Photo credit: Teresa via Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)
The most keenly interesting element of the CNN GOP presidential debate was the clear split in sentiment among the candidates on how to handle the most pressing national security problem America confronts. They split between the tough doves, Cruz and Trump, massively leading in the polls, and five militant hawks, Bush, Rubio, Christie, Kasich, and Fiorina, who are lagging. And Dr. Carson, who talks like a dove but promises hawkish policy. Call him a partridge.
Most commentators focused on the social dynamics, such as Donald Trump’s very gallant praise for his most potent rival, Ted Cruz, as well as for his other rivals. And on the political dynamics, such as the commitment that Mr. Trump made to the Republican Party, withdrawing his threat to mount a third party run. Both were significant.
But neither were nearly as significant as the clear choice the candidates are giving voters on national security and defense policy.
On the main stage, Trump and Cruz, the two leading presidential contenders, plus Sen. Rand Paul, are taking a clear “Reagan Realist” stand for nonbelligerent strength — “peace through strength” in the phrase coined by Senator John F. Kennedy and appropriated, and featured, by Reagan. Trump, Cruz, and Paul — the three tough doves — rejected the “Forever War” and sending American troops back into the quagmire of the Middle East.
Note the anarchy caused by “regime change” that had been at the core of America’s intervention. Note how, as “nature abhors a vacuum,” the vacuum this created led to the rise of Daesh (i.e. Continue Reading