Barack Obama’s coming request for Congress to “right-size and update” the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) against terrorism will be constitutionally fastidious and will catalyze a debate that will illuminate Republican fissures. They, however, are signs of a healthy development — the reappearance of foreign policy heterodoxy in Republican ranks.
Many events (U.S. military misadventures since 2001, the Syrian civil war, the rise of the Islamic State, the spinning centrifuges of Iran’s nuclear weapons program) and one senator (Rand Paul) have reopened a Republican debate that essentially closed when Dwight Eisenhower won the 1952 Republican presidential nomination. One reason he sought it was to block Ohio’s Sen. Robert Taft.
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