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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

McCain’s New Cold War

This morning’s most important read, by John Judis at The New Republic, is about the kind of foreign policy John McCain would likely operate as president of the United States. It’s not a very reassuring picture. McCain’s neoconservative advisors are one problem, and his League of Democracies fixation is another:

[T]he greatest problem with McCain’s division of the world is that it threatens to become a self-fulfilling prophecy. McCain isn’t advocating a new cold war, but, if he initiated a global struggle against autocracy by founding a League of Democracies, the resulting split would roughly reproduce the cold war confrontation between West and East. By building a new organization that excludes Russia and China, the United States would create gratuitous tensions with these countries. Even without such provocation, U.S. and European relations with Russia have been growing more fractious since 2002, and McCain’s approach threatens to exacerbate them in particular.

But perhaps the biggest problem, says Judis, is that McCain’s highly temperamental personality tends to disproportionately affect his foreign policy thinking, leading him to “personalize foreign policy conflicts.” His powerful hatred of Vladimir Putin and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, for example, could have a big impact on a McCain presidency’s behavior.
Please read the whole thing, particularly if you are one of those folks who flirts with the idea of voting for McCain because of his experience in foreign policy.

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