Disciples of Rand Paul and the Koch brothers have come together to form a new defense think tank that will prioritize a strong military but with a focus on "restraint and diplomacy."
Ed King, president and founder of Defense Priorities Foundation, is the former COO of a pro-Paul super Pac; Eleanor May was Paul's campaign press secretary; William Ruger is the vice president of Policy and Research at the Charles Koch Institute, according to the group's website.
Defense Priorities' own foreign policy dictates a strong defense of the country's borders that are responsible.
"These vital interests must be weighed against the prevailing Beltway narrative that obliges U.S. military engagement in so many places and at so many times," Defense Priorities writes on its website. "Too often, these needless and exhausting ventures are undertaken absent thoughtful consideration of the consequences here at home and abroad."
The group's foreign policy vision takes aim at neoconservatives who use the broad concept of "imminent threat" as a battering ram and excuse to intervene militarily in too many foreign hot spots.
"To hear many politicians tell it, the most powerful and safest country in the world should be scared of everything, everywhere, all the time," wrote Bonnie Kristian, a fellow at Defense Priorities.
"By labeling every scary thing as an "imminent" and/or "vital" threat to the United States, our politicians — and particularly the executive branch — convince Americans to back military interventions into situations which pose no immediate threat to our safety and unquestionably are incapable of threatening our existence as a nation."
Paul espoused many of these policies during his failed campaign for the GOP presidential nomination, but King told Politico
it's a message that resonates with Americans, if not Washington.
"Senator Paul has been a thoughtful voice on these complex issues," King told Politico. "We need thoughtful discussions that really look at not just the first-order consequences but the second-order consequences of our military involvement around the world."
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