Americans, including Republicans, are getting tired of policing the world with endless wars. Support for the Iraq war is almost as low as approval of Congress. Interventionist sentiment ticked up in the summer of 2014 as Americans saw ISIS beheading journalists and aid workers on video. But even then most voters wanted air strikes, not more troops. Here’s a prediction: 13 months from now, when the voters of Iowa and New Hampshire begin voting for presidential candidates, Americans will be even more weary of nearly 15 years of war, and U.S. intervention will be even less popular than it is now. If it remains the case then, as Kristol says it is now, that the other presidential candidates are “all in the same neighborhood” on interventionism and Paul is the only candidate calling for restraint, then don’t bet against him in Iowa and New Hampshire.
Of course, foreign policy isn’t often a priority for voters, and Paul has other pluses and minuses that will affect voters’ decisions. But after 15 years of war, being the only Republican who wants to avoid further military entanglements looks like a good position.