Anything less is childish naïveté that will kill Americans down the road.
Foreign policy isn't a theoretical discussion in some college seminar led by a pony-tailed grad student who frets about “imperialism” and has never held a M16. I understand the idea and appeal of non-interventionism, and in some cases I'm even sympathetic – after all, I was twice one of those guys intervening.
But prior poorly executed and thought-out engagements overseas do not somehow give us a pass on our responsibilities in the future. We are the United States of America. There is no nation comparable – at least none on the good guys’ side – and if we decide to pull up stakes from the world, we are making a conscious choice to cede it to our enemies.
Yes, enemies. Those who oppose those are not simply unhappy because we support the democracies they hate or because they are aggrieved over some imagined slight. They are evil. A lot of people, including some Republicans, don’t want to face the concrete fact that evil exists. Denial doesn’t alter reality; it makes skyscrapers collapse.
Our enemies understand their own goals even if we refuse to. Whether it be the imposition of a jihadist caliphate, a Russian resurgence, an Iranian bomb or Chinese supremacy over Asia and the Pacific, they are serious about their interests. Too many Democrats, and now some in the GOP, treat our interests as just a talking point.
No, not every struggle between Third World factions demands American intervention. But the fact that our enemies aren't necessarily killing us in downtown Topeka today doesn't mean we can ignore them.
After all, that's their goal. They say it openly. They want to come here. They want to destroy us here.
The Jews of Europe learned the hard way that when your enemy says he's going to come and kill you, you should treat him as if he intends to come and kill you.
GOP foreign policy must have as its centerpiece the hardnosed understanding that we have real enemies, and we must call them with they are – our enemies. In my new book, Conservative Insurgency, a speculative future history of the struggle to restore our country, America fails to do so, with devastating results.
A GOP foreign-policy must recognize that the most important duty of our government is to maintain a strong, even overwhelming, military force that cannot be challenged by any enemy. That will cost money. It's not like we don't have any. We could just cut some of the things the federal government does that it was never intended to do, like giving free money to losers and subsidizing people who shouldn't be here in the first place.
All GOP leaders must recognize that the paramount responsibility of the federal government is to defend the people and territory of the United States of America and our allies. If there's any money left after doing that, then we can talk about funding cowboy poetry slams and anti-patriarchal performance art interpretive dance workshops.
I like a lot of things about Rand Paul. I like that he's willing to go into the minority community and engage even in the face of withering slander from a liberal establishment petrified that minorities might see the truth of their own serfdom under liberalism. I respect his principled stand against government overreach and against government undertaking responsibilities that is simply not responsible for.
That being said, Rand Paul needs to come out loudly and clearly for a strong GOP foreign policy based on defeating our America's enemies. Yes, that requires a large standing military. Yes, that requires an aggressive intelligence capability, at least one directed towards foreigners. I'd be appalled if the NSA wasn't listening in on every foreign potentate’s cell phone calls, including our fair-weather friends in NATO.
I want to hear Rand Paul talk about the necessity of returning to a 600-ship Navy, with cutting-edge technology, and a standing army that can do more than barely scrape together a platoon for a parade. I want to hear about our Air Force being brought into the 21st-century with new fighters and old favorites like the A-10 in numbers great enough to chill the bones anyone who would dare challenge American supremacy anywhere.
Mindless non-interventionism is a nonstarter for the GOP. That’s for Democrats. To his everlasting disgrace, Pres. Obama has made clear that he will allow the genocide of tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis rather than risk alienating his Democratic coalition of anti-American losers who refuse to do what America is obligated to do and insert ground troops to destroy ISIS.
There is no room in the American political system for two parties dedicated to moral cowardice, appeasement and defeat.