McCain’s RNC convention speech was targeted directly at Obama’s Post-American foreign policy. McCain was there to score on foreign policy and his clear theme was that America had gone into decline under Obama.
“We can choose to follow a declining path, toward a future that is dimmer and more dangerous than our past,” McCain said. “Or we can choose to reform our failing government, revitalize our ailing economy and renew the foundations of our power and leadership in the world.”
McCain mentioned the broken alliances and loss of confidence left in the wake of Hurricane Obama. “We can’t afford to cause our friends and allies – from Latin America to Asia, Europe to the Middle East, and especially in Israel, a nation under existential threat – to doubt America’s leadership.”
And then he went after Obama’s soft power pandering to Putin, saying, “We can’t afford to give governments in Russia and China a veto over how we defend our interests and the progress of our values in the world.”
McCain hit out at Obama’s leaks. “We can’t afford to have the security of our nation and those who bravely defend it endangered because their government leaks the secrets of their heroic operations to the media.”
He also criticized the defense cuts, but without properly mentioning Obama’s role in them. “We can’t afford another $500 billion in cuts to our defense budget – on top of the nearly $500 billion in cuts that the president is already making. His own secretary of defense has said that cutting our military by nearly $1 trillion would be ‘devastating’.”
However Afghanistan, an area where McCain could have hit Obama much harder on, got a softer touch. “I believe we can’t afford to substitute a political timetable for a military strategy. By committing to withdraw from Afghanistan before peace can be achieved and sustained, the president has discouraged our friends and emboldened our enemies, which is why our commanders did not recommend that decision and why they have said it puts our mission at greater risk.”
McCain was a good choice for hitting Obama on foreign policy. But McCain’s call for intervention in Syria is a mistake that will only aid the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood.