Don't Expect Foreign Policy Restraint from Scott Walker
And for now, don't expect foreign policy specifics either.
As Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker dips his toes into the Republican presidential campaign, he's starting to face questions about his foreign-policy views. To judge from his performance yesterday on This Week, where Martha Raddatz tried with only limited success to budge him from his talking points, he isn't prepared to give substantial answers on the subject yet. What did become clear is that Walker is definitely not one of the small band of Republicans counseling foreign policy restraint.
Here, via The Capital Times, is the relevant exchange:
Raddatz: Let's talk about some specifics. You talk about leadership and you talk about big, bold, fresh ideas….What's your big, bold idea in Syria?
Walker: I think aggressively we need to take the fight to ISIS and any other radical Islamic terrorist in and around the world. Because it's not a matter of when they attempt an attack on American soil—or not if, I should say, it's when. And we need leadership that says clearly not only amongst the United States but amongst our allies, that we're willing to take appropriate action. I think it should be surgical—
Raddatz: You don't think 2,000 air strikes is taking it to ISIS in Syria and Iraq?
Walker: I think we need to have an aggressive strategy anywhere around the world. I think it's a mistake to go down a path—
Raddatz: But what does that mean? I don't know what "aggressive strategy" means. If we're bombing and we've done 2,000 air strikes, what does an aggressive strategy mean in foreign policy?
Walker: I think anywhere and everywhere we need to go beyond just aggressive air strikes. We have to look at other surgical methods. And ultimately, we have to be prepared to put boots on the ground if that's what it takes because I think—
Raddatz: Boots on the ground in Syria? U.S. boots on the ground in Syria?
Walker: I don't think that's an immediate plan, but I think anywhere in the world—
Raddatz: But you wouldn't rule that out?
Walker: I wouldn't rule anything out. I think when you have the lives of Americans at stake and our freedom-loving allies anywhere in the world, we have to be prepared to do things that don't allow those measures, those attacks, those abuses to come to our shores.
Got that? The only real specific here is that he's willing to send ground troops to Syria, and even then he's trying desperately not to say that outright. But he's gonna be aggressively aggressive everywhere we need to go. Glad that's settled.
Bonus link: From Noah Rothman at Hot Air, "Scott Walker seeks to deflate the GOP's libertarian streak."