DR.BARNETT ON THE PUNDITOCRACY OF FOREIGN POLICY
We are overdue for a string of PNM-related posts and this week looks like a good time to make up the deficit. Recently, Dr. Barnett made the following observation
:"Where the Post tends to lose is in the quality of the guest columnist (where WSJ rules). Here we have Madeleine Albright (who somehow manages to write just as boringly as she speaks) and Vin Weber (not exactly your towering intellect). In their supremely dull piece, they tout their Council on Foreign Relations study, highlighting its main findings (wonderfully obvious, they manage to say almost nothing new, which seems to be a prerequisite for CFR writing, which is so careful never to offend, you basically have only Sam Huntington's "clash" article as a seemingly controversial piece during Foreign Affairs entire post-Cold War run). The Times, in contrast, seems to have as many or more Foreign Policy writers than Foreign Affairs types, and on that basis it clearly outperforms the Post."[ Emphasis mine]
The bipartisan foreign policy elite that is represented by Foreign Affairs
has been essentially stuck in intellectual neutral since 1991. The amount of brainpower that has gone into ignoring the logical implications of the colossal, geoeconomic and geopolitical tectonic shifts of the past 15 years on the pages of that journal staggers the imagination. The rationalizations for doing more of the same, despite the results of out of date policy being demonstrably ineffective or counterproductive, are as endless in FA as they are obtuse. And Dr. Barnett is right about the writing from this group - the pieces are real yawners to read.
Insularity, self-referentiality and denial are why a small band of neocons were able to come along, catch the CFR -State Department crowd bathing and run away with their clothes. The former didn't have to be right across the board, they just had to have some new ideas.