Presumptive Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney has chosen Rep. Paul Ryan to run for his Vice President slot and although Ryan has built an unearned reputation as a deficit hawk, the pick has also pleased foreign policy hawks.
Rep. Paul Ryan made a name for himself as the chairman of the House Budget Committee as someone willing to put forth deep cuts in government spending. Last year he authored a spending bill that was advertised as slashing $38 billion in government spending, even though the Congressional Budget Office found he would actually only cut $325 million overall, which is which is inconsequential enough to the overall budget for it to have not happened at all.
But Republican chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Howard “Buck” McKeon, told Newsweek’s Daily Beast he has worked closely with Ryan to come up with ways to avoid making any significant cuts to defense. Specifically, to avoid sequestration cuts, which Ryan and other hawks have described as too deep, but which would only cut defense spending back to 2007 levels.
As Danielle Pletka, vice president for foreign and defense policy studies at the hawkish American Enterprise Institute, told the Daily Beast, “Unlike a lot of fiscal conservatives, one of the great things about Paul Ryan is he is not omni-directionally a budget cutter,” meaning he knows better than to cut a red cent from America’s enormous and wasteful defense budget.
The Daily Beast has also confirmed that Ryan has been receiving briefings from Elliot Abrams, former Reagan apparatchik and George W. Bush’s former Middle East director at the National Security Council. Fred Kagan, a leading neoconservative and “one of the architects of the military surges in Iraq and Afghanistan,” has also been meeting with Ryan to coach him on foreign policy.
Paul Ryan has also been praised by Jamie Fly, executive director of the uber-hawkish Foreign Policy Initiative, a neoconservative think tank that has advocated regime change in Iran, military action in Syria to depose the regime there, and criticized the US withdrawal from Iraq.
In a June 2011 foreign policy speech, Ryan heralded so-called American Exceptionalism and criticized “isolationism,” arguing that “America is the greatest force for human freedom the world has ever seen,” leaving out the fact that the US props up dictatorships all around the world and engages in near constant aggression and violence.