The Republican Party is the direct decedent of the White Citizen's Councils
of the 1950s. Their agenda is the preservation of the status quo/Euro-centric political and economic power blocs in the US. That's why they hate Obama so much. He's the wrong kind of "uppity" person of color. Unlike Thomas, Condoleezza Rice, or Colon Powell, who overtly make themselves subservient to the existing power structure.
It's the same reason the House Republicans tried to shut down the DHS over the Obama administration's executive action on immigration. The only voting group of Spanish speaking people that they care about are anti-Castro right wing Cubans. They hate all the rest because of they're not white.
As for Right Wing "think tanks", the Project for the New American Century advocated deposing Saddam Hussein during the Clinton administration well before 9/11. Cheney, Bolton, Wolfowithz and Jeb Bush all publicly advocated this policy. Seems like that hasn't worded out so well, has it? Besides making ISIS possible, it also vastly expanded the influence of Iran. Real genius results on that side of the political spectrum.
The reason the GOP's behavior is "not conducive to their success" is that they are pursuing an overtly racist domestic agenda, their foreign policy is arguably the worst in the history of the US, and they severely mismanaged the US economy. (Remember the 2008 crash? Or have you ignored that too?)