Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) published a new op-ed in Time magazine on Thursday pushing back against accusations his policies are isolationist and blasting President Barack Obama for not being aggressive enough in dealing with the jihadist group Islamic State, also known as ISIS.
Indeed, the potential 2016 presidential candidate even accused the White House of “arming the Islamic rebels” in Syria and enabling the Middle East country to “become a jihadist wonderland” that now threatens U.S. security.
“Obama’s plan just one year ago — and apparently Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s desire — was to aid rebels against Assad, despite the fact that many of these groups are al-Qaeda- and ISIS-affiliated,” Paul wrote. “Until we acknowledge that arming the Islamic rebels in Syria allowed ISIS a safe haven, no amount of military might will extricate us from a flawed foreign policy.”
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider on Paul’s claims.
Paul, a libertarian-leaning politician, has generally been less willing than his fellow Republicans to embrace the use of military force abroad. When most of the other potential 2016 contenders declared they supported Obama’s airstrikes against ISIS, Paul demurred and said he had “mixed feelings” about them.
Just last week, Paul blamed “interventionists” for the rise of ISIS and cautioned policymakers to be mindful of that mistake as they consider further action.
“Those wanting a U.S. war in Syria could not clearly show a U.S. national interest then, and they have been proven foolish now,” he wrote in the Wall Street Journal. “A more realistic foreign policy would recognise that there are evil people and tyrannical regimes in this world, but also that America cannot police or solve every problem across the globe.”
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