Friday, September 13, 2013

Good Syria Analysis From Walter Russell Mead

Mead explains President Obama's "bumblefucking*" Syria strategy through the lens of his spectrum theory of foreign policy:

Longtime readers will know that I divide American foreign policy into four schools of thought. Hamiltonians (well represented among the old Republican foreign policy establishment) want the United States to follow the trail blazed by Great Britain in its day: to build a global commercial and security system based on sea power and technological leadership, maintaining a balance of power in key geopolitical theaters and seeking to attract rivals or potential rivals like China into our system as, in Robert Zoellick’s phrase, “responsible stakeholders.” Wilsonians also want the United States to build a world order, but to anchor it in liberal human rights practices and international law rather than in the economic and security frameworks that Hamiltonians prefer. Those two globalist schools dominate the foreign policy establishment’s thought about the world we live in, and have done so since the 1940s.

There are two other schools that are home-focused rather than globalist. They are less interested in changing the world around the United States than in keeping the United States safe from the world. Jeffersonians have historically sought to avoid war and foreign entanglements at all costs; Jacksonians have been suspicious of foreign adventures, but strongly believe in national defense and support a strong military and want decisive action against any threat to the United States, its honor, or its treaty allies. Jeffersonians are generally opposed to almost any war other than a war of self defense following a direct enemy attack; Jacksonians aren’t interested in global transformation but will generally back robust American responses to anything they see as a security threat or a threat to America’s honor and reputation abroad.

Click the link to read the rest. Mead concludes that Obama lost the Jacksonians through his fecklessness in regards to Afghanistan and especially Libya - - and the Jacksonians are the most warlike of all Americans. No American President can win a war without their enthusiastic support.

*Term coined by Jon Stewart to describe Obama's Syria policy:

1 comment:

Old NFO said...

Good article and on the money! And I 'like' the term for BO's hose job...