I don’t know which politician were beating their chest or advocating war, I didn’t hear anyone make that case. I do wonder what vowing that Putin will not be allowed to get away with taking Crimea is if not chest thumping. What is most disgusting is a guy who is the true son of privilege accusing others of having “never seen war” when he, himself, has never been without shouting distance of a uniform.
More to the point, the way Paul characterizes American foreign policy under Reagan is nothing short of juvenile. We spent nearly two years in Lebanon before we were finally driven out by the truck bombing of the barracks holding the USMC 24th MAU. Had that not happened we could very well still be there. This was not a mission Reagan inherited but one he was a prime mover behind. Unlike Paul, I’m not an isolationist so this is not a criticism of Reagan.
Reagan, who had never been to war, invaded Grenada. We carried out significant proxy wars in Angola, Mozambique, Eritrea, Somalia, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and … Afghanistan. One of them, that in Nicaragua, seemed poised to bring down his Administration. Reagan not only “tweaked” the Soviets, he changed our policy from the George Keenan inspired “containment” to one of “roll back.” Unlike any previous president, no country fell to communism under Reagan and the costs associated with them holding onto their empire increased exponentially. Reagan deployed Pershing missiles and Surface Launched Cruise Missiles (SLCM) to Europe. Ballistic Missile Defense began. The US Navy approached 600 ships. The Army had 18 divisions. These were all actions that raised the stakes of possible Soviet adventurism and the were accompanied by significant calculated risks on his part. Rand Paul, prior to this week, would have supported none of these actions.