For John, BLUF: We are undergoing a foreign policy review in this nation, and the Republicans, for their part, are doing it more or less in the open. Nothing to see here; just move along.
Quoting from Foreign Policy Magazine's Blog, "The E-Ring",♠ we have this item to chew over:
Susan Eisenhower told the E-Ring she got to know Scowcroft through her mentor, the late Gen. Andrew Goodpaster, former NATO supreme allied commander and superintendent of West Point. Nearly 30 years later, she said of Scowcroft, “I don’t know what Washington would do without him, frankly. He’s one of those people you can rely on for clear thinking and good sense.” Neither of which, she said, there is enough of these days. “We’ve been suffering from this for a while.”What was that all about? Susan Eisenhower is an Independent who endorsed Barack Obama, twice. It turns out that the intelligentsia sees a split within the Republican Party on the issue of foreign policy. It was discussed this AM in an article in The New York Times, written by Reporter Michael D Shear. The reporter divides the Republican party into "the internationalists who held sway under the elder President George Bush and the neoconservatives who led the country to long and costly wars in Iraq and Afghanistan under President George W. Bush." The fear is that someone like Senator Rand Paul is pushing for a new isolationist approach to US foreign policy. The essential nation becoming the indifferent nation.
“Since I’m a centrist, I gravitate immediately toward General Scowcroft’s worldview,” Eisenhower added. “I think he’s a national treasure in the sense that younger people coming along need to look to General Scowcroft and his immediate associates to see that there is a vital intellectual case for the middle ground. You don’t have to be on one extreme or the other to be associated with great ideas.”
On the other hand, why is it our job to fix the problems of the rest of the world, problems that have festered for centuries and which the participants don't necessarily want our help, especially if our offered solution goes against their self interests. As both Iraq and Afghanistan show us, it is a complicated world out there.
The article concludes with this comment by General Scowcroft:
"I feel sympathy for them today, because in some ways it's a much more complicated world," he said. "I don't know that it's a more dangerous world, but it's a more complicated world."I think that the General has hit on a very important point. It is a less dangerous world than it was 25 years ago, but it is also much more complicated.
Regards — Cliff
♠ In Pentagonese, the E-Ring is the power ring of the five rings that make up the building. This construction allows for more office windows, since the inner rings actually allow some daylight to filter in. The E-Ring is the ring where all those with status have their offices, since these are the offices that actually look out across the world, toward DC, Crystal City or Arlington Cemetery.