For me there are a number of good reasons to favor the candidacy of Ron Paul, but the area where he is most distinct from the other Republicans is foreign policy, where he supports desperately needed non-interventionism. The following, which appeared on the Foreign Policy website speaks for itself regarding where Rick Perry would take us if he is elected. Feith and Luti were associated with the Office of Special Plans at the Pentagon which used fabricated intelligence from Iraqi National Council head Ahmed Chalabi, cherry-picked other information, and stovepiped the whole lot without any caveats up to the White House to support an invasion of Iraq. Perry would be a return to George W. Bush foreign policy, quite likely staffed by the same crew that brought us the Global War on Terror.
Perry…has…held an increasing number of meetings with foreign policy experts of all stripes. These meetings, which have sometimes gone on for hours, have helped Perry brush up on a range of issues, from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to proliferation, from Middle East policy to international trade, according to those familiar with the meetings. The experts that he has reached out to include former Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Doug Feith, former NSC strategy guru William Luti, former Assistant U.S. Attorney and National Review columnist Andrew McCarthy, former Pentagon official Charles “Cully” Stimson, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Europe Daniel Fata, former Pentagon China official Dan Blumenthal, the Heritage Foundation’s Asia expert Peter Brookes, and former U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalizad. Politico reported that Donald Rumsfeld helped Perry set up the initial meeting with Feith, Luti, McCarthy, and Fata (Stimson was invited but couldn’t attend), but there have been several more since then and the Perry team is continuing to fly in experts to meet with the governor in Texas. Foreign policy hands with knowledge of the prospective candidate’s identity, which is still taking shape, told The Cable that Perry is planning to stake out political territory as a defense-minded but internationally engaged candidate, contrasting himself with the realism of Jon Huntsman, the ever-changing stance of Mitt Romney, or the Tea Party budget cutting focus of Michelle Bachmann and Ron Paul. “He will distinguish himself from other Republicans as a hawk internationalist, embracing American exceptionalism and the unique role we must play in confronting the many threats we face,” one foreign policy advisor with knowledge of Perry’s thinking told The Cable. “He has no sympathy for the neo-isolationist impulses emanating from some quarters of the Republican Party.”