Is Paul Ryan A Neocon?

Aug 13 2012 @ 4:44pm

by Patrick Appel

Max Fisher reviews Ryan's foreign policy record:

Articles about Paul Ryan's foreign policy experience tend to be short, and to mostly talk about anything but. The Wisconsin congressman and now Republican vice presidential candidate has long focused on domestic policy, particularly social programs and the budget. Like Romney, he has little to no record on foreign policy or national security. Oft-quoted political analyst Larry Sabato called him "just a generic Republican on foreign policy" who, also like Romney, has tended to follow the party's lead. His one foreign policy issue seems to be overturning the Cuba embargo, the sort of thing that appeals to foreign policy dorks (like me) but does poorly among the GOP establishment and swing Florida voters, meaning that we will probably not hear much about it during the campaign.

Eli Lake reports that defense hawks are pleased with the Ryan pick:

Danielle Pletka, the vice president for foreign and defense policy studies at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, also praised the Ryan pick. “Unlike a lot of fiscal conservatives, one of the great things about Paul Ryan is he is not omni-directionally a budget cutter,” she said. “He understands the primary role of the federal government is the national defense and not the handing out of food stamps.”

Larison analyzes Ryan's foreign policy and concludes that "Ryan's views on foreign policy are drearily familiar":

Ryan gives every indication that he favors exporting our political principles abroad and using strongly moralizing rhetoric to berate other governments that reject them. Yet Ryan seems remarkably uninterested in funding diplomacy and development aid, and seems to conceive of U.S. power abroad mostly in terms of military strength. On foreign policy, Paul Ryan truly is a product of the era of George W. Bush.

Scott McConnell passes along the above tweet by the Weekly Standard's Stephen Hayes, who hears that Ryan has been taking foreign policy advice from neoconservatives.