The Liberal hawk/Neocon Alliance on Afghanistan

The National Interest‘s website features an article by senior editor Jacob Heilbrunn analyzing President Obama’s support from leading neoconservatives on his escalation of the War in Afghanistan:

President Obama, who pledged to bring bipartisanship to Washington, appears to have found one new ally on the Right: neoconservatives. On Tuesday, at the Mayflower Hotel, William Kristol and Robert Kagan held a maiden conference on Afghanistan to announce the formation of a new organization called the Foreign Policy Initiative. Speakers included John McCain and Jane Harman…The thrust of the conference was to support Obama’s pledge to ramp up the fight in Afghanistan — according to Fred Kagan, he, Obama, is sure to come under fire in the future for doing so — and to suppress any latent isolationist impulses that might manifest themselves in coming months and years…

Neoconservatism began as a movement within the Democratic Party. Jeane Kirkpatrick remained a Democrat during Reagan’s first term. It was only with Reagan that other neocons signed on to the GOP. With the younger generation of neocons, such as Kristol, matters were a little different. They were never Democrats. Nevertheless, they occupied a somewhat ambiguous position in the party. In the 1990s, Kagan was closer to Bill Clinton’s foreign policy of intervention in the Balkans than he was to anti-interventionists among the Republicans in Congress. Ditto for Kristol.

What’s more, the Iraq War saw the formation of a de facto alliance between liberal hawks, on the one side, and neocons, on the other. They are conjoined twins. Might that alliance, then, be replicated in the Obama administration?

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