The Return of the Humble Foreign Policy

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
June 14 2011 8:03 AM

The Return of the Humble Foreign Policy

MANCHESTER, N.H. -- So little time was spent on foreign policy last night that I didn't see much about it in debate wraps. Looking over the answers now, I notice that they were more skeptical, more bearish on foreign intervention, than anything we heard from Republicans in the post-9/11 years.


David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 


I also think we've learned that our troops shouldn't go off and try and fight a war of independence for another nation.  Only the Afghanis can win Afghanistan's independence from the Taliban.


I think that we should say to the generals we  would like to figure out to get out as rapid as possible with the safety  of the troops involved.  And we had better find new and very different  strategies because this is too big a problem for us to deal with the  American ground forces in direct combat.  


If it's not in the vital interest of  America,  To paraphrase my grandmother, with the situation in Libya and  many of these other situations, they're not simple situations.


Our policy in Libya is substantially flawed.  It's interesting.   President Obama's own people said that he was leading from behind.  The  United States doesn't lead from behind.  As commander in chief, I would  not lead from behind.     We are the head.  We are not the tail.  The president was wrong.  All we  have to know is the president deferred leadership in Libya to France.   That's all we need to know.

The Bachmann answer is more of a word potpourri than the others, yes, but read literally she seems to be saying the United States was dragged into a folly of a war by France. Which means she and the other candidates onstage take a position to the left of John McCain, Lindsey Graham, et al. Pawlenty and Santorum were more boosterish of American power, but they got different questions -- and they were nowhere near as bullish as, say, McCain was was about the surge.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 


Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore

And schools are getting worried.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

The XX Factor

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.


Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

Why a Sketch of Chelsea Manning Is Stirring Up Controversy

How Worried Should Poland, the Baltic States, and Georgia Be About a Russian Invasion?

Trending News Channel
Sept. 19 2014 1:11 PM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM -30-
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 11:33 AM Planned Parenthood Is About to Make It a Lot Easier to Get Birth Control
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
Brow Beat
Sept. 20 2014 3:21 PM “The More You Know (About Black People)” Uses Very Funny PSAs to Condemn Black Stereotypes
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 5:03 PM White House Chief Information Officer Will Run U.S. Ebola Response
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 20 2014 7:00 AM The Shaggy Sun
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.