Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney pauses while speaking at a campaign rally in Newport News, Virginia November 4, 2012.
Brian Snyder / Reuters

WASHINGTON DIVIDED

Less than six years after 9/11, Washington is as divided and conflicted over foreign policy as it has been at any point in the last 50 years. Senator Arthur Vandenberg once famously declared that "politics stops at the water's edge"; today, the chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee declares that our major political parties should carry out two separate foreign policies. The Senate unanimously confirmed General David Petraeus, who pledged to implement a new strategy, as the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq. Yet just weeks later, the Senate began crafting legislation specifically designed to stop that new strategy. More broadly, lines have been drawn between those labeled "realists" and those labeled "neoconservatives." Yet these terms mean little when even the most committed neoconservative recognizes that any successful policy must be grounded in reality and even the most hardened realist admits that much of the United States' power

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  • Mitt Romney, Governor of Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007, is a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination.
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