Nearly ten years after seizing control of Republican foreign policy, neoconservatives and other hawks appear to be losing it.More at the link.
That is at least the tentative conclusion of a number of political analysts following Monday’s first nationally televised debate of the party’s declared Republican candidates — none of whom defended the current U.S. engagement in Libya, while several suggested it was time to pare down Washington’s global military engagements, including in Afghanistan.
“This sure isn’t the Republican Party of George Bush, [former Vice President] Dick Cheney, and [former Pentagon chief] Donald Rumsfeld,” exulted one liberal commentator, Michael Tomasky, in the Daily Beast. “The neocons are gone.”..
Of particular note during the debate was a comment about Afghanistan by former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, who is widely acknowledged to be the current front-runner in the Republican field.
“It’s time for us to bring our troops home as soon as we possibly can, consistent with the word that comes to our generals that we can hand the country over to the [Afghan] military in a way that they’re able to defend themselves,” Romney said, adding, perhaps fatefully, “I also think we’ve learned that our troops shouldn’t go off and try and fight a war of independence for another nation.”
What precisely he meant by the latter sentence was left unclear, but it was sufficiently negative for one prominent neoconservative, Danielle Pletka, to tell Politico that her inbox had been flooded Tuesday morning with emails calling Romney’s remarks a “disaster.”..
Since the mid-1970′s, Republicans have been divided between aggressive nationalists, like Cheney, and Israel-centered neoconservatives — who also enjoyed the support of the Christian Right — on the one hand, and isolationists and foreign-policy realists on the other. The balance of power between the two groups has shifted more than once in the nearly four decades since...
But the Sep 2008 financial crisis — and the economic distress it caused — laid the groundwork for the resurgence of the party’s realist-isolationist wing, according to political analysts.
“The economic duress is undermining the national greatness project of Bill Kristol and the neocons,” according to Steve Clemons, a national-security expert at the New America Foundation (NAF), whose washingtonnote.com blog is widely read here.
“What we are seeing evolve among Republicans is a hybrid realism with some isolationist strains that believes the costs of American intervention in the world at the rate of the last decade simply can’t be sustained,” wrote Clemons...
Just last week, the Pew Research Center released its latest poll on U.S. foreign policy attitudes which found that “the current measure of isolationist sentiment is among the highest recorded” in more than 50 years..."
17 June 2011
Neocons and Republican foreign policy
An interesting post at The Desk of Brian suggests that the foreign policy espoused by the Republican party is undergoing changes from within: