Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), in a new op-ed, takes issue with the Obama administration's claims that the threat of military force caused Syria's government to consider turning over its chemical weapons.
Instead, Paul writes, it was the opposition to military action in Syria — and the delay that it caused — that led to diplomatic progress.
"One thing is for certain: The chance for diplomacy would not have occurred without strong voices against an immediate bombing campaign," Paul wrote for the Washington Times. "If we had simply gone to war last week or the week before without asking any questions, as many advocated, we wouldn't be looking at a possible solution today."President Obama in his Tuesday speech credited the threat of force for the diplomatic progress.
"In part because of the credible threat of U.S. military action, as well as constructive talks that I had with President Putin, the Russian government has indicated a willingness to join with the international community in pushing Assad to give up his chemical weapons," Obama said.
Paul says the potential for a diplomatic solution is a "good thing" but that the United States should be cautious.
Paul also lays out his attitude toward war, differentiating his "non-interventionist" attitude from so-called "isolationism."
"It seems the most common thing for serial interventionists to do these days is to lob the term 'isolationist' at anyone who does not agree with their latest folly, and then set up a straw man about those people not wanting to be involved in the world," Paul writes "I reject this characterization for myself and others who oppose the United States getting involved in the Syrian civil war."