Jim Antle investigates Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s foreign policy views in the current issue of TAC (not yet available online). While noting the former Congressman’s opposition to Balkan interventions and his reputation as a “cheap hawk,” Antle mentions more recent developments that seem more relevant for identifying the sort of foreign policy he favors today:
When pressed in a question-and-answer session [at an Adelson gathering], he said hawkish things about sanctions on Iran and Russia, as well as the need to stay longer in Afghanistan.
The picture of Kasich that I get from Antle’s report is of someone that used to be a fairly reliable fiscal conservative and skeptic of at least some military interventions, but whose fiscal and foreign policy views have been shifting over the last decade and a half in ways that absolutely won’t please small-government and antiwar conservatives. While it’s true that Kasich hasn’t had much to say about foreign policy in quite a while, what he has said is all perfectly conventional and what one would expect from any Republican hawk. Kasich is the only governor among the possible 2016 candidates with any previous record of opposing unnecessary wars and excessive military spending. Even so, it is probably the case that his foreign policy views now and in the future won’t resemble that record very much. Like almost every other Republican opponent of the interventions in the Balkans, Kasich turned around and backed regime change in Iraq. I suppose Kasich could surprise us, but the recent evidence we have suggests that he won’t.