"Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you”


Friday, March 27, 2009

The Neocons' New Lair

Thought the neocons were defeated once and for all in the Republicans' 2008 electoral defeat?

After highjacking America's foreign policy, launching preemptive and unecessary wars helping to bankrupt the global economy, you would be forgiven for thinking the Bill Kristols and Robert Kagan's would slink off into the dustbin of history. But you would be wrong.

They have found a new home. And it's called the Foreign Policy Initiative.

The organisation’s mission statement argues that the "United States remains the world’s indispensable nation," and warns that "strategic overreach is not the problem and retrenchment is not the solution" to Washington's current financial and strategic woes. It calls for "continued engagement - diplomatic, economic, and military - in the world and rejection of policies that would lead us down the path to isolationism."

The mission statement opens by listing a familiar litany of threats to the U.S., including "rogue states," "failed states," "autocracies" and "terrorism", but gives pride of place to the "challenges" posed by "rising and resurgent powers," of which only China and Russia are named.

Their prominence may reflect the influence of Kagan, who has argued in recent years that the 21st century will be dominated by a struggle between the forces of democracy (led by the U.S.) and autocracy (led by China and Russia).

A foreign policy dominated by fear and motivated by conflict? Perhaps this is out of step in the first months of an Obama Administration, but these characters know the current climate is unlikely to last for long. They may have retreated, but they've hardly surrendered.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

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