In times of crisis it is essential that a leader have the temperament and judgment to guide America with a steady hand. Sen. McCain’s response in times of crises that has been erratic and reckless. During this campaign, McCain’s reaction to the global financial crisis and the outbreak of war between Russia and Georgia led many to question his judgment and his temperament. McCain’s erratic and hasty responses to past and present international crises raise real doubts about his ability to lead America through a crisis with a steady hand.
In this current economic crisis steady and responsible guidance from our leaders is more important than ever. Americans expect this response not just with regards to the economy but also when it comes to national security. Senator McCain’s record in times of crisis is not comforting. Over two decades, McCain has shown again and again that he is prone to jump to conclusions and make reckless calls for military action.
In the upcoming debate on Friday, John McCain will cite his assertive and immediate condemnation of Russia’s attack on Georgia as evidence of his good judgment. Unfortunately for John McCain, three former Republican Secretaries of State – Henry Kissinger, James Baker, and Colin Powell – at a forum last week strongly disagreed with his rash reaction as well as his past calls for a broadly confrontational approach toward Russia.
Seven years after he looked into Vladimir Putin’s soul, President Bush’s Russia policy is in tatters. Weeks after a ceasefire the, U.S. and its allies have been unable to dislodge Russia from Georgia and questions remain over the Bush administration’s unquestioning support for Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili.
Russia’s recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent states is an escalatory step that attempts to lock in its recent military gains through political action. Russia continues to hold the military and political initiative, and U.S. and its NATO allies have been able to do little to counter it.
It may not have seemed possible for things to get any worse for the Bush administration after last week, when the world witnessed the full-circle collapse of the Bush’s personality-driven approach towards Putin’s Russia and Musharraf’s Pakistan. Yet not only did the extent of the President’s failed policy toward Pakistan and Russia become more clear, but the events of the week also demonstrated the bankruptcy of the conservative approach toward Iraq, Afghanistan, and Europe.
While much about the conflict between Georgia and Russia remains murky, what has become increasingly clear is that, though US forces in Georgia certainly ought to have been aware, the Bush administration was caught completely by surp
News this morning that Russian President Dmitri Medvedev has announced a halt to Russian military operations in Georgia is a welcome development. But for Washington the hard questions are just beginning.