Home/Daniel Larison/Huntsman Isn’t an “Anti-Internationalist”

Huntsman Isn’t an “Anti-Internationalist”

Jennifer Rubin needs to consult a dictionary:

But in another sense it’s a peculiar choice. Brookings features some of the more highly regarded national security gurus and anti-isolationists from the center of the political spectrum including Ken Pollack, Robert Kagan and Ben Wittes. How is Huntsman, who has taken a knee-jerk anti-internationalist position more akin to the left-wing Center for American Progress [bold mine-DL], going to fit in?

Her analysis is nothing but a series of risible errors. What can it possibly mean to say that Jon “Invade Iran” Huntsman is an “anti-internationalist” in foreign policy, much less a “knee-jerk” one? Huntsman practically embodies center-right Republican internationalism. Huntsman has more in common with Richard Haass than he does with Robert Kagan, but Haass is obviously an internationalist. Except for Afghanistan, Huntsman’s foreign policy positions as a candidate were identical with or slightly more hawkish than Romney’s. For that matter, CAP is almost entirely filled with people in the liberal internationalist tradition, and it’s preposterous to suggest otherwise. Along the same lines, calling someone an “anti-isolationist” doesn’t mean anything, since there are no isolationists for these “anti-isolationists” to oppose, and everyone debating foreign policy today rejects the isolationist label.

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

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