When a prominent Washington peace activist was asked recently to name the leading anti-interventionists in the Senate, he responded, “Rand Paul and Mike Lee,” both Republicans. Democrats are in the midst of a furious struggle over what they stand for and who is included in their coalition, yet on foreign-policy questions, their silence is deafening. When President Trump decided to drop 59 cruise missiles on Syria in response to purported use of chemical weapons, there was more debate about the attack among Republicans than among Democrats.
The Democratic establishment’s record on foreign policy has been disastrous. Most Democratic leaders supported the war of choice in Iraq, the largest foreign-policy debacle since Vietnam. They cheered the “humanitarian intervention” in Libya that has ended in the humanitarian horror of a ruined country, racked by violent conflicts, where the Islamic State is consolidating a backup caliphate. They applauded President Barack Obama’s surge in Afghanistan even as that war dragged on year after year. They touted the United States as the “indispensable nation,” demonstrating a predilection for military intervention and regime change that rivals that of Republican neoconservatives. Many considered Obama too weak and too wary of intervention, despite the fact that he left office bombing seven nations, dispatching special-operations forces to more than 120 countries, and calling for increased spending on a military that already consumes nearly 40 percent of the world’s military budget.
Read the full text of Katrina’s column here.