Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has been predictably ridiculed for his statement earlier this year that Russia is “without question our number one geopolitical foe.” I say “predictably” because we now live in a post-ideological age where enmity between nations doesn’t exist, where the very word “enemy” is a construction of fearmongering “neocons,” a world where, according to President Barack Obama in his 2009 speech to the United Nations, “The traditional divisions between nations of the South and the North make no sense … nor do alignments of nations rooted in the cleavages of a long-gone Cold War.”
Obama returned to Romney’s March comment last Sunday at a campaign event with Bill Clinton in Virginia. “I didn’t know we were back in 1975,” the president quipped.
The reason why Romney’s observation has been the target of such guffaws is that the reigning consensus on the left disagrees with the premise that the United States even has a “geopolitical foe,” never mind that it is Russia. (If Romney’s critics were to say that Iran or China is our greatest adversary, they might have a point, but that’s not what they’re arguing.) Yet one does not have to be living amongst “cleavages of a long-gone Cold War” to see how, on an array of issues, Russia is at cross-purposes with the United States, many of its allies, and the broader interest of upholding and promoting the liberal world order.