He seems to think he can magically unite the two main strands in the foreign-policy establishment. He can't.
On March 26, McCain gave a speech on foreign policy in Los Angeles that was billed as his most comprehensive statement on the subject. It contained within it the most radical idea put forward by a major candidate for the presidency in 25 years. Yet almost no one noticed.
In his speech McCain proposed that the United States expel Russia from the G8, the group of advanced industrial countries. Moscow was included in this body in the 1990s to recognize and reward it for peacefully ending the cold war on Western terms, dismantling the Soviet empire and withdrawing from large chunks of the old Russian Empire as well. McCain also proposed that the United States should expand the G8 by taking in India and Brazil—but pointedly excluded China from the councils of power.
[...] What McCain has announced is momentous—that the United States should adopt a policy of active exclusion and hostility toward two major global powers. It would reverse a decades-old bipartisan American policy of integrating these two countries into the global order, a policy that began under Richard Nixon (with Beijing) and continued under Ronald Reagan (with Moscow). It is a policy that would alienate many countries in Europe and Asia who would see it as an attempt by Washington to begin a new cold war.
Cold war, hot war, mox nix. McCain'll have 'em both.
[...] His speech reads like it was written by two very different people, each one given an allotment of a few paragraphs on every topic.
The neoconservative vision within the speech is essentially an affirmation of ideology. Not only does it declare war on Russia and China, it places the United States in active opposition to all nondemocracies. [...]
Declaring war on Russia and China. One guess how that's gonna work out...
McCain appears to think that he can magically unite the two main strands in the Republican foreign-policy establishment. But he can't. This is not about personalities but about two philosophically divergent views of international affairs. Put together, they will produce infighting and incoherence. We have seen this movie before. We have watched an American president unable to choose between his ideologically driven vice president and his pragmatic secretary of State—and the result was the catastrophe of George W. Bush's first term. [...]
The second Bush term is even worse, and the third Bush term will be worse than that.