The Daily Caller’s Alexis Levinson spoke with the commanding officer of the USS Cole on the occasion of the paperback release of his book Front Burner, and he had some interesting things to say:

“When it comes to defense, I think Rand Paul is representing a new form of Republican leadership that is basically looking at what are — that really asks — the hard question: What are our national security interests in getting engaged in any nation, and what is the best way to go about doing it?” Lippold said.

“I think that John McCain, while he had some good opinions about things in the past, I think that these days the world is evolving and changing. And the fact that Rand Paul, for example, stood up and made the nation ask some very hard question regarding drones and drone usage was a fundamental shift in how the Republicans view the defense of the nation both here at home and abroad,” Lippold went on.

Lippold is now an executive at a public affairs firm with a client list that includes the neoconservative Foreign Policy Initiative, after an unsuccessful congressional bid in Nevada. He is by no means “soft” on defense, and at one time even made the unusual suggestion that the families of terror victims should be somehow involved in crafting detainee policy at Guantanamo Bay. Still, one can see why he might praise a senator for questioning an overreaching foreign policy, without which him and his crew might not have been endangered.