“Ron Paul might try to play on populist feeling, and we do see a growing number of Americans are questioning the Afghan effort, particularly as they’re facing economic hardships,” Heritage Foundation senior research fellow Lisa Curtis said. “But I think the fact that the Republican establishment and so many senior Republican leaders that have decades of foreign policy experience still believe the Afghan war is worth fighting, that will still be a major factor.”…

“I think what brought the tea party together were domestic economic issues — the health care bill, the tax issue,” Curtis said. “When it comes to foreign policy, the opinions become more diverse. Some take a very narrow view and would like to see the U.S. take a more isolationist view when it comes to foreign policy, whereas others feel strongly about providing for the common defense and preventing future terrorist attacks.”

Paul’s choice of Iowa as the setting to announce his presidential exploratory committee signals that he plans to compete hard once again in the nation’s first caucus state. But it doesn’t figure to be easy for him there. In addition to the obstacle of convincing voters that they would be safer if the U.S. military withdrew from terrorist-breeding hotspots, Paul also faces more mundane problems in improving on his fifth-place finish in the Iowa Caucuses in 2008.