With Maliki out the door in Iraq, the Cato Institute’s Chris Preble concludes, “While President Obama’s approval rating goes down, including his handling of foreign policy, it isn’t obvious that the GOP can turn this to its advantage.”
Any time Iraq is in the news, Americans are reminded about those who pushed for war there in the first place. It should provide an opportunity to revisit our broader foreign policy goals. Instead, U.S. policymakers and elites still call for action without any obvious sense that they’ve learned anything.
It’s time to reconsider U.S. military intervention broadly, as well as the specific advice of those who confidently, yet incorrectly, predicted that there would be no civil war in Iraq or Libya, or who called for assisting the Syrian opposition (some members of whom are now waging war in Iraq—with U.S. weaponry no less).
And while President Obama’s approval rating goes down, including for his handling of foreign policy, it isn’t obvious that the GOP can turn this to its advantage, as Pew’s Andrew Kohut noted earlier this year. A bipartisan consensus inside Washington pushed the Iraq war, and Democrats and Republicans continue to push foolish military interventions that the public wants no part of.
People outside the Beltway bubble are seeking a real change of course, not just more of the same. If they don’t get it from those who have held power for so long, they’ll look elsewhere.