Skip to comments.US Foreign Policy Takes 'Neo-Realist' Approach
Posted on 02/08/2006 6:51:11 PM PST by blam
US foreign policy takes 'neo-realist' approach
By Alec Russell in Washington
A shift in the Bush administration's approach to the world from "with us or against us" to diplomacy has led to the coinage of a new phrase - "neo-realism" - to describe the philosophy of the key figures behind the president's foreign policy.
Neo-realism is intended as a play on neo-conservatism, the belief in a muscular foreign policy that dominated the administration's thinking after the September 11 attacks.
Dick Cheney: 'We are obviously pursuing a diplomatic road'
The neo-realists are seen as pragmatists who seek aggressively to defend America's interests but to do it with a softer face.
To see how the tone has shifted in the last year there was no better insight than an interview on Tuesday night with vice-president Dick Cheney, once the administration's most outspoken hawk, on a flagship news show.
The backdrop was familiar: a hostile Middle Eastern nation appears to be striving to gain nuclear weapons; diplomats are talking of a showdown at the UN.
Less than four years ago such a scenario was the cue for Mr Cheney to put the case for action against Iraq.
On paper, the stage was set for a similar broadside against Iran. Instead, despite constant prodding, Mr Cheney would only say of the threat: "We think it's dangerous."
He added: "We are obviously pursuing a diplomatic road to resolve this matter. We think that's the way to go."
No one in Washington believes Mr Cheney has become a believer in the efficacy of multilateral diplomacy. Rather his comments reflect the shift in America's approach to the world - and in power in Washington - since Condoleezza Rice became secretary of state last January.
Keith Richburg, the foreign editor of the Washington Post, said the key change was in style rather than substance: "On front burner issues Condi has shown a willingness to roll up her sleeves and get involved.
"I guess in diplomacy the appearance is as important as the substance.
"It's better to have allies on board than to have them p****d off. It doesn't mean you have to change your policy."
The original neo-conservatives were liberals who backed a robust foreign policy against the Soviet Union.
More recently they have become known as pro-Israel hawks.
In the past few years, as their trademark policy, the war in Iraq, has become increasingly discredited, the word "neo-con" has become a catchall term of abuse of Mr Bush's first-term foreign policy aides.
As the unofficial high priestess of neo-realism, Ms Rice is backed by her deputy, Robert Zoellick and Nicholas Burns, the undersecretary of state for political affairs.
While sceptical of the chances of diplomacy brokering a solution to the Iranian crisis, neo-conservatives caution against talk of a sea-change.
Nonsense. Utter wishful thinking by the gutless European surrender monkeys. Bush is merely giving the EU whiners enought rope to hang themsleves with over Iran. Pretty soon they are going to be all out of excuses.
Sure hope that is the case!
Fox and Lion. I like it.
Oh yeah. Obvious. After listening to all the euro trash whine endlessly about Iraq, Bush is playing this smarter. He is not trusting what they say but is letting them paint themselves into a corner. Rope a dope just like with the Dim here.
Perhaps now that Europe is having their own problems they won't be snotty.
It sounds like a Neo-fascist Neo-Stalinist journalist wrote this article.
Yup. Iran's missiles with nukes can reach them, not us. Your call Europe.