Peggy Noonan observes in her Saturday Wall Street Journal column that the Republican Presidential debates reflected a homogeneous anti-war turn. As she sees it, "there is little taste now for what is fast becoming an old vision that progress can be made and U.S. security enhanced through invasion, pacification, and occupation. There is little taste for the idea that we can easily or even arduously, force the complete culturaql change of other hearts and other minds. Terrorism is a threat. There are many ways to fight it." Noonan observes that every candidate who was asked took issue with our involvement in Libya. And on the prior page of the Journal, the newspaper criticized Republicans for joining the anti-war left on Libya. At the same time Romney called for us to get out of Afghanistan.
Not the message we have heard from Republicans in the last decade as Noonan concedes. Perhaps there has been a new found recognition that wars cost money that the United States does not have. More likely there has been a recognition that that the American public no longer supports the war in Afghanistan.
This, of course, leaves political space for President Obama to leave Afghanistan. It would be ironic if the Republicans became less interventionist than the Democrats. According to Noonan, the Democrats plan to spend $1 billion in the Presidential race. There was a lot of publicity about small contributions to the Obama campaign, but Obama set a record for large contributions and bundlers as well. It would be important to know which party gets the lion's share of money from the military industrial complex.
Finally, cutting defence spending, though desirable, is not an unmixed blessing. The defence program is a jobs program and the Republicans can be counted on to oppose governmental measures that will be needed to replace those jobs.