Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Mitt Romney's Neocon Foreign Policy

Since when is Russia America's "No. 1" geopolitical foe? The Soviet Empire collapsed almost overnight in 1989, when the realist George H. W. Bush administration helped engineer a soft landing not by engaging in triumphalism but, rather, by engaging in diplomacy with the Kremlin. Soon after, Russia itself went under—or, to put it more precisely, the Bolshevik regime that had launched a coup d'etat in 1917 also disintegrated. The communist threat was over. Cold warriors couldn't believe it.

Ever since, a small and rather truculent neocon cohort has somewhat contradictorily been claiming credit for the collapse of the Soviet Union, on the one hand, and predicting dire threats from Russia on the other. They want both credit and saber rattling. They want the appearance of the threat without the substance. Sen. John McCain, for example, has been a stalwart member of this camp. He is what might be called a nostalgist. Nostalgists just can't let go.

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