Archive for the ‘Thompson (R)’ Category

There is a surreal quality to many of the foreign policy arguments being put forward in the 2008 presidential campaign, particularly among Republican presidential hopefuls. The Bush Administration’s fiasco in Iraq is a transformative event that calls for a fundamental re-thinking of US security strategy. The policies of “preventive” war, forward basing of US troops aimed at intimidating designated adversaries and unbridled support for missile defense and new nuclear weapons should all be cast aside in search of a new approach.

While scrupulously avoiding reference to George W. Bush by name, the top Republican candidates have embraced the worst aspects of his national security policies. No matter how badly things go in Iraq, Senator John McCain has stubbornly adhered to his ill-advised position on the war. Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani has cast himself as the post-9/11 tough guy, advocating not only a “stay the course” policy in Iraq but also the use of force against Iran. One of Mitt Romney’s most memorable pledges is his call to “double Guantánamo,” while his main defense plank is a promise to increase the armed forces by 100,000 troops. Former Tennessee senator and Law and Order district attorney Fred Thompson is trying to run to the right of the other major Republican candidates, and his foreign policy positions reflect that decision. Perhaps most important for the long term, all the Republican front-runners support maintaining a large and growing US global military presence, including expansion into the heart of the Muslim world.

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