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June 26, 2008

Critiquing McCain's Foreign Policy in a Nutshell
Posted by Ilan Goldenberg

David Morgan's article today in Reuters really nails McCain's foreign policy vulnerability.  Three major points.  The first, McCain has a reckless and dangerous foreign policy.  Ted Galen Carpenter of the CATO Institute states:

"John McCain is almost a wholly owned subsidiary of the neoconservative movement when it comes to foreign policy," Carpenter said.

"The Democrats have to go on the offensive and stay on the offensive. The message has to be: John McCain and his foreign policy team are very, very dangerous for America," he added. "A worried American electorate on that score might very well shy away from McCain."

Second, the McCain foreign policy is internally inconsistent and often makes little sense.

They cite for instance McCain's call for Russia to be excluded from the Group of Eight major industrialized nations as a neoconservative position that could inhibit his more moderate call for arms reduction talks with Moscow.

Neoconservative idealism also appears to be behind his idea that world affairs could be addressed through a League of Democracies, analysts say, despite the U.S. need to work with autocratic countries including Egypt and Saudi Arabia on vital issues including oil, Middle East peace and terrorism.

Finally, there is the obvious point that on many of the most critical issues of war and peace, most notably Iran and Iraq, John McCain is pushing the exact same policy as George Bush.  The media continues to assert that foreign policy is somehow McCain's strong suit, but it's really hard to imagine that a consistent argument along the lines above won't resonate completely with the American public and do great damage to this supposed strength.


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