By Claire West
The gulf between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama on domestic policy may be vast, but on foreign policy the two men are cut from the same cloth, writes American political historian David Milne in the new issue of International Affairs.
Assessing the intellectual sources of the presidential candidates’ foreign policies, Milne finds Romney and Obama, both graduates of Harvard Law School, to be results-driven pragmatists whose similiarities on foreign affairs far outweigh their differences.
It is problematic for Romney that he is running against an incumbent now regarded as tough and experienced when it comes to foreign policy, particularly following the raid that killed Osama bin Laden. Indeed, says Milne, Romney is rarely less convincing than when seeking to 'out-hawk' Obama on facing down Iran, Russia and China.
Despite his bellicose campaign rhetoric, it is probable that Romney will follow the opposite trajectory to George W. Bush, rejecting the strident values-laden rhetoric of the last two Republican administrations. As Reagan in his second term, Romney would be likely to act in ways different from how he talks. Read full article here.
Also in this issue, Richard J. Aldrich and John Kasaku find that eleven years after 9/11 the intelligence machine of the US and its allies is certainly bigger - costing over $100 billion a year - but not necessarily better.
They argue that American intelligence culture continues to privilege old-fashioned strategic analysis and exhibits a technocratic approach to non-traditional security threats, epitomized by the accelerated use of drone strikes and data-mining. Aldrich and Kasaku believe that in the changing security environment, the strategic culture of the world’s most significant military power is outmoded and in need of a rethink.