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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
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