Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Emerging Giuliani Doctrine

Today's New York Times discusses the development of Rudy Giuliani's foreign policy, which is getting significant input from neoconservative thinkers:

Rudolph W. Giuliani’s approach to foreign policy shares with other Republican presidential candidates an aggressive posture toward terrorism, a commitment to strengthening the military and disdain for the United Nations.

But in developing his views, Mr. Giuliani is consulting with, among others, a particularly hawkish group of advisers and neoconservative thinkers.

Their positions have been criticized by Democrats as irresponsible and applauded by some conservatives as appropriately tough, while raising questions about how closely aligned Mr. Giuliani’s thinking is with theirs.

Mr. Giuliani’s team includes Norman Podhoretz, a prominent neoconservative who advocates bombing Iran “as soon as it is logistically possible”; Daniel Pipes, the director of the Middle East Forum, who has called for profiling Muslims at airports and scrutinizing American Muslims in law enforcement, the military and the diplomatic corps; and Michael Rubin, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute who has written in favor of revoking the United States’ ban on assassination.

The campaign says that the foreign policy team, which also includes scholars and experts with different policy approaches, is meant to give Mr. Giuliani a variety of perspectives.

Based on his public statements, Mr. Giuliani does not share all of their views and parts company with traditional neoconservative thinking in some respects. But their presence has reassured some conservatives who have expressed doubts about Mr. Giuliani’s positions on issues like abortion and gun control, and underscored his efforts to cast himself as a tough-minded potential commander in chief.

And while Mr. Giuliani, like other New York mayors, liked to be seen as conducting his own brand of foreign policy from City Hall, he had little direct exposure to many of the specific issues the next president will confront and is still meeting for the first time with some of his advisers to develop detailed positions on particular subjects.

Mr. Giuliani has taken an aggressive position on Iran’s efforts to build a nuclear program, saying last month it was a “promise” that as president he would take military action to keep the Iranians from developing a nuclear weapon.
The article quotes William Kristol on Giuliani's neoconservative persuasions:

Neoconservatives said they were generally supportive of Mr. Giuliani’s positions and saw them as being in line with those taken by the other leading Republican presidential candidates.

“I would say, as a card-carrying member of the neoconservative conspiracy,” said William Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard, “that I think Giuliani, McCain and Thompson are all getting really good advice — and Romney.” Mr. Kristol said that none of the leading Republican candidates “buy any of these fundamental criticisms that Bush took us on a radically wrong path, and we have to go to a pre-9/11 foreign policy.”
Then the piece lays out the elements of an emerging "Giuliani Doctrine":

The emerging Giuliani doctrine, which is being created through conference calls, policy papers, and seminarlike meetings, contains a number of main elements.

Mr. Giuliani calls for continuing the war in Iraq and building up the military by adding at least 10 combat brigades to the Army. He takes a dim view of the United Nations, which he sees as good for little other than humanitarian and peacekeeping missions, but wants to expand NATO and invite Israel to join it.

He would continue the Bush administration’s efforts to fight AIDS and malaria in Africa, but would tailor policy toward Africa to emphasize trade over aid.

If there is a central tenet to his thinking, it may be that the United States must project strength to keep itself safe. “Weakness invites attack,” Mr. Giuliani warned to cheers in a speech he gave recently to the Republican Jewish Coalition.

On the question of diplomacy, Mr. Giuliani makes it clear that he would impose a number of conditions before opening talks with unfriendly countries. In the Foreign Affairs article, he wrote that it might be advisable at times to hold serious diplomatic talks with the nation’s adversaries, but not with “those bent on our destruction or those who cannot deliver on their agreements.”

In a recent speech to the Jewish Coalition, he went further, accusing the Democrats of putting too much stock in diplomacy. “This is the great fallacy in this now very strong Democratic desire to negotiate, negotiate, negotiate and negotiate,” he said. “You’ve got to know with whom to negotiate and with whom you should not negotiate.”

The foreign policy education of Mr. Giuliani, from former big-city mayor to would-be statesman, has played out in a series of briefings and papers and calls.
I wrote earlier on "Neoconservatives and Rudy Giuliani" (for a full statement on Giuliani's foreign policy, see his essay in Foreign Affairs).

I would second Kristol's comment, that it's indeed great news that all of the top GOP contenders evince strong inclinations toward the neoconservartive foreign policy agenda.


UPDATE: The Washington Post has but another article on Rudy Giuliani's growing list of top policy advisors, in this case Bill Simon, a former gubernatorial candidate in California, and the founder of "Simon University," a series of seminars featuring top conservatives and neoconservatives.