Think Tanks Are Rolling Over Moderate Republicans

“[A] divide has emerged between the ‘realist’ wing of the Republican foreign policy establishment and its more radical right-wing counterpart. The debate over nuclear policy has demonstrated that the latter now essentially dominates the institutional apparatus of right-wing foreign policy thinking.”

. . . writes Robert Farley at at IPS’s own Right Web in a piece he quotes on his own Lawyers, Guns and Money (as reproduced at the Progressive Realist). He’s demonstrating how Mitt Romney‘s infamous anti-START op-ed reflects that trend. More:

Many of the moderate Republicans who favored arms control and engagement with the Soviet Union [such as] Henry Kissinger, James Baker, Brent Scowcroft, Colin Powell, and George Schultz have [failed to develop] an extensive base within the institutional right wing, the constellation of independent organizations and foundations (including the Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute) that have emerged as key players in internal Republican Party debates.

In his Lawyers, Guns and Money post, Farley concludes that . . .

. . . it’s worth additional investigation to determine why [the moderates] were so helpless in the face of the dire fanatics when it came to developing an institutional [think-tank] base. I suspect that at least part of the answer is personality based; Baker and Scowcroft, for example, seem to have eschewed institution building in favor of cultivating an elite consensus. For whatever reason, [the moderates'] strategy has failed utterly to steer the last ten years of foreign policy production in the Republican Party.

I imagine hawkish Republican think tanks rumbling over the countryside flattening everything — whether former friend or foe — in their path.