How would this play out in the current realm of international relations? Ukraine and Syria for instance?
In Ukraine, Paul sees the historical and geographical ties extending to both Europe and to Russia, he invokes Eisenhower’s thinking that it should not belong to either but as a bridge between the two. That sounds like a clear goal but how would it work in actuality? Not belonging to the EU or to Putin’s new Eurasian Economic Union would give Ukraine the kind of sovereignty over its economic affairs that leaves it exposed in a world dominated by international institutions and where regionalism is in vogue. How would they feel about being left in the cold?
In Syria, a term which really extends to the whole region, conservative realism means finding partners to work with, much like other foreign policy strategies claim to do. Paul advocates peace between Turkey and the Kurds in order to settle things down somewhat. Looking at the masses of conflict in the region the dispute where one side is a member of NATO (Turkey) and the other has a strong female leadership and involvement (Kurdistan) is not a bad place to start – how’s that for a clear goal?
Alliances and partnerships that can introduce some of Paul’s ‘statecraft carrot’- trade and technology- is of the utmost importance as the raging conflict is destroying the everyday lives of millions of people. The economic hardships that are being brought about because of this conflict will kill more than the beheadings and airstrikes combined. This is the real tragedy of warfare. What do you think? Can Paul’s conservative realism shake up American foreign policy and use all that power for good? Join the debate on Facebook or on Twitter.
WATCH: Rand Paul at the Center for National Interest
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