August 20, 2014

Rick Santorum Shows Us the Strong and Weak Points of Republican Foreign Policy Thinking


As Republican candidates begin to define a foreign policy alternative to President Barack Obama, it’s useful to analyze an international affairs’ speech given by presidential candidate Rick Santorum.

I am not writing to praise or criticize him as an individual—I’m not backing any candidate—but to show where strategic ideas are going and where they should be going. Everything said regarding Santorum also applies to Newt Gingrich and Mitch Romney.

Santorum is the most conservative. Note that this speech was given to an Orthodox Jewish synagogue audience in all-important Florida before the primary there. Thus, Santorum might be expected to pander by proving that he’s the most extreme and militant candidate supporting Israel and on the Iran issue. In fact, he doesn’t do so but rather proposes a policy that Democrats and real liberals should also support.

Note well that he explicitly rejects a military attack on Iran There has been much foolish talk either about how an attack is a great idea or that it is a terrible notion that those crazy, warmongering Republicans eagerly embrace. That’ wrong on both counts.

Actually, Santorum proposes the kind of policy that Democrats and real liberals should support, too. At the same time, though, it shows how conservatives and Republicans are often careless when talking about foreign policy.

To read the rest of the article, click here.

About Barry Rubin

Prof. Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center, editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal, and a featured columnist for PajamasMedia at http://pajamasmedia.com/barryrubin/. His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley), and The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan)