Ever since the neo-conservative crowd took over Republican foreign policy during the Bush 43 years, there has been a desperate need for a correction back towards the more traditional, realist policy school. Daniel Larison powerfully voices this need in a recent post:
The Republican weakness on foreign policy isn’t simply that Republican candidates favor many unpopular policies, but that most Americans don’t trust that Republicans won’t agitate for new, unnecessary wars in the future. Most Americans would presumably still endorse a message of “peace through strength,” but they have to be able to believe that Republican leaders are interested in preserving the peace rather than finding excuses for destroying it. Where Republicans were once considered sober, responsible stewards, most of their foremost spokesmen on foreign policy are now correctly regarded as dangerous and intoxicated with ideological fantasies.
See also James Joyner:
Problematically, while Scowcroft, Powell, and Eisenhower are admired by professionals in their field, their party's leadership views them as Republicans in Name Only -- if not outright apostates. It's a status they share with Richard Lugar, George H.W. Bush, Jon Huntsman, and, yes, Chuck Hagel.
Either the Republican Party has to re-embrace its traditional foreign policy agenda, or those of us who have been left on the outside looking in will have to conclude that it's no longer our party.
While the transition has been remarkably fast, today's Republican Party is simply not the party of Dwight Eisenhower or even Ronald Reagan. Scowcroft advised Presidents Nixon, Ford and George H.W. Bush. Hagel and Huntsman both served in the Reagan administration. But, just as the Tea Party is now the de facto domestic policy face of the GOP, the neocons are its foreign policy face.