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Cruz’s Reckless Foreign Policy

Cruz has confirmed that his foreign policy is one of "shoot first and don't ask any questions."

Perhaps the most worrisome thing about Ted Cruz is that he now bizarrely thinks foreign policy is his strong suit:

Indeed, ever since he played an instrumental role in last year’s government shutdown, Cruz has narrowed his agenda to focus on international affairs, both as an avenue to raise his profile among GOP donors and to pivot away from his reputation as a conservative kamikaze bent on wreaking havoc inside the halls of Congress [bold mine-DL].

That’s good thinking on Cruz’s part. It’s much better to be known as a hard-line kamikaze bent on wreaking havoc all over the world instead. The interesting thing about this report is that Cruz has largely confirmed the description of his foreign policy that I offered last week: “shoot first and don’t ask any questions.” This is his position in his own words:

“If and when military action is called for, it should be A) with a clearly defined military objective, B) executed with overwhelming force, and C) when we’re done we should get the heck out,” he said.

By his own admission, Cruz is quite open to using force, he wants that force to be “overwhelming,” and he doesn’t want to give the slightest thought to the aftermath. As I said, it is an approach best described as “killing lots of people and then going home.” Apart from being overly reliant on military solutions and oblivious to the consequences of war, the problem with this is that he offers no good definition of what it means to say “when we’re done.” Cruz presents his position as if it were a repudiation of costly, prolonged military intervention, but that is not the case. His preferred approach would create the conditions that would virtually guarantee a long-term U.S. commitment in the countries that he wants to attack. The fact that he can’t or won’t acknowledge this just makes his position that much worse. If Cruz thinks this is the “sweet spot” on foreign policy, he will be sorely disappointed. Conservatives that are interested in a sane, restrained, and responsible foreign policy shouldn’t be taken in by what he has to say.