But there is a price to be paid. And, again, sorry to return to world affairs. I mean, Britain has taken itself out as a major player in the international system, at least for a while, with the kind of cuts that they've made in their national security budget.
The problem is, the United States doesn't have the luxury of doing that. I mean, Britain can become a free-rider in the international system, but that is the price that they've paid.
AMANPOUR: And does this -- do these recommendations from the commission, do they amount to any kind of austerity?
KRUGMAN: Oh, no. It's very, very different. Yes, it's austerity long run, although they're very vague about what form that takes. Again, it's caps without real explanation of how they're going to happen.
But there's a huge difference. There's two kinds of austerity. There's doing things to bring down your long-run costs, which is what Sarkozy is doing in France -- he's trying to change their retirement age -- and slashing right now, when you're in the middle of a deeply depressed economy, which is what Cameron is doing.
The first I'm all in favor of, if you do it right. The second is basically crazy, but that's...
AMANPOUR: So where do you see the British economy going?
KRUGMAN: And we're going to have -- we're going to have Cameron-type austerity in this country, not as a deliberate policy, but because the state and local governments are going to be slashing their spending. There's going to be no further aid coming from -- from Washington.
And so, if you look at the global government budget -- global in the sense of all levels of government in the United States -- we're heading -- we're in Herbert Hoover territory in the United States for sure.
AMANPOUR: I just want to switch a little bit to -- to what you heard Senator Lindsey Graham saying about Iraq and Afghanistan. Iraq, he's not happy at all with the -- with the current government and doesn't think the U.S. administration has done a good job. What do you think about that?
WILL: I don't think it's the administration's job to pick Iraq's government, which it's powerless to do. Look, every four years, we flood this little state of New Hampshire with politicians, journalists, poll-takers, political scientists, candidates, consultants, and at the end of the day, we're surprised by what they do in New Hampshire. Why should we be surprised that we're surprised at what the Iraqis are doing?
KAGAN: Well, we don't have -- we don't have, you know, almost 100,000 troops or 50,000 in this case, 50,000 troops in New Hampshire, which might have a greater impact on what voters did. And the truth is, we have been an occupying power in Iraq. We can't pretend that we're not.
It matters greatly to us what kind of government Iraq has. And I really think the administration -- especially during Chris Hill's ambassadorship -- just took a hands-off attitude. It matters. And it matters before there has to be a feeling among all the different ethic sectarian groups in Iraq that they have some purchase in this government. And right now it feels to them like a Shia government, which is not necessarily...
AMANPOUR: Well, talk about the hands-off, because, obviously, during General Petraeus and Ryan Crocker, when he was the ambassador, there was a real hands-on, a real sense of guiding and shaping. Which is better?