Top Neocon Max Boot: Obama 'Continuing and Expanding' Bush's Foreign Policy
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This post originally appeared in PEEK.
I feel like this story can be written pretty much any time President Obama makes any major foreign policy announcement. It happened shortly after the election when Obama unveiled his foreign policy team and the neocons and other Republicans sang his praises. It happened with his Iraq plan, when some of his most vocal fans were the likes of John McCain and Mitch McConnell. Now, Obama’s Afghanistan surge is the subject of a love letter from neocon heavy-hitter and former McCain adviser Max Boot. Writing for Commentary, Boot said Obama’s Afghanistan approach “was pretty much all that supporters of the war effort could have asked for, and probably pretty similar to what a President McCain would have decided on.”
It would be nice if Obama had spoken a bit more positively about the outcome in Iraq now that that it has become, like Afghanistan, “his” war.
But that’s a minor quibble about rhetoric. The substance of policy is more important, and on that ground Obama is solid.
The big news -- though it had been apparent for some time -- is that Obama is eschewing those who argue for a major downsizing of our efforts to focus on a narrow counter-terrorism strategy of simply picking off individual bad guys. Instead, Obama is embracing a more wide-ranging counterinsurgency strategy focused on enhancing “the military, governance, and economic capacity of Afghanistan and Pakistan.”
To cap it all off, Boot said Obama is “essentially continuing and expanding [Bush’s foreign] policy.”
Jeremy Scahill is the author of Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army .