Rand Paul: No-fly zone in Syria 'could lead to World War III'

Paul called a no-fly zone over the country, an idea floated by several Republican presidential candidates and by Democratic front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton, a “terrible idea” that could “lead to World War III” if anyone was stupid enough to follow through.

“That’s drawing a red line in the sky,” Paul said. Once you draw a red line, and people cross it, what happens? Now we’re talking about an incident that could lead to World War III. We went 70 years having open channels of communication with the Russians, trying to avoid having one side shoot down the opposite side’s plane. I think the people who call for a no-fly zone are naive. Right now, Russia’s actually being invited by two of the neighboring countries, by Iraq and Syria. We’re going to say we’re going to stop Russia from flying in the area when two of the countries being flown over have invited that country in? This gets back to whether we want to diplomatically isolate ourselves, or whether we want to diplomatically engage.”

Clinton and the other no-fly advocates have envisioned something that the Russians would approve. But Paul was firming up his position as the race’s lone dove. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), he said, was getting less “liberty movement” support than the media might suggest, in part because “his candidacy has become more aggressive with wanting us involved in the Middle East.” Carly Fiorina, the latest candidate to surge ahead in Iowa, was “very worrisome” in her hawkishness. “She says she won’t talk to Putin, she’ll have a no-fly zone, and she’s ready to use force against Russia. Well, that’s precisely the kind of person we don’t want running our country.”