04 21 2015
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  • When should we use military to enforce US goals? NASHUA, N.H. (AP) — Rand Paul lashed out Saturday at military hawks in the Republican Party in a clash over foreign policy dividing the packed GOP presidential field. Paul, a first-term senator from Kentucky who favors a smaller U.S. footprint in the world, said that some of his Republican colleagues would do more harm in international affairs than would leading Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton. "The other Republicans will criticize the president and Hillary Clinton for their foreign policy, but they would just have done the same thing — just 10 times over," Paul said on the closing day of a New Hampshire GOP conference that brought about 20 presidential prospects to the first-in-the-nation primary state. "There's a group of folks in our party who would have troops in six countries right now, maybe more," Paul said. Foreign policy looms large in the presidential race as the U.S. struggles to resolve diplomatic and military conflicts across the globe. The GOP presidential class regularly rails against President Barack Obama's leadership on the world stage, yet some would-be contenders have yet to articulate their own positions, while others offered sharply different visions. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, whose brother, President George W. Bush, authorized the 2003 invasion of Iraq, declined to say whether he would have done anything different then. Yet Jeb Bush acknowledged a shift in his party against new military action abroad. "Our enemies need to fear us, a little bit, just enough for them to deter the actions that create insecurity," Bush said earlier in the conference. He said restoring alliances "that will create less likelihood of America's boots on the ground has to be the priority, the first priority of the next president." The GOP's hawks were well represented at the event, led by Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who has limited foreign policy experience but articulated a muscular vision during his Saturday keynote address. Walker said the threats posed by radical Islamic terrorism won't be handled simply with "a couple bombings." "We're not going to wait till they bring the fight to us," Walker said. "We're going to bring the fight to them and fight on their soil." South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham addressed the question of putting U.S. troops directly in the battle against the Islamic State group militants by saying there is only one way to defeat the militants: "You go over there and you fight them so they don't come here." Texas Sen. Ted Cruz suggested an aggressive approach as well. "The way to defeat ISIS is a simple and clear military objective," he said. "We will destroy them." Businesswoman Carly Fiorina offered a similar outlook. "The world is a more dangerous and more tragic place when America is not leading. And America has not led for quite some time," she said. Under Obama, a U.S.-led coalition of Western and Arab countries is conducting regular airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. also has hundreds of military advisers in Iraq helping Iraqi security forces plan operations against the Islamic State, which occupies large chunks of northern and western Iraq. Paul didn't totally reject the use of military force, noting that he recently introduced a declaration of war against the Islamic State group. But in an interview with The Associated Press, he emphasized the importance of diplomacy. He singled out Russia and China, which have complicated relationships with the U.S., as countries that could contribute to U.S. foreign policy interests. "I think the Russians and the Chinese have great potential to help make the world a better place," he said. "I don't say that naively that they're going to, but they have the potential to." Paul suggested the Russians could help by getting Syrian President Bashar Assad to leave power. "Maybe he goes to Russia," Paul said. Despite tensions with the U.S., Russia and China negotiated alongside Washington in nuclear talks with Iran. Paul has said he is keeping an open mind about the nuclear negotiations. "The people who already are very skeptical, very doubtful, may not like the president for partisan reasons," he said, and "just may want war instead of negotiations."
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(CNN) -- Israel test-fired a missile Tuesday morning in the Mediterranean Sea with help from the United States, the Pentagon confirmed.



The test comes amid region-wide jitters over U.S. talk of possible military action against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime.

The U.S. Defense Department confirmed that it "provided technical assistance and support" for Israel's missile test.

But Pentagon spokesman George Little said the "test had nothing to do with United States' consideration of military action to respond" to Syria's alleged chemical weapons attack last month.

"The test was long planned to help evaluate the Arrow Ballistic Missile Defense system's ability to detect, track, and communicate information about a simulated threat to Israel. The United States and Israel cooperate on a number of long-term ballistic missile defense development projects to address common challenges in the region," Little said in a statement.

A U.S. Defense official added that U.S. involvement in the test -- which was planned and scheduled for more than a year -- was minor. While the test was a joint program, the Americans provided advice on how to build the target missile, explained the official.

The test is part of the joint U.S.-Israeli Arrow program. The United States funded $75 million of it this year, with an additional $52 million to be provided in 2014.

The Israelis are building a third phase of Arrow with U.S. help. This will be a high-altitude ballistic missile defense system more specifically capable of defending Israeli from a long-range Iranian or Syrian missile attack.

Successful test, Israeli ministry says

The Israel Defense Ministry said the Israel Missile Defense Organization and the U.S. Missile Defense Agency "completed a successful flight test of the new version of the Sparrow target missile."

"This is the first flight out test of this new version of the Sparrow, and was conducted at an Israeli test range over the Mediterranean Sea."

The missile launch occurred around 9:15 a.m., the defense ministry said.

"The Arrow weapon system's Super Green Pine radar successfully detected and tracked the target while transferring the information to the Citron Tree battle management control system. All the elements of the system performed according to their operational configuration," the ministry said.

The Defense Ministry said the main contractor for the integration and development of the Sparrow is Rafael, an Israeli company. The main contractor of the Arrow weapon system is MLM of the Israeli Aerospace Industries in conjunction with Boeing.

Arieh Herzog, former head of Israel's missile defense program, was present at the Israeli air force test facility in central Israel when the test was conducted. He said one missile was launched.

Israel was testing a new version of its Sparrow, air-launched, target missile. Basically, he said, it was a test of the new "target" for Israel's long-range defense system.

The missile simulated a real, incoming, long-range missile such as what the Iranians have developed with North Korea, Herzog said.

American personnel from the U.S. Missile Defense Agency watched the test but didn't launch it, Herzog said. The missile was air-launched by Israeli aircraft, he said.

Earlier, Russia announced that its early warning system detected the launch of two missiles in the sea. Russia's state-run news outlet RIA Novosti said the launch was detected Tuesday morning by radar in the southern Russian city of Armavir, citing a Defense Ministry spokesman.

"The targets' trajectories ran from the central to the eastern Mediterranean," RIA Novosti reported, citing the spokesman.

The targets fell into the sea, a diplomatic source in the Syrian capital of Damascus told RIA Novosti.

The news outlet later reported roles of Israel and the United States in the launches.

CNN's Michael Schwartz and Barbara Starr contributed to this report

™ & © 2013 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

 

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