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Palin sketches out her foreign-policy views

The GOP vice-presidential candidate talked about Israel, Pakistan, and preemptive strikes in an ABC interview.

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On Russia, Palin said the Kremlin’s push into Georgia this summer was “unprovoked” and “unacceptable.” She said she supports NATO membership for Georgia and Ukraine and, pressed by Gibson, admitted that “perhaps” this might mean that the US would be committed to go to war to defend Georgian and Ukrainian independence.

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Sen. John McCain, as well as Mr. Bush, express similar sentiments. However, Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili may have prodded the Russian bear a bit too hard prior to the invasion, in the view of some foreign-policy observers.

And if Georgia and Ukraine gain NATO membership, it may be during the administration of Track Palin (Palin’s teenage son). European allies of the US remain opposed to such expansion of NATO precisely because they do not want to risk their own capitals for the sake of Tbilisi, Georgia.

On Pakistan, Palin appeared to sidestep Gibson’s question as to whether the US should conduct unilateral strikes against terrorist targets in Pakistan’s frontier tribal regions.

“We must not blink, Charlie, in making those tough decisions,” she said.

Yes, but which way would those tough decisions go? Palin did not really say.

Of course, as with Israel and Iran, this was a subject on which it would have been easy for Palin to get into trouble if she talked too much.

Senator McCain has called Barack Obama “naïve” for saying he would consider such strikes. Pakistan is our ally, and unilateral military action on the part of the US risks offending Islamabad and destabilizing thePakistani government, according to McCain.

So Palin should have agreed with her running mate and ruled them out, right?

Maybe not, as it appears the US now is actually conducting such strikes. In June, Bush secretly approved orders for US forces to conduct ground operations in Pakistan without Islamabad’s prior approval, according to media reports.

So, given the choice of contradicting the head or her ticket or the head of the country, what’s the right answer to this question?

Of course! “Charlie, I don’t think we can second-guess what Israel has to do to secure its nation....”