Ricochet is the best place on the internet to discuss the issues of the day, either through commenting on posts or writing your own for our active and dynamic community in a fully moderated environment. In addition, the Ricochet Audio Network offers over 50 original podcasts with new episodes released every day.
Much to the chagrin of a media that had been enjoying an almost entirely content-free election, Senator Ted Cruz has had occasion to speak and write about foreign policy. He has also announced, rather than an adviser or two, a vast “National Security Coalition” of almost two dozen names (immediately denounced by the media as neocons, Islamaphobes, and Likudniks). I don’t know enough about the Kremlinology of the foreign policy establishment to draw any conclusions from this array of names, but I trust other Ricochetti will be able to shine some light.
One influence Cruz has mentioned explicitly is Jeane Kirkpatrick, and, in particular, her (in)famous 1979 “Dictatorships and Double Standards” essay in Commentary. The lesson he appears to draw from it is that the US does not win by replacing dictators with terrorists. He views with favour, for example, Netanyahu’s stance on the civil war in Syria: i.e., don’t support either side.
When Cruz can restrain himself, he refuses to be drawn on the specifics of military intervention: being Commander-in-Chief is not a game of Risk, but a matter of setting an objective (“kill the terrorists and come home”) and letting the relevant folks suggest whatever is necessary and required. When he can’t restrain himself, he talks of arming the Pershmerga, including Jordanian and Egyptian military in operations, ordering “non-photo-op airstrikes” (or even the notorious “carpet-bombing”), and giving South Korea missile defences. Additionally, he says Putin is a KGB thug with a simple goal of re-establishing the Soviet Union (geographically rather than ideologically), and embarrassing the US whenever opportunity presents.
Generally, Cruz sees the present moment as being as dangerous for the world as the one the it faced after Munich in 1938. Cruz’s formula for a “truly conservative foreign policy” is:
- Preserve the country by exerting leadership on the global stage, not withdraw from it.
- Fiercely defend allies and interests.
- Judge each challenge through the simple test of what is best for America. Because what is best for America is best for the world.
I could speculate on what all this might mean for a “Cruz Doctrine” — and I encourage you to do so — but I think this gives a flavour of an approach somewhere between Obama, George W. Bush, and Ron Paul. I look forward to the experts enlightening me on where I am horribly wrong.Published in