Campfire Blog

Some Notes From CNN’s Hodge Podge of Political Minds

International order is not an evolution, it is an imposition—Robert Kagan

One of the top stories on CNN right now is a handful of excerpts from political types with varying opinions and focus. Here are some things that stood out:

I love that line by Brookings senior fellow Robert Kagan about evolution v imposition. The entire world is not just going to wake up one morning and decide collectively that we, as a species, have fully evolved past violence and irrationalities. That’s fantasy world stuff. To quote Hillary Clinton making fun of Barack Obama, I don’t think “the skies will open, the light will come down, celestial choirs will be singing and everyone will know we should do the right thing and the world will be perfect.” The world needs the United States to, as Kagan says, prevent the world from descending into catastrophe and chaos, the likes of which existed before the rise of America into superpower status.

Here is some of what Michele Flournoy, undersecretary of defense for the Obama administration, had to say about gutting military spending:

After more than a decade of deficit spending, mounting national debt and the global financial crisis, we must shore up the U.S. economy as the foundation of our prosperity and security. This will require hard choices to bring government spending and revenues into balance while still investing in the long-term drivers of U.S. economic competitiveness.

Republicans and Democrats have been unable to reach consensus on how to make these hard choices, bringing Congress to a standstill. The super-committee’s failure to reach agreement on deficit reduction highlighted another more worrisome deficit — one of political courage, vision and classic American pragmatism. These qualities are sorely needed at a time when partisan ideological discipline seems to have trumped the other nobler forms of discipline that have made this country great.

Let me translate this incoherent flowery rhetoric: Weaken America’s military.

Patrick M. Cronin from the Center for a New American Security, notes that this campaign hasn’t really focused on anything that is happening in Asia. He also has this to say:

It is worth noting that President Obama’s Asia team in a second term would probably lack its most able senior official: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who has made her preference for returning to private life abundantly clear.

It is also worth noting that the Obama administration’s “most able senior official” just humiliated the United States by seeking forgiveness from a band of Islamists who just murdered four Americans including our ambassador. I’m interested to know what a lesser-able person would have done. Sent flowers?


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