The above word is used a great deal when describing Republicans’ take on foreign policy. The Republican take requires America to be aggressive, taking on a very large role in worldwide interactions in order to maintain its political advantages and in order for American foreign policies to remain crucial and imperative worldwide. However, an aggressive foreign policy approach means that America has been involved in a lot of wars and conflicts across the globe, leading to increased military and defense spending. Cutting back on defense spending could push back on the many cuts the government has recently made as a result of the sequester, helping to decrease the national debt and allowing for higher spending in other areas.
Now, a new generation of Republicans, led by Senator Rand Paul, seems to be hinting at a different Republican approach to foreign policy that could do just that – cut military and defense spending. This different approach, some argue, has some elements of increasing US isolationism. Yet, ultimately, according to Senator Paul, his approach that the United States should take a more minimalist foreign policy approach is more realistic than other options. A minimalist foreign policy approach would have more limitations on presidential power and American power abroad (two areas that Rand Paul sees as needing to be limited, which he reasoned was the justification behind his filibuster of President Obama’s drone policy last week).
Whether or not this new approach will continue to be seriously considered or grow support is unknown. According to the President of the Council on Foreign Relations Richard N. Haass, Rand Paul is proposing that a more minimalist foreign policy approach would be the solution to finding a new Republican brand as they approach 2016. It would be a means of ensuring that the US overreaching in another country, as was done in Iraq and many of the US’s other ongoing military involvements, does not occur again.
In terms of foreign aid, a more minimalist foreign policy may mean a more minimalist domestic policy as well. Turning focus inward and safeguarding national interests within the United States may provide less incentive to provide foreign aid, especially in situations that involve conflict or have turbulent political implications.
– Angela Hooks