Categorized | Opinion

Mark Whittington: Sarah Palin a Modern Cold War Hero in the Making

In a piece at Associated Content with the above title, Mark Whittington takes a closer look at Governor Palin’s new foreign policy advisor, Peter Schweizer:

It is considered unusual for a former governor who holds no public office and is not currently running for another to have a foreign policy adviser. But Sarah Palin, not known for being conventional, has chosen Peter Schweizer for that job.


One can make the obvious analogies. Schweizer may be Palin’s version of Condoleeza Rice or, even, Henry Kissinger, the power behind the throne who helped shape foreign policy in a White House second only to the president. Palin has not even announced a run for the presidency, not to speak of actually winning the office. But it may well be that we already know whom her National Security Adviser will be should she attain the Oval Office.

This suggests that a President Palin’s foreign policy will be at once less and more aggressive than what has been conducted during the past 10 years. Noting the five-point "Palin Doctrine" articulated recently, there would be fewer deployments of conventional American forces overseas. Those that occur will be engaged in sharp, overwhelming campaigns of limited duration and clear, measurable goals. These campaigns would more resemble Grenada during the Reagan administration and Panama and the Gulf War during the first Bush administration than Afghanistan, Iraq, or especially Libya.

At the same time, a President Palin would strike at the enemies of the United States, such as Iran, and assist her friends with a whole panoply of tools, ranging from economic sanctions, diplomatic pressure, and support for protesters and insurgents. In short, Palin would deal with Iran, Syria and North Korea, among other countries, the same way Reagan dealt with the Soviet Union, as Schweizer chronicled in his book on Reagan’s strategy to end the communist regime in Russia, "Victory: The Reagan Administration’s Secret Strategy That Hastened the Collapse of the Soviet Union."

Palin would learn from the successes of Reagan’s Cold War strategy and adapt it for the realities of the 21st Century.

Read the remainder of Whittington’s article here. As Whittington and others have noted, Governor Palin’s foreign policy leanings more closely resemble the classic conservatism such as that espoused by Ronald Reagan.  When intellectually lazy establishment pundits like Jennifer Rubin claim the only alternatives to Obama’s foreign policy of weakness and incoherence is the isolationism of Ron Paul or the adventurous (and expensive) actions of neo-cons like herself and Bill Kristol, she is displaying a notable ignorance of history.  Not only are the aggressive escapades in nation building advocated by Rubin, Kristol, and their ilk an exercise in futility, we can ill-afford them when we’re in excess of $14 trillion in debt.  Governor Palin is and always has been a conservative in the classic sense on foreign policy, and the addition of Peter Schweizer will serve her well going forward. For more on the addition of Mr. Schweizer to Governor Palin’s team, see here and here.

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  • Roberta Williams

    Let it be so! Sarah Palin 2012

  • BostonBruin

    November 6, 2012 can’t get here soon enough.

    • Ryan

      Sarah is the only candidate articulating a comprehensive plan for America in the 21st Century, at home and abroad! May she be our next President; we desperately need her vision and leadership!

  • BostonBruin

    It’s also interesting the that Gov. is the only one (I think) who has questioned why China is building up their military. She’ll figure out a way to deal with them too, especially economically.

    • Cameron

      Yes Palin will figure a way to see what China is up too. She always does Oh she’s dumb but she thinks she’s so smart.There are people that adore her and believe Palin will save us.. Please use your own head not her gr,ten level head.
      Everyone that has any intelligence have moved away from her. Usually a fight over an issue demanding she is correct. Palin doesn’t have many people left maybe her loonies(with the gr, ten level) are still hanging on by a thread,
      Look at the fuss about Trig. He’s not even her baby. Little Trig has DS yet she will not stay home to look after him. This is someone that needs her,We don’t need her silly wisdom.Why does she want him just to show how wonderful she is. She uses him as a shield.

  • technopeasant

    Mark Whittington on July 1, 2010 also published a piece on Sarah Palin taking apart Obama’ foreign policy:

    Sample line:

    "Palin has offered one of the most sophisticated analyses of Obama’s defense and foreign policy ever published."


    Love how he uses "President Palin" several times in his article. :^0

  • Denise101

    Thanks for providing some insight into what the selection of Schweizer means and putting her Palin doctrine in perspective.

    My only concern about the comparison to Reagon Foreign Policy: the Iran-Contra Scandal. I don’t remember all the details, but I’m thinking the biggest issue was just that North was circumventing legitimate Congressional Oversight. Part of the strategy has to be to take Congress too!+

    • JeannieBinVA

      This is one of the reasons I dislike her constant hearkening back to Reagan (besides the fact that this is a different time, with far different challenges). But we know from Gov. Palin’s record and frequent statements that she would never circumvent the law or Constitution, or allow her people in her administration to do so.

  • ~~manonthestreet~~

    Game On!

  • WilliamShipley

    Iraq went well. The Military attacked with overwhelming force and overcame all resistance in days. The tanks moved at full speed, stopping only for the fuel trucks to catch up. It was a textbook example of striking decisively. At the time, China was shocked.

    It was the civilian bureacracy that failed us in Iraq. And, interestingly enough, I saw it happen on CSPAN. A top official, follwed by CSPAN cameras was in a gymnasium. They were passing out applications to contractors for jobs in repairing the water, electricity and other infrastructure needs. They told them they had two weeks to fill them out and turn them in and that the jobs would be awarded after that.

    Immediately after the meeting, our official was surrounded by Iraqi contractors who told him that they needed work for their people, they needed the electricity now, they needed the water now. One said "We can fill out this paper right now and give it to you today" We need to get back to work tomorrow. Our government official told him, no they were due in two weeks. Watching it, I thought, "this is not going to end well".

    This is how government works, sadly. The military won the war, the bureacracy lost all our advantages by dithering. People who had no work tore down the wires to sell them to feed their families and the moment was lost. Anyone want to bet that Samaritan’s Purse would have done better?

  • Michael_from_Michigan

    The fact Sarah is fine-tunning her staff is an indication that she is going to run for president. She must be ready to debate President Obama concerning foreign policy issues. Sarah is already formulating principles concernig the use of our military force in the world. No doubt the "Palin Doctrine" principles will guide her use of our armed forces in the ongoing struggle against global terrorism. Clearly, the Bush Doctrine is an influence in the develop of this doctrine just as President Reagan’s speech "A Time For Choosing" was the basis for Reagan’s foreign and domestic policies during his administration.

    • larrygeary

      You’re jumping to conclusions. A military doctrine and a national security adviser would be just as important if she decides to open up a donut shop in Fairbanks.

      • Michael_from_Michigan

        Sarah must have a philosophy in place for the use of our military around the world before she sits in the Oval Office. Clearly, the basic elements for such a philosophy are apparent in her five points. For example, President Reagan’s "A Time of Choosing" speech reveals the fundamental elements to his domestic and foreign policy during his administration.

  • unseen1

    I’m surprised that people are still not understanding that Palin’s speech was a rejection of socialists New world order.

    • CharterOakie

      unseen — I for one understand it that way. And I love her for it all the more.

  • Guest

    OMG who knew what the Bush Doctrine was? At least we will know what the Palin Doctrine is.

  • exodus2011

    Mitt, Mitt! Where are you? … (minion rushes in)

    Here I am …. (pokes head out from under the desk)

    Mitt – she’s made a big ND/Foreign Policy speech!

    She has a 5 point doctrine!

    She has a new and respected Foreign Policy advisor!

    The military families in CO gave her a standing O ….. but Mitt, we haven’t started our FP yet ….. we are still poll-testing on that list of issues you gave us last month ….. what shall we do? Mitt?

    (sees Mitt tuck his head back under the desk)

    (Minion sighs …… and retreats from room, plodding slowly, head downcast … )


  • gunsmithkat

    She certainly is getting her ducks lined up. Smart leaders pick smart advisers.

    Game On!

  • CharterOakie

    Doug – great post.

    The 5-point "Palin Doctrine" is such a welcome articulation of common sense — long overdue for our nation.

    Now that Gov. Palin has articulated her 5-point policy, I will venture to say that some of her prior pronouncements, mainly from the 2008 campaign with McCain, had sounded to me to be perhaps a bit too much inclined towards American interventionism abroad, the tendency I associate with the neo-con camp, which I reject. This was perhaps the one area of her policy views — as I had then understood them to be — where I wasn’t in complete agreement with her. However, I held my peace, as I had full confidence in her honesty, her heart and ultimately her judgment. She has fully earned that confidence.

    I am now VERY happy to hear the articulation of her 5 points. They’re absolutely right on!

    We.can.not.undo.every.injustice in this world. And we have more than enough of a challenge on our hands to save our own republic and restore it to the full health and sovereign independence intended by our Founders.

    Sarah Palin — what a great American. A leader for our time. I thank God for her.

    • JeannieBinVA

      I agree, CharterOakie. I think she was severely constrained on several issues by her position on the 2008 ticket. I’m sure she would have spoken out firmly and forcefully against TARP — which likely would have won them the election — but for McCain and his advisors’ idiocy. (No offense to the man who did, after all, bring Gov. Palin to national prominence.)

  • HuntingMoose

    another good sign that someone is not only putting her sign on 2012 but also the 8 years after that.

    the goal is not winning the election. the goal is restoring this country away from this road of destruction

    • free4now

      "the goal is not winning the election. the goal is restoring this country away from this road of destruction".

      Exactly! Well said. Everything Sarah does appears to be with a view to the long-term consequences for the US. She truly does have a servant’s heart. What an incredible person and leader she is.

    • PCR1

      ….that begins by reclaiming the White House, and putting a certain lady from Wasilla, Alaska, in it!

  • Cotton Picker
  • PCR1

    When Ben Bernanke was asked,"What do you think about gold?" He had replied – incredibly! – "I know nothing about gold!"

    Here is our Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank, the guardian of our currency’s stability and value, actually admitting that he knows nothing about the precious metal that has ever since the dawn of human civilization been regarded as the anchor, the ultimate repository of the wealth of nations, as well as the ultimate guarantor of one’s personal wealth.

    As head of our nation’s Reserve Bank, he has charge of our nation’s gold reserves of 8,135 tons of the yellow metal, the largest stock by far of any nation, an amount that equals about 74% of our country’s foreign currency reserves.

    And he knows nothing about it!

    What then does Ben Bernanke know about?

    Business? – No, he has no business experience.

    Had he managed a company? – Neither.

    Has he managed anything prior to his appointment? – No.

    So what has he done to warrant his being the arbitor, the dictator ruling over our nation’s currency and economic wellbeing?

    Answer: He was a professor of economics.

    Ross Perot had had something to say about that, namely, that he had never heard of any rich economists.

    We need to reflect seriously on that, because this man, Ben Bernanke, is acting in cahoots with the destroyer in chief, one Barack Hussein Obama, and the two of them are driving this country on that bullet train to bankruptcy.

    Ben Bernanke is fond of saying as how he had studied closely the Great Depression, and why a stock market hiccup had turned into twelve years of grinding misery for America.

    He says that he had come to the conclusion that it was because the Federal Reserve had not immediately flooded the country with money, newly printed money, as he is doing today, and has been doing for the last two and one half years, and may well continue to do for another two years, at least.

    That is not true at all!

    Even before Roosevelt’s election, Hoover had already embarked on a course of monetary expansion and begun to create stimulous programs as has Obama, and Roosevelt had merely expanded on these.

    This was bad enough, but Roosevelt than had begun to do something else, he begun to ram through a series of anti-business regulations which had thoroughly demoralized the business community and had killed off all desire to invest in job creation

    Roosevelt, who as we now know was literally surrounded by communists – he called them his friends – which had included his chief policy advisor, Harry Hopkins, would have gone much further down that road turning America away from free market capitalism to socialism, had he succeeded in his attempt to pack the supreme court with leftwing activist judges, by increasing the number of supreme court juctices from nine, to twelve.

    That is what had prolonged the stock market collapse and created out of it the depression, and that is exactly what Obama has done, and is still doing.

    It had nothing to do with any shortage of liquidity, of dollars, but everything to do with a radically anti-business president and an anti-business democratic controlled congress.

    There is a widely held misconception that the war, the attack by the Japanese on our fleet at Pearl Harbour, was what had ended the depression.

    Not so.

    When the war had ended, the G.I.’s had retrurned home to find that the depression, the lack of jobs, was as real then as it had been when they had gone off to war.

    So what had ended the depression?

    Answer, when Eisenhower – a far better president than he had ever been a general – had begun together with congress to dismantle the regulatory stranglehold over business that Roosevelt had put in place.

    That is when the business community had felt a fresh new confidence that a new business climate had come about, and started in earnest to invest in new plant and capital equipment, to hire workers by the millions – and to set in motion the greatest period of economic expansion in our nation’s history, the likes of which was not to be seen again till another great president, Ronald Reagan, had once again created that climate in which business flourishes and feels confident to invest in capital and manpower, and grow their businesses and their workforce.

    So, if Bernanke is not doing this country any good, what is he doing?

    Ben Bernanke is doing one thing and one thing only:


    Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner’s insistence on increasing the nation’s already skyhigh debt ceiling, now 100% of our nations’s annual gross domestic product , our GDP, as is that of Greece, has that very same purpose in mind.

    When those Republicans in congress and in the senate say that they should vote to increase the national debt deiling, they are in effect saying that they want to reelect Barack Hussein Obama, and that they want us, our children, our grand children, and undoubtedly their children too, to pay for Obama’s reelection.

    That is what Ben Bernanke, and Tim Geithner, are all about.

    That is now palpably obvious.

    • freeperjim

      Bernanke & NYT’s Krugman are classic examples of Keynesian economists – a "cult" that has ALWAYS and will always fail. Keynesian policies are based on BIG GOVT Socialism. Nuff said…

      • PCR1

        Krugman is not a serious economist, if there is such an animal. He is merely a leftwing political hack, which is the sole reason why he had been awarded the Nobel Prize by this fellow lefties in Norway.

    • ReneePA

      Thank you for posting that. It was really enlightening.

  • PCR1

    Statesmanship – no sexism intended – in a national leader is a marriage of two separate but mutually complementary human attributes:that of the political philosopher, and the practical politician.

    This is because it is not enough to have the vision of governance, a proper appreciation of the problems facing the nation, and the right set of conclusions as to the appropriate measures to solve them.

    It is also necessary to possess the requisite political talent to navigate through the political process – ours being that of the mass democratic framework – and so obtain the popular mandate to govern.

    We can be supremely confident that Governor Sarah Palin posseses that natural genius, the ability to comprehend complex problems of the greatest gravity, with respect to energy, economic policy, national security, or foreign affairs, and to separated the essential core components of a problem from that which is peripheril – in plain English, to cut to the chase – and to come up with genuine, sensible, and lasting solutions.

    This is plainly evident to anyone who has listened to what she has ben saying, especially in the last few months.

    She posseses without doubt all the attributes of a great president, to a degree that is conspicuously absent in other aspirants to the nation’s highest office.

    Governor Palin has also displayed a remarkable talent and an unerring instinct for political maneuver, and this will serve her well should she, as we all hope, choose to seek the Republican nomination for the presidency in 2012.

  • ziggy1988

    "As Whittington and others have noted, Governor Palin’s foreign policy leanings more closely resemble the classic conservatism such as that espoused by Ronald Reagan. When intellectually lazy establishment pundits like Jennifer Rubin claim the only alternatives to Obama’s foreign policy of weakness and incoherence is the isolationism of Ron Paul or the adventurous (and expensive) actions of neo-cons like herself and Bill Kristol, she is displaying a notable ignorance of history. Not only are the aggressive escapades in nation building advocated by Rubin, Kristol, and their ilk an exercise in futility, we can ill-afford them when we’re in excess of $14 trillion in debt. Governor Palin is and always has been a conservative in the classic sense on foreign policy."

    Exactly! And that’s the kind of foreign policy I’ve been advocating for a long time. I shall submit an article laying out a conservative blueprint for a new foreign policy later this week.

  • Ric

    This is exceptionally good news.

    Once again, President Palin rises above the field and once again her knowledge and experience in the choice of her advisers come shining through.

    She is quite obviously preparing for her run, or she really does not need a foreign policy adviser.

    She will announce when her ducks are all in a row and the time is right.

    We all need to be ready to support her efforts.

    Game On.

    Palin 2012

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