Though I’m guessing he won’t blog much, Vance Serchuk has published his first post at Shadow Government, the new superblog led by foreign policy all-star Christian Brose. I’ve been lucky enough to know Vance for a long time, and I can honestly that he is one of the most dazzlingly intelligent and persuasive people I’ve ever met or read. To those of you who strongly oppose the surge or strong action to prevent the Iranians from acquiring a nuclear weapon, I recommend that you read Vance to stay sharp. Vance doesn’t particularly like the spotlight, and my guess is that he’d scold me for writing this. He’s also a very careful writer who tries very hard to avoid incendiary language, but that shouldn’t mistaken for a lack of conviction. The man has steel in his spine, and he is insanely well-briefed. He has a longstanding interest in Russian affairs, and also in the Greater Middle East. In his debut post, Vance focuses on the prospect of a “return of history” in Europe.
Because Vance has worked in government for some time now, he can be very cautious. I was struck by the fact that there’s hardly any mention of Putin and Russia’s evolving grand strategy in the post, which was a little disappointing. Honestly, I’m eager to see Vance back fully engaged in the world of ideas. At the same time, Vance is exactly the kind of person I’d like to see in a position of authority. For me, in my parochial little corner of the world, the main downside of a McCain defeat — and I know this sounds ridiculous — is that Vance won’t have an active role in shaping American foreign policy. I hope, for the country’s sake, that this Democratic administration listens carefully to what he Vance has to say.