Tuesday, September 2, 2008

McCain: foreign policy radical

Gideon Rachman, FT's chief foreign affairs correspondent, speculates about McCain's foreign policy. His analysis rings true to me.

Opinion polls consistently show that the American public has more faith in Mr McCain as commander-in-chief. He looks like the safe choice for dangerous times.

But this is wrong. Mr McCain will not run a “safe” foreign policy. He adores rolling the dice. [...]

The Obama camp argue that Mr McCain will simply continue with the policies of President George W. Bush. The comparison is certainly interesting. In some ways, Mr McCain is a more reassuring figure – because he is curious and has thought hard about foreign policy for many years. But in other respects, Mr McCain might make Mr Bush look like a cautious softie. [...]

Mr McCain’s policies on Iran, Russia and China are more hawkish even than those of the Bush administration.

That matches this blog's opinion of McCain. This blog also agrees that Iran and Russia should be confronted, and that Obama's campaign is wrongly painting McCain as similar to Bush. But I must strongly disagree on the issue of China.

In an earlier blog post "Just the Facts", we see how China (and India) are simply going to be impossible to ignore. Engagement (rather than confrontation) with China is critical for the United States, as China industrializes and grows, and experiences growing pains.

The futures of China and the United States are intertwined, and I hope McCain is wise enough to see that. Foreign Affairs' piece echoes this, suggesting a "G-2" partnership of equals with China. The past seven US presidents have followed a policy of engagement with China, and we should continue to do so.

1 comment:

Deena said...

The current administration is hawkish on China? I've never had that impression. Also, can it really be said they are hawkish on Russia? Until the Georgia incident it seemed that they were going out of their way to avoid confrontation.