It is refreshing, at last, to find bipartisan support for not having a strategy. Last week, pundits pounced on the president’s confession that “we don’t have a strategy” regarding the terror group known as Islamic State.
This week, the press is mocking Rand Paul for saying the same. Sen. Paul said that, if he were president, he would confer with Congress to develop a strategy.
I think the strategy has to be that you have an open debate in the country over whether or not ISIS is a threat to our national security.
This is actually the correct answer, as prescribed by common sense and the War Powers Act. The president should seek the advice and consent of Congress before going to war. We recall a similar response from Gov. Romney, during the 2012 campaign. He began, “I would assemble a team and define an objective,” or words to that effect. Cue the laugh track.
The American public expects the president – and those who might someday be president – to have a glib answer for any crisis, anywhere, at all times. Granted, the Islamic State has been brewing for months, and the president has had plenty of time to develop a strategy. What he meant in the taupe jacket briefing was, in fact, that his strategy is not the same as Gen. Dempsey’s.
It often seems that American foreign policy is drafted by the guy sitting next to you at the bar. Bombing them back to the Stone Age never seems to lose its appeal (by the way, apart from American made weapons and al-Baghdadi’s Rolex, Islamic State is the Stone Age). If we took “advice and consent” seriously, we might end up with more durable policy.