Mark Whittington: Sarah Palin a Modern Cold War Hero in the Making

In a piece at Associated Content with the above title, Mark Whittington takes a closer look at Governor Palin’s new foreign policy advisor, Peter Schweizer:

It is considered unusual for a former governor who holds no public office and is not currently running for another to have a foreign policy adviser. But Sarah Palin, not known for being conventional, has chosen Peter Schweizer for that job.


One can make the obvious analogies. Schweizer may be Palin’s version of Condoleeza Rice or, even, Henry Kissinger, the power behind the throne who helped shape foreign policy in a White House second only to the president. Palin has not even announced a run for the presidency, not to speak of actually winning the office. But it may well be that we already know whom her National Security Adviser will be should she attain the Oval Office.

This suggests that a President Palin’s foreign policy will be at once less and more aggressive than what has been conducted during the past 10 years. Noting the five-point “Palin Doctrine” articulated recently, there would be fewer deployments of conventional American forces overseas. Those that occur will be engaged in sharp, overwhelming campaigns of limited duration and clear, measurable goals. These campaigns would more resemble Grenada during the Reagan administration and Panama and the Gulf War during the first Bush administration than Afghanistan, Iraq, or especially Libya.

At the same time, a President Palin would strike at the enemies of the United States, such as Iran, and assist her friends with a whole panoply of tools, ranging from economic sanctions, diplomatic pressure, and support for protesters and insurgents. In short, Palin would deal with Iran, Syria and North Korea, among other countries, the same way Reagan dealt with the Soviet Union, as Schweizer chronicled in his book on Reagan’s strategy to end the communist regime in Russia, “Victory: The Reagan Administration’s Secret Strategy That Hastened the Collapse of the Soviet Union.”

Palin would learn from the successes of Reagan’s Cold War strategy and adapt it for the realities of the 21st Century.

Read the remainder of Whittington’s article here. As Whittington and others have noted, Governor Palin’s foreign policy leanings more closely resemble the classic conservatism such as that espoused by Ronald Reagan.  When intellectually lazy establishment pundits like Jennifer Rubin claim the only alternatives to Obama’s foreign policy of weakness and incoherence is the isolationism of Ron Paul or the adventurous (and expensive) actions of neo-cons like herself and Bill Kristol, she is displaying a notable ignorance of history.  Not only are the aggressive escapades in nation building advocated by Rubin, Kristol, and their ilk an exercise in futility, we can ill-afford them when we’re in excess of $14 trillion in debt.  Governor Palin is and always has been a conservative in the classic sense on foreign policy, and the addition of Peter Schweizer will serve her well going forward. For more on the addition of Mr. Schweizer to Governor Palin’s team, see here and here.

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