Could A Presidential Candidate Write This?

Nik Gvosdev shares some excerpts from a forthcoming piece in The National Interest by former Secretary of State James Baker. The money quote:

American might, however, is not limitless. The history of empires and great powers from Rome onwards provides an important lesson. power must be husbanded carefully. It is precious and finite. Spreading it too thinly can lead to disaster. Choices still matter. We must be able to differentiate between our preferences and our priorities, between what is essential to preserve U.S. national security and what is only desirable.

This is so obvious as to be axiomatic. Yet, Nik headlines the piece, “Could A Republican (or Democratic) Candidate Write This?”

Having read the foreign policy manifestos of Rudy Giuliani, John Edwards, Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, and Bill Richardson, it appears not.

All either truly believe or feel the need to promise that they can solve all the world’s problems through military power, charity spending, and good cop/bad cop diplomacy. Unfortunately, the world doesn’t work that way.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.