How many wars are we fighting?

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Republican Foreign-Policy Fight Heats Up

Albert R. Hunt is a Bloomberg View columnist. He was the executive editor of Bloomberg News, before which he was a reporter, bureau chief and executive Washington editor at the Wall Street Journal.
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Senator Bob Corker, the Tennessee Republican who is about to become chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, left no doubt -- diplomatically -- that he is at odds with the foreign policy views of Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, a leading Republican 2016 presidential candidate.

"I have a different point of view on the role of the United States in the world probably than Senator Paul does," Corker said during an interview for Thursday's "Charlie Rose" program, while adding : "I actually enjoy hearing differing points of view."

Paul, who believes U.S. policy has been too interventionist, yesterday sought to force a vote in the Foreign Relations Committee on authorizing the war against Islamic State. Committee leaders accepted a compromise that will lead to a hearing and classified briefing next week, then a vote in the committee. The full Senate will not vote on this measure during the current lame duck session, Corker suggested, but probably will early next year.

Corker is an internationalist who turns for advice to the likes of Henry Kissinger. A number of like-minded Republicans are worried about the ascendancy of Paul, whom they view as a neo-isolationist, a label Paul rejects.

"We're obviously in a different place," Corker said. "It's always with interest that I hear his point of view."

The full interview will be rebroadcast on Bloomberg Television tonight.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg View's editorial board or Bloomberg LP, its owners and investors.

To contact the author on this story:
Albert R. Hunt at

To contact the editor on this story:
Tobin Harshaw at