Giuliani’s Macho Foreign Policy

Thomas Barnett has been generally pleased with Rudy Giuliani’s foreign policy platform but thinks he’s gone a bit far with his most recent speech.

Selling old Thatcher lines (“isn’t a time to go wobbly”) for pre-emptive war, resurrecting the ancient bit about Israel joining NATO ( and suggesting a bunch of Asian countries too, one supposes, to save them from Chinese domination), and tying it all off with a promise to bomb Iran if that’s what it takes to stop them from getting nukes (promising only to set back their program a few years).

It just all comes off as too quaint by half.

Out macho-ing the macho promises of others isn’t the way to sell his brand of foreign policy experience.

Seconded, with a not-so-minor quibble: What foreign policy experience?

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2008, National Security, , , ,
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.


  1. SoloD says:

    From his own mouth:

    “I’ve given security advice all over the world. I’m well known all over the world. So I didn’t feel like I needed foreign policy experience. I’ve had tremendous amount of involvement in foreign policy. ”

    -Rudy Giuliani

    Of course, urging that Israel and India should join NATO would seem to argue against listening to his advice.

  2. Tlaloc says:

    What foreign policy experience?

    True enough, although it’s not like most of the potential nominees on either side can take him to task given their own lack of bonafides.

  3. SoloD says:

    But there is a difference between not having the experience and not having the experience, but saying you do.

  4. Triumph says:

    True enough, although it’s not like most of the potential nominees on either side can take him to task given their own lack of bonafides.


    McCain – Kicked commie ass in Nam.

    Thompson– In addition to being a former president, he also did multiple tours in Nam, worked on the Manhattan Project, helped in the Drug War in Peru, was the CIA director, and Chief of Staff to the President.

    Romney – Head of the Olympic Committee-even though people in the US don’t really care about the Olympics, everyone else in the world does.

    Brownback– Member of the Helsinki Commission.

    Huckabee– Baptist minister; has experience with the most important foreign power–God.

    Democrat party:

    Hillary– Husband slept with Belinda Stronach.

    Obama– He doesn’t need foreign policy experience, since he practically IS foreign given the fact that he qualifies for Kenyan citizenship.

    Richardson– Best friends with Kim Jong Il, stopped the evil spy Wen Ho Lee.

    Edwards– Wears Italian loafers–the most knowledgable candidate on European tailors.

    Kucinich– Spent extensive time abroad, on the moon.

    Gravel– From Alaska, basically a foreign country.

  5. Beldar says:

    I think I read that he solved NYC’s fiscal problems by cracking down on those overdue parking tickets owed by U.N.-plated vehicles.

    Didn’t I?

    Triumph: You’re short-changing Fred there. Don’t forget that he was the U.S.N. Rear Admiral in command of the U.S.S. Enterprise carrier group in that defecting Russian sub incident. But otherwise a very comprehensive list, thank you.

  6. Tom Barnett says:

    His “brand” is that of a highly-networked city in a globalized world economy.

    It’s real, just very different from what we usually identify. Roughly 50% of the world lives in coastal megacities. Their networks are a profound, but poorly understood form of connectivity and policymaking.