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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Tom ClancySpy thriller writer Tom Clancy, whose best-selling books became blockbuster films, has died, his publisher said Wednesday. He was 66.

Clancy's publisher, the Penguin Group, said the author died in Baltimore on Tuesday. The written statement did not indicate the cause of death.

Clancy's 1984 novel "The Hunt for Red October" propelled him to fame, fortune and status as a favorite storyteller of the American military. Sean Connery and Alec Baldwin brought the Cold War drama to life in the big screen in 1990.

"Spending time with Tom prior to shooting was the best part of that whole experience for me," Baldwin said Wednesday. "Tom was smart, a great story teller and a real gentleman."

Harrison Ford took the big screen role of CIA analyst Jack Ryan in "Patriot Games and "Clear and Present Danger." Ben Affleck was cast as Ryan for "The Sum of All Fears."

"I'm deeply saddened by Tom's passing," said Penguin executive David Shanks, who worked with Clancy on each of his novels, quoted in the company's statement. "He was a consummate author, creating the modern-day thriller, and was one of the most visionary storytellers of our time. I will miss him dearly and he will be missed by tens of millions of readers worldwide."

"Command Authority," his last book, is due to be published by G.P. Putnam's Sons in December, the company said. Putnam is an imprint of the Penguin Group.

"It was an honor to know Tom Clancy and to work on his fantastic books," said Ivan Held, president and publisher of G.P. Putnam's Sons. "He was ahead of the news curve and sometimes frighteningly prescient. To publish a Tom Clancy book was a thrill every time. He will be missed by everyone at Putnam and Berkley, and by his fans all over the world."

A Baltimore-born former insurance agent, Clancy was known for writing meticulous thrillers focusing on political intrigue and military tactics and technology.

Seventeen of his 28 books appeared on the New York Times best-sellers list, according to his website. Many of them reached the No. 1 spot.

His writings also provided the inspiration for the "Rainbow Six," "Ghost Recon" and "Splinter Cell," video game series.

His writing gained him a loyal following within the armed forces in the United States and abroad, giving him inside access that frequently informed the plots of his books. But in a 2003 CNN interview, Clancy said he was always careful not to reveal classified information or sensitive details of how the elite troops he often wrote about operated.

"I'll never decide for commercial reasons to put something in that endangers our national security. You just can't do that," he said in a 2003 CNN interview. "There was one thing, I discussed with a friend of mine in the Royal Navy. I told him a story I knew, and he said, 'Well, Tom, you may never repeat that, as long as you live.' And I haven't."

CNN's Oliver Janney, Marc Balinsky and Rachel Wells contributed to this report

 

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