Neocons, Realists…Now Meet Obama’s Foreign Policy Surrealists

This column was originally published in The Times of Israel.

How else does one describe Kerry, Brennan and Hagel, who so breezily substitute a wishful alternate reality for the obvious, menacing threats to America and the West?  Foreign policy is easy once one imagines away the threats. Unfortunately, these surrealists are taking charge of foreign policy and defense of America, not of Fantasy Island.

For some time, American foreign policy has been dominated by two camps. The neoconservatives advocate an idealistic, assertive promotion of liberty, democracy and American interests, including through military means. They are opposed by the self-described “realists” who advocate a pragmatic, realpolitik approach, focusing on power and material considerations.

The realists criticize the neocons for dreaming too big and overextending American power. The neocons criticize the realists for being amoral, disloyal to allies and Machiavellian. Both see the dangers facing America and the world with clear vision; they disagree in their approach to addressing those challenges.

So, where on the spectrum does one place President Obama’s new foreign policy team? Continue reading