In Libya, where aiding rebel forces did help depose dictator Moammar Gadhafi, a radical Islamic regime is taking his place.
There is Iraq, where President Obama is crowing about bringing the troops home while downplaying the fact that the Iraqis are kicking us out. The Iraq war cost $4 trillion, took more than 4,000 American lives and lasted nearly nine years. And we’re leaving behind a resentful and divided Iraqi people, an America-weary Iraqi government and an empowered Iran.
The Afghanistan war is the longest war in U.S. history. Trillions of dollars have been spent, almost 2,000 American soldiers have been killed and nearly 15,000 American soldiers have been wounded in Afghanistan over the past decade.
Libyan intervention remains popular with a plurality of Americans precisely because Gadhafi was killed at minimal cost.
On Iraq and Afghanistan, most conservatives find themselves on the complete opposite side of the same cost/benefit argument they make concerning Libya, and also against the overwhelming sentiment of the American people. In most polls, upwards of 60% and even 70% of Americans call the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan mistakes, say they were not worth the cost and believe it is time to bring our troops home. Many American soldiers feel the same way. As CBS News reported this month: “One in three U.S. veterans of the post-Sept. 11 military believes the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were not worth fighting, and a majority think that after 10 years of combat America should be focusing less on foreign affairs and more on its own problems.” Perhaps even more interesting, a Pew Research Poll of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans published this month revealed: “About half (51 percent) of post-9/11 veterans say that the use of military force to fight terrorism creates hatred that breeds more terrorism.”
Paul’s critics like to first cite his contention that our foreign interventions breed more Islamic terrorism than they quell.. Yet, according to the Pew poll, a majority of our soldiers agree with Paul on this point. More significantly, Paul’s overall foreign policy of avoiding going to war where there is no clear national interest is where the congressman is most in line with public sentiment.