Published On: Sun, Jan 3rd, 2016

Hillary Clinton the most interventionist, Rand Paul the least

John Quincy Adams, as Secretary of State in 1821 said the following: “Wherever the standard of freedom and Independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will her heart, her benedictions and her prayers be. But she goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own.”

Nearly 200 hundred years later we see a slew of Presidential wannabees, for the most part, talking of more foreign military interventionism in the Middle East in particular.

Hillary Clinton/Rand Paul Image/Donkey Hotey

Hillary Clinton/Rand Paul
Image/Donkey Hotey

Who, based on the things they’ve said, seems the most likely to use force and establish interventionist policies?

Dr. A. Trevor Thrall, an associate professor at George Mason University in the Department of Public & International Affairs and a Senior fellow for the Cato Institute’s Defense and Foreign Policy Department took the Council of Foreign Relations Presidential Candidates Use of Force Tracker and tweeked it to simplify it for easier comparison among candidates.

By placing a point value on various modes of intervention, Thrall was able to rank the Presidential candidates from most hawkish and interventionist to least.

The point system is as follows:

Calls for ground forces

High (i.e. thousands of troops): 100 points
Medium (i.e. embed with Iraqi forces): 50 points
Low (i.e. Special Forces): 25 points

Calls for Air Power

High (i.e. carpet bombing): 50 points
Medium (i.e. air support for Iraqi forces): 25 points
Low (i.e. drone strikes to kill terrorists): 10 points

Calls for No Fly/Safe Zones: 10 points

Calls for global/unlimited action against terrorism: 100 points

Thrall notes it is a simple and not entirely scientific tool; however, he says it “contributes to the conversation about what level of military intervention each candidate would pursue as president.”

South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham came out on top–big surprise–but he’s no longer a candidate so the honor for the most interventionist goes to Democratic Presidential frontrunner, Hillary Clinton.

Clinton is followed by sometime Republican Florida Senator Marco Rubio and retired neurosurgeon and Republican candidate, Ben Carson.

Coming in as least interventionist is Kentucky Republican Senator, Rand Paul.















“The constitution vests the power of declaring war in Congress; therefore no offensive expedition of importance can be undertaken until after they shall have deliberated upon the subject and authorized such a measure”–George Washington


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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

Displaying 3 Comments
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  1. Candidates4LIberty says:

    He is leading the way on criminal justice reform, ending the war on drugs, etc. My guess is the main disagreement you would have with him would be on economic theory and application of a more libertarian view on individual versus state power on decision making.

  2. winexploder says:

    I think it’s really sad the most reasonable candidate in terms of foreign policy running for president has an otherwise fundamentally flawed platform.

  3. Hillary: the Most Hawkish Candidate | Foodforthethinkers's Blog says:

    […] Why do Republicans hate Hillary so much? She wants foreign intervention more than any of their surviving candidates. Interesting article here. […]

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