Rand Paul's plan for Ukraine: Bizarre and delusional

Ukraine desperately needs to raise more debt to make loan payments, which was the whole reason it had to pick between Russia and the West in the first place. Suggesting that the West shouldn’t loan to Ukraine now because some of that will go out the door to Russia is literally suggesting that the government default on its external debts. If that happens and the West isn’t there to help because President Paul thinks we can’t afford it, there basically won’t be a Ukrainian government left to regret choosing our side.

He does have at least one serious-sounding proposal: “Economic sanctions and visa bans should be imposed and enforced without delay.” So far, so good, except that Paul offers no more discussion of what sanctions he’s suggesting. This is the same senator who slow-walked sanctions on Iran, a bellicose country in flagrant violation of international agreements, and opposed them outright when GOP senators were suggesting more should be passed to raise the costs of our enemies’ breaking such agreements (which is the idea here with Russia and Ukraine, that Russia violated the Budapest declaration but the U.S. wasn’t legally obligated to do much about it)…

Paul’s enthusiasm for the oil-and-gas answer nicely illuminates the problems with a seriously libertarian foreign policy: If you believe in non-intervention, your ability to intervene in a crisis is pretty limited. Paul may not comprehend this — or he may not care and simply be trying to fake it. Either one hardly makes him look like a serious candidate for the presidency.

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