Obama or Palin: The Neocons Win Either Way

If you think that Obama and Palin are polar opposites, think again. As Mark Brady points out, Obama has pretty much endorsed their world policing agenda through his Afghan surge. So too has Sarah Palin.

In an open letter, the heroine of the town-hall rabble rousers embraces Obama’s Afghan policy, albeit adding some gentle criticism. Co-signed by such neocon stalwarts as William Kristol (her debate coach), David Frum, and Max Boot, the letter asserts that Obama needs to do even more to escalate the war in Afghanistan:

“we urge you to continue on the path you have taken thus far and give our commanders on the ground the forces they need to implement a successful counterinsurgency strategy. There is no middle course. Incrementally committing fewer troops than required would be a grave mistake and may well lead to American defeat. We will not support half-measures that repeat the errors of the past.”

Last year, it seemed that spectacular failures in foreign policy had finally discredited the neocons. The reality this year could not be more different. The neocons not only landed on their feet after Obama’s victory but are stronger than ever before.

If the Republicans nominate Palin in 2012 (even if they don’t), we can look forward to a non-debate on foreign policy comparable to the Cold War harmonies of Kennedy v. Nixon in 1960. It looks like the advocates of muscular Wilsonianism have safely co-opted the town halls for the cause.

David Beito is a Research Fellow at The Independent Institute and editor of the Independent book, The Voluntary City: Choice, Community, and Civil Society (with Peter Gordon and Alexander Tabarrok).
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