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Future U.S. foreign policy from two different ideological perspectives
Posted by: McQ on Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Foreign Affairs has published articles from two presidential candidates outlining their foreign policy ideas if they are elected president. One comes from Rudy Giuliani and the other from John Edwards.

To this point, I've only been able to skim them, but I'm struck by the different tone, perspective and premises of each article. I hope to remark on each in detail in the near future (I simply don't have the time at the moment), but they are something you should read. Feel free to leave your thoughts concerning each in the comment section. A question to ponder and answer - which of the two give you more confidence that the author has a good handle on the problems facing the US in the future and why? Another: Which set of priorities seem better and why?
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Previous Comments to this Post 

My comments on Giuliani’s piece here. I am, shall we say, significantly less than impressed.
Written By: James Joyner
I’ll read then over lunch, and try and give a quick rundown, but it might have to wait till after I get home...
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
I remember Henry Kissinger stating that there were two basic underlying attitudes that one might take regarding foreign policy. He took one and Zibignew Bryzinski took the other.
I remember agreeing with Kissinger’s view and being suspicious of the view presented by Bryzinski and that their views were analogous to those of Giuliani and Edwards respectively. Now if I could just remember what those attitudes were...
Written By: &amp
URL: http://
Matthew Yglesias does a pretty good job of representing the Bryzinski point of view:
‚ÄĚRudy Giuliani’s Foreign Affairs essay really is a bit of a revelation. To understand it, I think you need to understand the broader context of the political dilemmas he’s facing. One is the simple dilemma all the Republican contenders face — namely that the conservative base remains fanatically committed to a grandiose view of "the war on terror" that most Americans have grown disillusioned with. ... the Hugh Hewitt crowd, the Rush Limbaugh listeners, the Glenn Beck fans, and that whole lot still, in essence, want to see a bloody, bloody, bloody foreign policy.

Giuliani’s treatment of the concept of "peace" and the concept of "realism" are striking. ...He opposes... the realist concept of peace in which the United States and other countries choose to make deal (sic) that reconcile our interests through positive-sum collaboration rather than through negative-sum military conflict. Lots of people on the left have some qualms about realism, sometimes rightly so, but this core notion isn’t something any liberal worth his salt objects to.

You preserve peace by seeking diplomatic arrangements that accommodate everyone’s interests, thus avoiding conflict. Giuliani doesn’t believe that. He believes Bush abandonned (sic) "a decadelong — and counterproductive — strategy of defensive reaction in favor of a vigorous offense." Counterproductive is key here. Giuliani thinks that "we must understand that our enemies are emboldened by signs of weakness" so any expressed desire to cut deals actually undermines our safety and invites attack.

The result is a chilling vision of a world where peace can only be achieved through American military domination.

Needless to say, this approach has already been put to the test and failed. Its advocates — including Norm Podhoretz — have treated to this kind of fantasy world where we’re going to "bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran" as a substitute for the invasions we can’t pull off. ...The result of this policy is going to be an endless series of wars, a bankrupt country accounting for way more than fifty percent of world defense expenditures, fewer and fewer countries willing to cooperate with us on key priorities and, perhaps worst of all, more and more nuclear proliferation as countries decide its not safe to live in a world where the Rudy-led USA is the big kid on the block.
Written By: &amp
URL: http://

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