let the President wipe his ass with Congress’ enumerated powers for the second time in a week?

      Then, yeah, Ron Paul should be damn proud of his son.

      1. I don’t think Ron Paul would be against any and every war. If we went to war I think he’d want it done correctly, via a clear Congressional declaration.

        1. Hell, I do not support sending ground troops to fight ISIS at this point because I do not believe it is in the best interests of American security to do so.

          But even if I did support sending ground troops into Iraq (and Syria), I’d want to see an authorization from Congress first.

          Whether we should go to war is a question of a cost/benefit analysis.

          Whether we should respect Congress’ power to declare war is a question of liberty and justice.

          1. the congress ceded it’s authority
            to declare war when it passed the AUMF

          2. Your point is lost in the current realities. 1) We already are conducting war 2) There are already boots on the ground.
            The only question left is will Congress Declare War on ISIS who has already declared war on us. The downside is that they will use that as a badge of honor for recruitment. The upside is that it limits the time and funding of the current war. ISIS has all the propaganda fodder it needs and another one isn’t going to change anything. So there is only upside here in reality.

        2. Ron introduced bills to declare war on afghanistand and iraq.

  8. “It’s nice that it has the word “limited” in it, I suppose, but there is really nothing limiting about authorizing the use of ground troops for offensive military operations.”

    Either you believe that the president needs an authorization from Congress or you don’t. Just because President Obama wiped his ass with Article One Section 8 over the rule of naturalization last week is no need to follow suit, Robby.

    If you don’t think Rand trying to force an authorization for war by way of Article One, Section 8 is limiting, then what do you call Obama acting without any Congressional authorization at all?

    1. “If you don’t think Rand trying to force an authorization for war by way of Article One, Section 8 is limiting, then what do you call Obama acting without any Congressional authorization at all?”

      Seriously, WTF did you mean, Robby?!

    2. If you don’t think Rand trying to force an authorization for war by way of Article One, Section 8 is limiting, then what do you call Obama acting without any Congressional authorization at all?

      Only tribalism would require you to take either side. Congress declares war. The Commander-in-Chief wages that war. Since our founding.

      (Unless one must invent lame excuses for Rand Paul’s newest “libertarian-ish” nonsense.)

      1. I have no idea what you’re talking about.

        1. You’re not the only one.

        2. He’s talking about Rand Paul not being a REAL libertarian.

          I think.

  9. It looks like a ploy to give the president the authority he is going to take anyone (waging war against ISIS), while taking steps to reign in other ongoing military actions and putting a time limit on the war against ISIS.

    I would guess this is largely a political move. It makes Rand seem like less of a dove for the 2016 Republican primary, while not doing to much damage to his libertarian credentials. He’s walking a fine line. I just hope he’s lying to the other guys this time, while planning to actually do something libertarian. I would love to see those tables turned for once in my life.

    1. Good analysis.

    2. Don’t ever get your hopes up when it comes to politicians. Remember at their best all of them are power hungry asses who lie, scheme, and obfuscate to hide their true beliefs.

    3. This crossed my mind, but it seems too clever by half.

      If he thinks war is justified, make that case. If he doesn’t, then don’t propose authorization for it. Compromise isn’t a dirty word, but this isn’t compromise.

  10. Situation 2, however, does strike me as quite different?and more problematic?than his initial stance.

    He is distinguishing between SOF and GI.

  11. Who knows… Paul might be very literal with his version of ‘boots on the ground’. If so, wear’em then dump’em. In the desert. Under the hot boiling sun. The camel spiders and scorpions would write letters back home to the troops thanking them for their boots.

    1. Gah, you #$%&, now I am going to have nightmares about solpugids in my boots in AF!

      Dammit all!

  12. Has anyone asked this presidential hopeful what he thinks the military objective should be, what defines victory and what is his exit strategy?

    You make me sad Rand.

    1. “That’s really not the question. The question is (fill in pre-rehearsed boilerplate).”

    2. Don’t be sad.

      This is a very straightforward Constitutional restoration ploy.

      Force everyone to understand that we are tippy-toeing around “war”. Get them to stop issuing these idiotic open-ended AUMFs, and go back to the Constitutional authority to either wage war or don’t be trying to kill people.

      Since the worst thing that can happen is that this resolution never gets a hearing or a vote and we just keep on keepin’ on as we are, I don’t see why people are so peeved about this. Its a no-lose deal.

    3. A very legitimate set of questions. It’s why I’m skeptical of any action on the matter.

  13. Why are people acting like this is either a) a huge change, or b) in any way significant?

    a) Why does ‘some’ men on the ground represent a huge change in policy when we’ve already got *a few thousand* in theatre as well as air assets on constant duty?

    If the potential risk of casualties is so strenuously objected to, then get out of the region entirely; stop pretending that there is no risk unless some magical ‘boots on ground’ # is crossed.

    b) “Paul plans to introduce a resolution in the Senate” = I did not read this as “Paul takes unilateral control of US military policy and begins to dictate his plan to invade and conquer the middle east”

    “if this version were approved by Congress, it would be difficult to say that it places any kind of meaningful restraint on the use of ground forces”

    The writers here need to double-belt their Pampers and take a few deep breaths; If people support taking a fight to ISIS *at all*, the question should be ‘what needs to be done to make it successful?’ – not “how can we ensure that we maintain arbitrary limits regardless of our objectives”?

    If merely passing ‘resolutions’ that acknowledge and affirm the current state of affairs is somehow ‘controversial’, then the paper should cease its bullshit hand-wringing and come out directly against ANY action in Iraq at all. Stop pretending you support a ‘measured’ and ‘limited’ campaign at all if you’re going to wet yourselves anytime anyone talks about it.

    1. a) Why does ‘some’ men on the ground represent a huge change in policy when we’ve already got *a few thousand* in theatre as well as air assets on constant duty?

      I wish I could get this across better:

      You know how easy it was to pull out of Libya and wash our hands of it?

      Compare that to how hard it was to pull out of Iraq and Afghanistan.

      There’s a natural rule, and it works something like economics or maybe the “uncanny valley”.

      Once American troops die somewhere, it becomes incredibly hard to pull out until the place blossoms into some kind of American style, democratic Garden of Eden.

      In the investment world, sometimes the best thing you can do is cut your losses–stop throwing good money after bad.

      But nobody wants to take responsibility for sacrificing the lives of American troops for nothing. And if you ever pull out without achieving total victory, having sacrificed American troops for nothing is exactly what people are going to say.

      And it’s not just the president that gets accused. The military brass gets accused of it, you and I can get accused of it, too. Ever seen First Blood? Ever seen a sticker that says “Support the Troops”?

      You want to use air assets against ISIS, I don’t really care.

      But for the love of all that’s good and holy, don’t commit troops on the ground to combat unless it’s a war of self defense. Once American troops die there, people feel compelled to defend it like it’s part of American soil.

      1. until the place blossoms into some kind of American style, democratic Garden of Eden.

        And how, exactly, is that accomplished with guns and bombs?

        But nobody wants to take responsibility for sacrificing the lives of American troops for nothing. And if you ever pull out without achieving total victory, having sacrificed American troops for nothing is exactly what people are going to say.

        Then…

        1. Well, yeah, the smart thing is to never play that game to begin with.

          When Bush Sr. and Jim Baker and Scowcroft did the cost/benefit analysis and decided against committing ground troops to depose Saddam Hussein, they were smart smart smart smart smart.

          When Junior and Cheney and Rumsfeld burned the cost/benefit analysis and decided to commit ground trooops to depose Saddam Hussein, they were dum dum dum dum dumb.

          What Obama is about to do looks a lot more like Junior and company. He is an incredibly stupid man who despite all of his failures has still learned nothing of hubris. I hope Jesus gives him testicular cancer.

      2. “You want to use air assets against ISIS, I don’t really care…. Once American troops die there, people feel compelled to defend it like it’s part of American soil.”

        I fail to see how pilots potentially getting killed is different than some SOF guys guiding the same airstrikes.

        Either you believe there is a mission worth accomplishing, or you don’t. If you don’t believe there is any reason to bother fighting ISIS, say so. But please don’t whip up some fantasy concoction that assumes that mere presence of ground troops – no matter how few or in what role – guarantees endless escalation and commitment.

        In my mind the only policy decision is whether ISIS is a ‘threat’ and whether we feel compelled to engage them. If that answer is yes, then i think the waffling about how, and with what and how much is a matter of military prerogative, not political feel-good.

        Personally, I’m perfectly OK staying completely out of the Sunni-Shia shitstorm for the next decade. better it happen fast than in slow-motion, IMO.

        I don’t like hearing the so-called ‘anti-interventionists’, however, having their cake and eating it too, pretending ‘limited tinkering warfare’ is acceptable, but poo-pooing actual commitment to results.

        1. “I fail to see how pilots potentially getting killed is different than some SOF guys guiding the same airstrikes.”

          Pilots don’t die anymore, do they?

          How many bombs did we drop in Libya? …and they had some antiaircraft weapons systems!

          I’d love to sell short term life insurance to pilots bombing ISIS. ISIS might as well be throwing spears in the air. If any of our planes go down bombing ISIS, it will probably be because of equipment failures.

          1. I don’t think you understood my comment

            My point was ‘anyone getting killed’ is more likely if you’re engaged *at all*. Airpower is not as effective without ground targeting. People are going to get killed no matter how ‘limited’ you try and make things.

            If all we bring to the fight are planes, I can assure you that ISIS will sooner rather than later acquire means to shoot back. Its not beyond their means at the moment.

            I don’t know how many times officials have said, “Air Power alone will not achieve goal of toppling ISIS” over the last two months, but i can find some examples if you need.

            The simple(r) point i made was = don’t tell me you oppose ‘intervention’… but don’t mind open-ended airstrikes as a foreign policy.

            i.e. Either shit or get off the pot. If you want to fight ISIS, say so. If you don’t, pull everything out and stop wasting resources on meaningless and ineffective methods that aren’t going to achieve anything other than to mislead people on the ground about our level of commitment.

        2. “But please don’t whip up some fantasy concoction that assumes that mere presence of ground troops – no matter how few or in what role – guarantees endless escalation and commitment.”

          That isn’t a concoction just because you say so. It’s ultimately what drives the Weinberger and Powell doctrines.

          If Libya was in any way hard to walk away from, it was only hard insofar as those Americans that were killed in Benghazi. To whatever extent it was difficult for Reagan to pull out of Lebanon, it was only difficult because of the Marines who died there.

          Once American troops die somewhere for a cause, that cause becomes incredibly important to a tremendous number of people. That’s why we kept escalating in Vietnam–to the point that it started tearing American society apart.

          This is the mechanism by which people get sucked into quagmires. I have a cousin whose father died as a result of his service in Vietnam. You couldn’t convince her that our efforts in Vietnam weren’t worth the sacrifice for any reason. That’s just not the way people’s minds work.

          People think that if they paid a million dollars for a piece of shit, then their piece of shit is worth a million dollars. That’s not the way it should be, but that’s the way it is. The more bodies they bury in Arlington, the less likely we are to disengage from where they died and walk away.

          1. You will forgive me laughing at the idea that “Libya” provides an excellent case-study example of limited US engagement achieving intended results.

            1. I didn’t say Libya achieved intended results (not in this thread and not in this context, anyway).

              I said it provided a counterexample of a quagmire like situation in Afghanistan and Iraq.

              Why was it so hard to walk away from Iraq and Afghanistan?

              Why was it so comparatively easy to walk away from Libya?

              I think a big part of the difference has to do with a lot more American troops dying in Iraq and Afghanistan–and absolute zero American troops dying in Libya until the war against Gaddafi was already over.

              When we won in Iraq, we stayed for another ten years.

              We we won in Libya, we wished them well and walked out the door.

              There were no American ground troops to speak of in Libya. That’s why committing ground troops to combat is such a big deal.

              1. “Why was it so hard to walk away from Iraq and Afghanistan?

                Why was it so comparatively easy to walk away from Libya?”

                Because they bear zero similarities to one another in their actual casus belli, objectives, or strategic purpose?

                I would have thought that didn’t even need saying.

                Your reduction of the issues to “ground troops!” vs “No Ground Troops” is completely specious. There is zero relevant comparison. We didn’t “Win” shit in Libya. We didn’t have any particular goals to speak of other than to temporarily empower the regime’s enemies. The net result of which has turned out to be a strategic disaster.

                I’m not going to belabor the point, but your idea that ‘ground forces’ play such a significant part in determining the time-frame or degree of committment has zero basis in reality. Why don’t we currently run US-imperial-proxy-states in Haiti, Yugoslavia, Somalia, Panama, Granada, etc?

                “Hurr durrr, ground troops mean everything!?”

                I don’t buy it. the “strategic purpose” of a mission is more significant than the assets employed.

                in this particular case, people seem to think we have a strategic goal (‘schwack ISIS’) that can be achieved w/o ground troops. They’re wrong. Either abandon the mission, or give it what it needs to be done right. Choose one.

                1. “Why don’t we currently run US-imperial-proxy-states in Haiti, Yugoslavia, Somalia, Panama, Granada, etc?”

                  How many troops did we lose there?

                  And how many did we lose in Germany, Japan, and Korea?

                  1. “How many troops did we lose there?

                    And how many did we lose in Germany, Japan, and Korea?”

                    So you fail to acknowledge that “limited conflict using ground troops is perfectly possible”?

                    i.e. your false dichotomy of “no ground troops” vs “ground troops” is basically bullshit?

                    There is no reason why some limited use of troops guarantees some inevitable ‘quagmire’ (a silly trope almost as dumb as ‘boots on the ground’)

                    The larger point you continue to evade is =

                    if airpower isn’t going to achieve a desired result on its own, then don’t do it at all.

                    Dont make a case that airpower on its own is somehow either ‘uncomitted’ or harmless or somehow not placing US lives and influence at risk.

                    If you think going after ISIS is “Ok” at all (do you?), then you should be Ok with committing the resources needed to achieve results.

                    I don’t think we should be bothering at all. Being blase about use of airpower is ‘intervening’ without the will to actually commit to results, which is the worst of possible worlds – particularly in how we are trying to influence other people into “fighting a war” we apparently dont have the desire to fight ourselves.

                    If we really want other people to fight for their own interests, we need to stop propping them up and pretending we’re going to step in at some point.

                2. “Your reduction of the issues to “ground troops!” vs “No Ground Troops” is completely specious. There is zero relevant comparison.”

                  How do you get into a quagmire without ground troops?

                  Is it even possible?

                  That’s a great reason to avoid sending them in.

                  There isn’t anything specious about suggesting that ground troops are more prone to getting bogged into a quagmire vis a vis anything else.

                3. “We didn’t “Win” shit in Libya. We didn’t have any particular goals to speak of other than to temporarily empower the regime’s enemies. The net result of which has turned out to be a strategic disaster.”

                  And you’re saying that makes it an irrelevant comparison to Iraq?

                  That makes it an irrelevant comparison to Afghanistan?

                  You’re way out in left field, buddy ro!

                4. There are more to strategic objectives than winning or losing. Its not all in or nothing in when you are dealing with and enemy and a frenemy who are locked in battle.

                  If you were in command or graduated from a military academy you would have studied Sun Tzu to realize this. The whole objective is to keep both sides engaged in war with each other while only helping out the one side that hasn’t declared war on us. Let them fight each other but put a finger on the scale helping the Kurds and Iraqis to defeat our real enemy without having to take and hold ground. That would rule out a Faluja type urban warfare and leave it to others. There is no winning hearts and minds here just delivering death and destruction to our enemies.

                  1. That doesn’t mean our policy should ensure that another generation of poor Muslim kids are susceptible to extremism because all they know of America is the dead goat crater from a hellfire.

                    There is no upside to taking care of ISIS for the regional powers, but there are a lot of potential downsides.

          2. People think that if they paid a million dollars for a piece of shit, then their piece of shit is worth a million dollars.

            This is exactly right and it is called the “Sunk cost fallacy”. People emotionally believe that if they’ve invested a lot in something, they should continue to invest in it until it realizes the gain they expected when they started investing. And as you say, American blood is quite an investment.

            This, btw, is the cause for all sorts of loss among people, especially in the government.

            The rational choice when deciding whether or not to invest is, “Will this next investment get me a return on THIS investment.” Investment Banks and other major investors do this all the time, and often get reputations for being heartless because of it. But it is the correct way to approach all manner of investments in your life.

    2. The writers here need to double-belt their Pampers and take a few deep breaths; If people support taking a fight to ISIS *at all*, the question should be ‘what needs to be done to make it successful?’ – not “how can we ensure that we maintain arbitrary limits regardless of our objectives”?

      Completely agree.

      Moreover, this is the best possible position Rand could stake out on the issue. As you note, it does not adversely change the status quo (if you are a libertarian who does not favor intervention), since we already have lots of troops in theater. It also preempts criticism of Paul being dovish, and is arguably also in character for Paul.

  14. “If the potential risk of casualties is so strenuously objected to, then get out of the region entirely”

    People want to intervene against the ‘bad guys’ but they are also reluctant to put their fellow countrymen’s lives at risk. Modern air power allows this to be done. I don’t see anything necessarily wrong with either impulse (though I’d argue the first one is so often going to be wrong because of the complications in most areas we should overcome it).

    1. Intervening against the ‘bad guys’ isn’t enough.

      You need to state, up front, what your desired end-state looks like. THEN, and only then, do you determine what forces are required to accomplish the objective.

      This shoot first and define victory later is EXACTLY why we are still in Afghanistan 13 years after 9/11.

      WHat the fuck is this supposed to accomplish, Rand?

      1. Doesn’t it at least for Congress’ hand to take back their constitutional power of declaring war?

      2. You need to state, up front, what your desired end-state looks like. THEN, and only then, do you determine what forces are required to accomplish the objective.

        To be fair to the 2nd Bush Dynasty, this was indeed what Bush, Rummy and Cheney did. They just underestimated the cost of reaching their objectives. They were clear that their objective was the removal of Saddam’s regime, and installation of a moderate, democratic government. You can see this evidenced in the numerous speeches they made, as well as testimony given during the run up to the AUMF vote in congress.

        Their problem wasn’t one of failing to set objectives. The problem is that they under-estimated the cost. They were pollyannish in their assessment of how eager the people of Iraq were to institute a secular democracy. And they failed to appreciate the level of meddling from Iran in fomenting sectarian divides between the Sunni and Shia factions.

        This isn’t to defend the Iraq War, but rather to point out that the objectives were clear and the costs were where they failed spectacularly. They thought they’d be occupying Germany or Japan, instead of the humanitarian powderkeg it was.

        1. Fair enough.

          Although I wouldn’t call “installation of a moderate, democratic government” a clear or achievable objective. Not even sure what that means, let alone going about accomplishing that. And the only role for the military after the “removal of Saddam’s regime” part is to keep the peace so that the state department can build the nation. A task they were unable to achieve.

          But you are right. Bush failed because he made the same mistake we made in Vietnam. He believed that inside every Iraqi/Afghani was an American trying to get out. That is simply not the case. Their values are different.

          Know thy enemy.

      3. That is jarhead thinking. But see if you can see the strategy –

        Current situation – Muslims fighting muslims but ISIS has now declared war on us and gained legitimacy by winning large areas. US already involved in air combat missions and small number of boots on the ground to aid air war. Obama is not following the Constitution.

        End game – Muslims fighting muslims without ISIS, who declared war on us, winning.

        Accomplishment: Degrades ISIS capabilities so they do not rise further to become a true threat to the US while helping Kurds and others to take ISIS out or be locked in continuous war with each other. Also allows funding which is currently cut under sequestration without making this part of the budgetary battle. Legitimizes current realities and brings us back to Constitutional compliance.

        Time frame: One year from passage of Declaration of war unless reauthorized.

        1. Why do I or the United States care what is happening in some shithole country halfway around the world?

          THEY ARE NOT A CREDIBLE THREAT TO THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!

          Never were. I don’t need anything the ME has. Let em fight. There is one takeaway from the Iraq war…

          1. We made the situation worse by destabilizing the region.

          Learn from your mistakes.

    2. Modern air power allows this to be done ineffectively.

      It kinda makes a difference whether your half-measures actually work. Air power, in isolation, doesn’t.

      1. It is situationally dependent. It depends upon the desired objectives.

        Airpower, almost alone, drove Saddam out of Kuwait. To know if airpower, alone, can accomplish this mission, one would first need to know the objectives.

        What are the objectives? Anyone?

        Crickets…

        1. If the desired objective is “winning a war”, its ineffective.

          There should be no other objective for bombing people.

          1. Do you dispute we won Gulf War I?

            Winning is defined as achieving desired objectives. Daddy Bush understood this. Our objective was to remove Saddam from Kuwait. We did so, and the war stopped. We won. With airpower alone (almost alone). Highly effective, given that objective.

            I somehow don’t believe that the objectives are similar for ISIS. In fact, as far as I can tell, there are no objectives at all. Just kill until we decide the killin’ is done. The epitome of stupidity.

        2. “one would first need to know the objectives.”

          While unstated in most major news media, it has long been whispered in foreign policy circles that the ‘End State’ here is an inevitable ‘partition of Iraq’

          There are huge question marks how the sunni-majority/western Iraq region would stand on its own in a mostly oil-free desert. The assumption would be that it would become a natural extension of whatever party comes to rule Syria.

          Neither a newly-formed Sunni state in Iraq or a Shia government in Baghdad could be relied on to accept Kurdish independence. Most likely there’d be a major throwdown.

          Whether the US ‘intervenes’ and tries to stage manage/limit the conflict, or whether we opt out entirely (my view) and simply stand by and watch, this is likely how things are going to go.

          ISIS isn’t even the issue. They were just a catalyst.

        3. No crickets here. Objective: Prevent ISIS from becoming a realistic threat to the US; Prevent ISIS from spreading conflict area to attack Israel gaining Islamic alliances and beginning world war III.

          For details read my post closest above for probable answer. For certainty, read Obama’s mind (scary thought) or be Chuck Hagel’s replacement. I have a hard time seeing that we can not accomplish the objective in the timeframe. Objective is not to win the war and bring peace and stability (impossible in religious sectarian war with modern rules of engagement) – something hard for military personnel to understand.

          1. ISIS is not and never will be a threat to the United States of America. PERIOD!

            To say they are is absurd. Lunacy.

            A threat to the security of the US has the capability to destroy or take/hold large land masses or to kill large numbers of people. ISIS couldn’t give the US a hangnail.

            Twenty five years ago we were continuously 20 minutes away from destroying most of the life on the planet. THAT…was a threat. This…is hysteria.

        4. Air power and artillery can deny access along lines of communication and supply. That why Gulf 1 worked.

          The same isn’t true of holding, policing, and taking ground. See Soviets in Afghanistan. There is a book “The Bear went over the Mr,” which spells this out in some detail.

          I don’t disagree with what your saying, but how you are saying it.

          At the end if the day, ISIS isn’t worth our efforts at this point.

  15. This misses the larger point. If ISIS is a big enough threat to declare war against, then they are a big enough threat to actually go to war against. But that’s not what Paul is saying. He’s trying to have it both ways. A “limited” war is a stupid idea.

    1. Yeah, I think Rand Paul is wrong on this, too.

      I also recognize he’s running for President. He wants to be nominated by the Republicans, and that means playing to the establishment Republican faithful on certain issues.

      If Obama is taking us to war with ISIS, Rand Paul isn’t going to win the Republican nomination by being against that war. He would almost certainly fly differently once he won the nomination, though. He’d be a great candidate for anti-war swing voters in the general election, who don’t want war–but don’t want Hillary/Lie-a-watha style class war either.

      1. Unfortunately, I agree with that assessment.

        Here’s the thing. What does it say about a man’s principles when he’s willing to spend billions in taxpayer money and risk American lives to get elected?

        I’m starting to have second thoughts.

        1. Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t see it that way. It seems to me like Rand is saying ” The powers that be in this country are determined to go to war with ISIS, and there’s no way I can stop it. But I may be able to limit it, keep it from dragging on for a decade or more, and take away at least some of the de facto powers of the president to declare war.

          1. I will agree that what he’s doing has real benefit in limited the executive. It is unfortunate that he is willing to go to war with no objectives to do so.

            1. It is unfortunate that he is willing to go to war with no objectives to do so.

              The point is, the POTUS has already engaged the US in a war, it just happens to be one not authorized by congress and with no restrictions except his own personal whims.

        2. Faux Francisco
          Unfortunately, I agree with that assessment.

          Depending who says it. (lol)

        3. “Here’s the thing. What does it say about a man’s principles when he’s willing to spend billions in taxpayer money and risk American lives to get elected?”
          ————————-

          “All the odds are on the man who is, intrinsically, the most devious and mediocre?the man who can most easily adeptly disperse the notion that his mind is a virtual vacuum.

          The Presidency tends, year by year, to go to such men. As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron”

      2. Ken Schultz
        Yeah, I think Rand Paul is wrong on this, too.

        (snicker) Unless it’s me saying so!

        1. I don’t think we should go to war with ISIS.

          If we go to war with ISIS anyway, I think the President should have an authorization from Congress.

          Do you imagine it’s impossible to have both of those thoughts in our heads at the same time?

          Many of us have been talking to each other here for ten years. There’s no need to restate the obvious in every single thread.

          You may find this hard to believe, but Milton Friedman thought that we shouldn’t have a fed–but he also thought that if we’re going to have a fed over his objections anyway? He had some suggestions…

          These aren’t contradictions you’ve discovered. The is standard adult discourse.

          You’re acting like a fifth grader sitting at the big table getting all worked up because the adults won’t talk to you on a fifth grade level. You should try to read more, for a while, and accuse less. In time, you may come to understand what other people are talking about.

  16. He is proposing to declare war to fight an enemy that has declared war on the US in order to defend our sovereign soil (embassies)? How dare he. What a horrible president he would make! He’d only be better than the last 11 presidents who went to war without declaring it, but not perfect! I say tar and feathers now before it’s too late.

  17. Reason’s ongoing apologia for the Ron/Rand Paul cult has become a continuing disgrace to the libertarian movement.

    Yes, the Constitution requires Congress to declare war. But that same Constitution empowers the President as Commander-in-Chief … not Rand Paul. Umm, it’s the Commander-in-Chief who wages the war, once Congress has declared it. For anyone still confused on this, imagine Congress, in December of 1941, declaring war but limiting the purpose and targets of that war.

    So once again, the “libertarian-ish” Paul cult invents its own Constitution — not just on gay equality and abortion — but any time the Constitution is in-con-veeeeen-yent.

    But only a “libertarian purist” would dare … DARE … to cite the Constitution, right? Or recall that both parts of the Paul cult have approved the use of force in self defense, or if the nation faces an imminent threat — neither of which applies to ISIS.

    To remove the ISIS threat … get the hell out of the middle east. duh

    1. For anyone still confused on this, imagine Congress, in December of 1941, declaring war but limiting the purpose and targets of that war.

      Umm, they did limit the targets of that war. To Japan and Germany and their allies.

      And there was no need, at the time, specify the purpose of the war. It was to defeat our enemies.

      Only in more recent times has it become necessary to state the purpose of our military actions, since we have done so many half-assed things with our military it no longer goes without saying that “The US goes to war in order to win the war by defeating its enemies.”

      1. Only in more recent times has it become necessary to state the purpose of our military actions, since we have done so many half-assed things with our military it no longer goes without saying that “The US goes to war in order to win the war by defeating its enemies.”

        This isn’t just a result of US actions, but the result of the change in Geo-Political make-up. When WWII fired up, we had defined governments with near complete control over their territory. The state of industry at the time made it difficult for non-state actors to really “wage war” against other nations. Additionally, peoples’ nationalistic urges were just plain different back then.

        But today, our actions are rarely against states. This isn’t wholly the US’s fault, it is the reality of a world where non-state actors have become real, political entities with the capability for waging war. These non-state actors have greater access to the weapons of war, and many people don’t feel as much a part of their nation than as part of a cause or ethnicity. Some of this was due to the arbitrary line-drawing in Post WWII middle east- but you see this in the former Soviet Bloc as well, where countries were created with greater ethnic divisions than nationalist unity. It isn’t pretty but it is the reality.

    2. Do the goats cry out when you slide that dog turd you call a penis in them?

  18. Reason’s ongoing apologia for the Ron/Rand Paul cult

    You must not be reading the same Reason I am. Reason is anything but unquestioningly supportive of Rand, and was definitely not very supportive at all of Ron.

    1. Things are not as they seem. Hint: the odds that that’s the real Michael Hihn writing that? Slim to none.

      1. I don’t know who the real Michael Hihn is, but this one responds to what people are writing like he’s the only libertarian in the world, and the rest of us are a bunch of progressives or something.

        He responds to articles critical of Rand Paul as if they’re supportive of him.

        He responds to comments defending the Constitution as if they’re attacking the Constitution.

        It’s like talking to this lady:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BHMzVlmVFBI

        1. Ken Shultz and the faux Francisco can’t show us where the Constitution says congress can wage and control a war … so they change the subject. Again. (laughing)

          1. Again, I have no idea what you’re talking about.

            Are you arguing that Obama can wage war without an authorization from Congress–in the name of libertarianism?

            Honestly, I don’t get it. Even Obama, at one point, was asking for another authorization.

            I have already said that declaring war is an enumerated power of Congress as stipulated in Article One, Section 8.

            If Obama is trying to commit ground troops against ISIS, yeah, I think he needs another Congressional authorization, and I interpret Rand Paul trying to get an authorization through Congress as being faithful to the Constitution–rather than a betrayal of libertarian principles.

            But I’m being redundant here. I’ve already said all this stuff! You seem to have a hard time understanding what other people are saying. It’s like you’ve got some really bad intergenerational communication skills or something.

            1. You seem to have a hard time understanding what other people are saying. It’s like you’ve got some really bad intergenerational communication skills or something.

              He is claiming that Rand/Congress don’t have the authority to put a time-limit on the declaration.

              He writes like everyone else can hear the voices in his head too.

              1. “He is claiming that Rand/Congress don’t have the authority to put a time-limit on the declaration.”

                I’ll take your word for it, Francisco.

              2. Faux Francisco
                He is claiming that Rand/Congress don’t have the authority to put a time-limit on the declaration.

                (laughing) Where do you see otherwise in the Constitution, trash mouth?

                He writes like everyone else can hear the voices in his head

                Retard D’Anconia also says Rand Paul is wrong, but only the voices in his own head! (laughing)

                Fourth request. Where do you find in the Constitution … or 200+ years of American history, that Congress — not the Chief Executive — defines and manages a war declared by Congress?

                Put up facts or shut up with the insults (if you can control yourself).

                1. Hihn, let me save you some typing. I will not respond to you, regardless of the topic. There is no rational discussion when you argue with an arrogant, rude, crazy, incomprehensible, old man.

                  You attack those who are are agreeing with you, you write in riddles and you apparently don’t understand libertarian principle, despite claiming to have been one all your life. You are a waste of my time and energy and this is the last time I reply to you.

            2. Again, I have no idea what you’re talking about.

              I’ll repeat it for any other retards.

              Are you arguing that Obama can wage war without an authorization from Congress–in the name of libertarianism?

              (lol) Here’s what I said, dumbfuck.

              Yes, the Constitution requires Congress to declare war. But that same Constitution empowers the President as Commander-in-Chief … not Rand Paul. Umm, it’s the Commander-in-Chief who wages the war, once Congress has declared it. For anyone still confused on this, imagine Congress, in December of 1941, declaring war but limiting the purpose and targets of that war.

              Honestly, I don’t get it.

              You SOMEHOW got it all completely bass backwards!

              I have already said that declaring war is an enumerated power of Congress as stipulated in Article One, Section 8.

              (yawn) One more time for the reading impaired, Where is Congress authorized to define the scope and length of that war?? Or will you attack me AGAIN for even asking?

              1. Where is Congress authorized to define the scope and length of that war?

                Where is the President?

        2. but this one responds to what people are writing like he’s the only libertarian in the world, and the rest of us are a bunch of progressives or something.

          Shame on you. I merely keep reminding Devoted Followers of the Paul Cult, that the definition of libertarian has been fiscally conservative and socially liberal … only since 1979 (Nolan Chart)

          Umm, you also don’t know what a Progressive is! Do you really believe that Progressives support the extreme social conservatism of Ron and Rand Paul? (Or their phony federalism?) REALLY??

          If anyone else has their head up their ass on this, see the World’s Smallest Political Quiz

          http://www.theadvocates.org/ta…..ical-quiz/

          The confusion on this says all we need to know about the so-cons masquerading as libertarians.

          1. What, now you’re upset because you’re not the libertarian gatekeeper?

            I’ve always been partial the definition that a real libertarian is someone who thinks individuals should be free to make choices for themselves.

            Whatever a real libertarian is, I know what it isn’t. A real libertarian isn’t someone who thinks they define what libertarianism is or isn’t to everyone else in the world.

            Personal autonomy means you’re in charge of yourself, Mr. Hihn. Libertarianism doesn’t put you in charge of anyone else. …certainly not other libertarians. We’ll speak for ourselves, whether you like it or not.

            P.S. I’m a social conservative? LOL!

            1. Nobody could make this stuff up! NOW the retard says that only a “libertarian gatekeeper” knows the definition of libertarian for the past 44 years!

              What, now you’re upset because you’re not the libertarian gatekeeper?

              Now, even crazier!

              A real libertarian isn’t someone who thinks they define what libertarianism is or isn’t to everyone else in the world.

              Actually dumbfuck, it has nothing to do with what I believe. That’s why I sent you to the World’s Smallest Political Quiz. The word has always meant that — since way back in 1979. So the retard also never heard of the Nolan Chart! And is PROUD of his ignorance!! (OMG)

              Ken Schultz thinks dictionaries are a form of oppression!!

              I’m a social conservative? LOL!

              Who said you are?

              Are you NOW insisting that you’re, ummm, fiscally conservative and socially liberal? (snicker)

              1. “The confusion on this says all we need to know about the so-cons masquerading as libertarians.”

                I give up on trying to decipher your weird code.

                You’d do more service to the libertarian movement if you kept acting the way you are now–but just told everyone you were a social conservative or a progressive.

                Anybody else remember that guy that used to go off on Cavanaugh all the time–way back in the beginning of Hit & Run? What was that guy’s name–was it “Libertarian Dan”? I forget.

                This Hinh guy reminds me of him a lot!

          2. the definition of libertarian has been fiscally conservative and socially liberal

            No, it’s NAP!

      2. Actually, and sadly, it is. I challenged him to change data on his web page and he did so.

        It is him.

        1. I challenged him to change data on his web page and he did so.

          1) It was a Facebook page.
          2) And you lied then also.

          1. So you are Mary? I’m so confused.

        2. Well I’ll be dipped in shit. We have 2 certifiable nut jobs.

        3. So wait, if he’s not a plant, what’s his excuse for writing like a mix of a fifteen year old bitchy teenager and a condescending, holier-than-thou prick?

          (lol) *snicker* You’re all just part of the Paul cult. *laughing*

          1. He’s an incomprehensible, batshit crazy old man. Better to ignore him as it’s impossible to reason with a madman.

    2. HIHN: For anyone still confused on this, imagine Congress, in December of 1941, declaring war but limiting the purpose and targets of that war.

      Umm, they did limit the targets of that war. To Japan and Germany and their allies.

      Umm, this time see the words I made boldface. What was the deadline for getting out? (lol)

      It continues!!!

      And there was no need, at the time, specify the purpose of the war. …

      Limit In boldface.

      … It was to defeat our enemies.

      Umm, first you say they limited it. Then you say they didn’t have to. And also say that Rand does NOT want to defeat our enemies!

      Hmmm,

      1. So, at least you admit that the declaration of war against Japan and Germany limited the targets of that war.

        Your obtusity in responding to my speculations about why we now need to put limits and specifications into our declarations of war is noted. But I’ll summarize again in short words:

        In 1941, everybody knew what war meant, what its purposes and objectives were.

        In 2014, after two generations of “limited” “military interventions”, it no longer goes without saying, and we have to get a lot more specific with Presidents who have bad habits of bombing and killing people we aren’t at war with, for no definable purpose.

        If that’s not clear enough, I dunno how to help you.

        1. R C Dean|11.24.14 @ 2:10PM|#
          So, at least you admit that the declaration of war against Japan and Germany limited the targets of that war.

          Where did I? (lol)

          If that’s not clear enough, I dunno how to help you.

          wait for it …..
          Where is Normandy? (laughing)

          1. At the time of the invasion, Normandy was located in Vici France, an ally of Germany.

    3. You must not be reading the same Reason I am.

      Obviously.

      Reason and was definitely not very supportive at all of Ron.

      So … which Reason DO you read?

      1. The Reason that wouldn’t stop yapping about his newsletters the last time he ran for President.

        1. The Reason that wouldn’t stop yapping about his newsletters the last time he ran for President

          I appreciate your retraction, from your earlier fuckup:

          https://reason.com/blog/2014/11…..nt_4923624

        2. Save Doherty, Reason never misses a chance to piss on the Rothbard crowd. I don’t know if it’s the same old grudge or the usual Beltway signaling.

          As though anyone would ever think Nick Gillespie or Cathy Young were some sort of principled radical.

      2. The one that specifically reports when Ron and Rand disagreed on ebola, had one of its writers actively call Rand ‘not a libertarian’ for supporting action against ISIS, and has articles with titles such as ‘3 Problems Libertarians Have with Rand Paul’s Foreign Policy’?

        1. Yeah, like I keep saying, for whatever reason, this guy’s got some kind of communication block or something.

          Tell him to email Justin Raimondo to ask him how Rand/Ron Paul friendly Reason.com is. Last time I saw Raimondo here, he was basically calling Reason a bunch of traitors.

          Maybe we should get him in touch with DONDEROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

          1. ‘Last time I saw Raimondo here, he was basically calling Reason a bunch of traitors.’

            TRAITORS? No.
            Capitalists (do what the boss pays for)? Yep.

            Big difference.

            1. Point was that there are plenty of libertarians on that side of the fence who will be happy to tell him that Reason…hasn’t always been on the side of the Pauls.

              I certainly didn’t mean to put words in Raimondo’s mouth.

              P.S. I also remember him asking Welch if he’d finally read “Atlas Shrugged” (or was it “Fountainhead”?).

              Welch should have Raimondo on the Independents.

              1. I was one of those guys who gave decent $$$ to antiwar.com regularly. When they went far right I told them goodbye, since it was pretty obvious that 98% of the Right in this country were (2001-2005+) warmongers of the highest nature.

                It just didn’t make any sense. A reasonable person would let the issue steer their politics instead of accepting a political slant (far right) and then trying to bend that to the reality.

            1. DONDEROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

    4. “You must not be reading the same Reason I am. Reason is anything but unquestioningly supportive of Rand, and was definitely not very supportive at all of Ron.”

      Ain’t worth counting, but it goes without much doubt that there are more “Rand Paul” articles on Reason than those of any other individual…maybe excepting the POTUS.

      That’s unnatural – and since any PR is good PR, it’s safe to say that Reason pushes Rand big time.

  19. Based on the Huffington Post reactions it looks like liberals and Democrats are going to pretend to be anti-war again since it’s a Republican suggesting we use military force.

    1. They’re grasping at straws in hope that their hero will somehow be something like they want him to be again.

  20. “Advisory operations” can be interpreted extremely broadly. To claim that limits US actions in any way is to be completely ignorant of history. As Sen. Paul and Mr. Soave seemingly have forgotten, all of our soldiers in Vietnam during that war were legally “advisors”.

    On top of that, using a formal declaration of war can easily provide rhetorical support the President needs to escalate well beyond any limiting factor found in the declaration.

  21. It is the neo-libertarians, the purists anarcho-“libertarians” who are going to drive Rand Paul’s possibilities to the ground.

  22. “American military adventurism.” Could there be a falser characterization of what America has been doing over there?
    I have no clue why Libertarians (actually, those calling themselves Libertarians) are so cowardly and blind. As far as I’m conconcerned, halfway ,chickenshit actions are the reason VietNam lingered on forever.
    If you are at war, you fight enemy with everything required to crush them. Paul’s mealey mouthed defense of his totally inadequate plan
    makes me puke. The jerk would prescribe more force against the Federal Reserve board. I have no clue why so many articles on this website claim to represent the Libertarian viewpoint.

    1. The jerk would prescribe more force against the Federal Reserve board.

      Perhaps that’s because the Federal Reserve is an actual threat, whereas ISIS is nothing of the sort.

  23. Libertarians in this article and thread demonstrate the inner contradictions in the movement between those being isolationists and those being non-interventionists. It is hard to figure how are they different than liberals, especially the knee-jerk selective pacifists kind. The latter believes that one can be more merciful cutting the tail of a dog an inch at a time that in one cut.

    ISIS cannot be defeated unless through the Colin Powell doctrine (the MacArthur doctrine), you go in with overwhelming force, or don’t go at all. All other approaches is playing guerrilla war against a very war proven guerrilla force.

    Unfortunately, Rand Paul is beginning to sound more like the incrementalists JFK/LBJ than the realists he seems to be portraying himself as lately.

    1. you go in with overwhelming force, or don’t go at all.

      Overwhelming force against whom?

      Who is the enemy? How do you find him? How do you identify him? He hides among the population. He’ll wait you out for years. He will pick your conventional forces to bits, a little bit at a time, until your support wanes and you can no longer win. Ask the Russians.

      Warfare has adapted since the time of MacArthur. Tactics have evolved that can defeat overwhelming force with very simple/inexpensive weapons. Armies don’t stand toe to toe anymore. The weaker side simply fades into the shadows and wears you down over long periods of time.

      Unless you are prepared to nuke them into the stone age, and take the innocents with them, you are destined to fail. You cannot defeat terrorist/insurgents with bombers, tanks and armies. In fact, trying to do so just makes more of them.

  24. If war is officially declared against ISIS only the Powell doctrine will do. All else would immoral.

  25. Realities are:
    1) ISIS has already declared war on the US
    2) The US already has “Boots on the Ground” and we are engaged in war.
    3) The President has not complied with the War Powers Act.

    Paul’s solution: Declare war properly under the Constitution

    Alternatives:
    1) Do nothing – (that is what the Senate has been doing)
    2) Let the President disregard the War Powers Act
    3) Impeach the President

    Though Alternative #3 is the correct course of action, politics and deception will prevent a conviction in the Senate though the House could still impeach.

    This declaration of war should it pass is only a technical realization of what is happening but is Constitutionally correct.

    Paul is pretty clear in his stance. Situations change and therefore a new stance is needed in light of Obama’s unconstitutional war. Paul is trying to clean up what POTUS messed up as far as the Constitution is concerned. I don’t see there will be much problem with this obtaining a bi-partisan passage or of Obama vetoing it (oh that would be rich – hypocritically rich).

  26. I’ll be opposing this decision no matter what, but bear in mind that there was another Paul who voted in favor of the AUMF.

  27. Ain’t even worth discussing.

    I told y’all long ago that Rand was an inexperienced populist and sell-out who would do or say ANYTHING to achieve his goals. You think Obama is a narcissist? Wow, Rand says he’s qualified for POTUS because he can create an eyeglass prescription. His state is a sad mess in virtually every way, and he is already sucking the cox of everyone from the Koch’s to Mitch McConnell.

    Not only should this guy not get near any high office….he stands for absolutely nothing. That takes a lot of doing. Most people actually do have some things (like war and peace, etc.) that they feel strongly about.

    Oh, well, I guess Rand dumped all you antiwar types in favor of the Military Industrial Complex. And, since I was 100% right about Sen. Paul, let me make another prediction. The Koch’s will finance him and any/every other warmonger and big spender….without caring one iota about the hawkish ways of the candidates. Nor do they can about government spending….the main thing the Koch’s want is less regulation of their polluting industries AND for all the excess gubment spending to come from the pockets of anyone but themselves.

  28. The people of the 1930s hated war. They got the 1940s in exchange.

    But no one reads history any more.

    1. German Freedom Party leader Michael St?rzenberger: Islam, the Nazis pretty much one in the same

      http://www.libertarianrepublic…..chael.html

    2. If you don’t hate war you are a psychopath.

    3. “The people of the 1930s hated war. They got the 1940s in exchange.

      But no one reads history any more.”

      And your point?

      Is it that Muslim people in Muslim countries are not allowed to create their own version of th “EU” or “USA” or “China” – and that the Saudi way (our ally who cut off 70+ heads so far this year) is the Better Way?

      Be clear in your answer. Are we fighting to make the world safe for Israel and the House of Saud?

  29. 1. ISIS/ISIL are bad guys, but they want us to go after them and we are playing right into their hands by doing it.
    2. They are being paid. Many of them are professional mercenaries. Some of them are intelligence officers or assets. If you want to stop them, the best way is to stop whomever is paying them.

  30. Paul Jr is flailing. He’s desperately trying to look ‘presidential’ and it’s clear he has no idea what a president looks like.

    He wants the R nomination soooo badly. It’s sad to watch; he’s not going to get it.

  31. We’re at war with radical Islam. If you’re not for that war, then you just haven’t been hurt badly enough by them. They fully intend to change your mind. Until that time, relax ?. watch football ?. Christmas shop ?. life is good.

  32. This just in: Ferdinand II and Isabella flip-flop on flat earth belief and decide to fund Columbus’ voyage. This political flip-flop gotcha crap is so fucking juvenile. What happens when an intelligent, reasoned person is confronted with new facts given a situation? Might they alter their initial position, given those facts or this new information? I certainly hope so.

  33. Google pay 97$ per hour my last pay check was $8500 working 1o hours a week online. My younger brother friend has been averaging 12k for months now and he works about 22 hours a week. I cant believe how easy it was once I tried it out.
    This is wha- I do…… ?????? http://www.jobsfish.com

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.