Kosovo showed anti-interventionist shifts on right can be short-lived

Historically, conservatives have tended to be much more skeptical about interventionist foreign policy when a Democrat is in the White House. A good example of this is the widespread conservative opposition to the 1999 Kosovo war under President Clinton.

To get a sense of what things were like back then, it’s worth looking at this May 1999 Washington Times article by Ralph Hallow, “Conservatives not behind Kosovo effort.”

The article opened with a quote from Angelo Codevilla, the Boston University international relations professor, who said that, “You can shoot a cannonball through the ranks of conservatives and not hit anyone who supports the war.”

Hallow went on to describe how conservatives support “non-intervention in the internal affairs of other countries except to counter threats to vital U.S. interests” and explains how they were skeptical of exporting democracy by force.

It quoted L. Brent Bozell III, chairman of the Media Research Center, explaining the strong conservative opposition to the Kosovo intervention. In contrast, neoconservatives Bill Kristol and Robert Kagan, supporters of the Kosovo war, complained about anti-war papers being put out by “once-Reaganite think tanks.”