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Career civil service mostly, such as the former Ambassador to Ukraine, John Herbst and  Geoffrey R. Pyatt.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Feb 12th, 2015 at 02:32:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Seems to me "neocon" is one of those words that lose meaning in their overuse. I was taken to task over this by MarekNYC (whose absence from ET is greatly to be regretted), so here's a Wikipedia definition to chew on:

Neoconservatism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The term "neoconservative" refers to those who made the ideological journey from the anti-Stalinist left to the camp of American conservatism.[2] Neoconservatives frequently advocate the "assertive" promotion of democracy and promotion of "American national interest" in international affairs including by means of military force.[3][4] The movement had its intellectual roots in the Jewish[5] monthly review magazine Commentary.[6][7] C. Bradley Thompson, a professor at Clemson University, claims that most influential neoconservatives refer explicitly to the theoretical ideas in the philosophy of Leo Strauss (1899-1973).[8]

Nuland might just qualify, given her high post with Cheney and her marriage to Robert Kagan. Otherwise, the neoconservatives are out of office. The career diplomats you mention are bog-standard servants of hawkish US foreign policy (and Herbst is retired and has nothing to do with Obama afaik).

I'm not trying to obfuscate the aims of US policy in Ukraine, or to get Obama off the hook. Obama's foreign policy stance is hawkish -- not that this comes as a surprise, since it's the straightforward continuity of US policy since WWII (with a possible blip with Jimmy Carter). You don't have to be a neocon to advocate opposing and restraining Russia.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Feb 12th, 2015 at 03:47:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
After having read further subsequent to my first response last night I was thinking pretty much the same regarding the general trend of US foreign policy. George Kennan, the father of 'containment', was, non the less, hardly a neo-con and has been scathing in some of his critiques of more recent policies. And I had lost track of the definition, though it does seem that much of their thinking has become mainstream in establishment US 'National Security' thinking, sadly. John Mearshimer and Steven Cohen are notable but lonely exceptions.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Feb 12th, 2015 at 10:38:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not trying to obfuscate the aims of US policy in Ukraine, or to get Obama off the hook. Obama's foreign policy stance is hawkish -- not that this comes as a surprise, since it's the straightforward continuity of US policy since WWII (with a possible blip with Jimmy Carter).

Eh, wasn't Carter the one who started our whole bit of sending weapons to the mujahedeen?  Granted, the bulk of it was under Reagan, but that one kind of bit us in the ass.

Think Obama wins that comparison, if only for hesitancy on this sort of stuff.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Feb 12th, 2015 at 05:15:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nah, arming the Mujahedeen worked out wonderfully. They created an insular, semi-stable, armed to the teeth spoiler state right in the middle between Russia, China, Iran, and India. What's not to like?

And it's not like it cost anything in particular until Baby Bush went and put them on the shit list for silly sentimental reasons.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Feb 12th, 2015 at 05:39:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Say what you will about Obama, but the "Don't do stupid shit" approach -- flawed though they are at adhering to it -- seems to me to work a lot better than the "grand" strategies every dipstick who's held the office in recent history has tried.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Feb 12th, 2015 at 05:47:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I wasn't too sure about Carter, so I said "possible".

In fact, we're talking about the US deep state stance on world affairs.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Feb 13th, 2015 at 01:27:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, I'm with ya.  And I generally like Jimmy.  But in terms of dumb military intervention, I think Obama's been alright and has successfully resisted the deep state stance a bit.  It's more the surveillance state where I think he's been shit, but then I don't really know, since it's the surveillance state and we obviously don't know what the hell they're doing.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Feb 13th, 2015 at 06:30:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
...adding:

And, yeah, I wish Marek were still around.  Wish we'd had a chance to get together when he was in Northern Virginia in '08.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Feb 12th, 2015 at 05:30:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
However, if '"neoconservative" refers to those who made the ideological journey from the anti-Stalinist left to the camp of American conservatism"', this leave out Leo Strauss and most of those he influenced through his teaching: Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfield, Richard Perle, etc., as he would have been a Nazi would they have had him, and was a big proponent of 'the modern tyrant', his update of Plato's 'philosopher-king'.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Feb 12th, 2015 at 08:54:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Another marker not mentioned in that Wiki snippet is the influence of "Scoop" Jackson, who was an anti-Soviet Democrat. Richard Perle began his career with him.

As I recall, Marek's argument (when upbraiding me for spraying "neocon" around) was that Cheney and Rumsfeld were mega-hawk conservatives, not neocons in the strict sense. They were however extremely closely associated with neocons under (or over) BushII.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Feb 13th, 2015 at 01:39:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So, where does that leave Cheney, Rumsfield, and Perle? I don't know the extent, if any, of Jackson's involvement with Leo Strauss. And Milton Friedman wouldn't have even Hayak, let alone Strauss, influencing economic orthodoxy. (Though I can't imagine Strauss had any association with the Mt. Perlin Society.)

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Feb 13th, 2015 at 08:31:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Jackson doesn't need to be involved with Leo Strauss. Strauss is a neocon theoretical reference, Jackson a practical political one.

Henry M. Jackson - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Influence on neoconservatism

Jackson believed that evil should be confronted with power.[20] His support for civil rights and equality at home,[13] married to his opposition to détente,[20] his support for human rights[22] and democratic allies,[23] and his firm belief that the United States could be a force for good in the world[24] inspired a legion of loyal aides who went on to propound Jackson's philosophy as part of neoconservatism. In addition to Richard Perle, neoconservatives Paul Wolfowitz, Elliott Abrams, Charles Horner, and Douglas Feith were former Democratic aides to Jackson who, disillusioned with the Carter administration, supported Ronald Reagan and joined his administration in 1981, later becoming prominent foreign policy makers in the 21st-century Bush administration. Neoconservative Ben Wattenberg was a prominent political aide to Jackson's 1972 and 1976 presidential campaigns. Wolfowitz has called himself a "Scoop Jackson Republican" on multiple occasions.[22][25] Many journalists and scholars across the political spectrum have noted links between Senator Jackson and modern neoconservatism.[1][20][23][26][27][28][29][30][31][32]

So a whole bunch of neocons, Perle included, cut their political teeth with Jackson, before shifting to Reagan Republicanism. Cheney and Rumsfeld didn't follow that trajectory, but when they hit the big-power spot in the early '00s they surrounded themselves with, and empowered, neocons, to the extent that they are often considered to be neocons (though, if you consider the list of values attributed above to Jackson and his aides, Cheney and Rumsfeld obviously don't fit).

I don't get what the economics people you go on to mention have to do with it. No one has ever called them neocons, more likely neolibs.  

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Feb 13th, 2015 at 12:02:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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