America is not destined to be one of several equally balanced global powers. America must lead the world, or someone else will. Without American leadership, without clarity of American purpose and resolve, the world becomes a far more dangerous place, and liberty and prosperity would surely be among the first casualties.This is an important point and one I want to hear from any presidential candidate. A strong America is not only good for the world in general, but more importantly it is good for America. I don't want a president who thinks the U.S. should fade into the background while some other power rises to dominance. Romney goes on to give a ringing defense of American Exceptionalism and then lists what he sees as specific threats. All of them require American strength.
there is one unifying thread that connects each of these possible threats: when America is strong, the world is safer.He states 4 cores principles on foreign policy: 1. Clarity and resolve on our positions for both friends and enemies. This is something I advocate on a regular basis. 2. Promotion of open markets, representative government and human rights. This is pretty standard stuff, but I'd prefer an emphasis on advancing U.S. interests, and a realization that democracy and the promotion of human rights are not always in our interests depending on the situation. 3. Rapid reaction to events to defuse them before they require military action, and American military supremacy. I like the emphasis on military supremacy, but I'd rather hear that we are going to mind our own business and not feel like we need to interfere all over the world unless it is truly necessary for U.S. interests. 4. U.S. leadership in alliances and international actions/organizations, while retaining the right to act unilaterally. Sounds good.
Ronald Reagan called it “Peace through Strength” and he was never more right than today. It is only American power—conceived in the broadest terms—that can provide the foundation of an international system that ensures the security and prosperity of the United States and our friends and allies around the world.
American strength rises from a strong economy, a strong defense, and the enduring strength of our values.
Romney even lays out some specific actions he would take including strengthening the navy, prioritizing the deployment of a missile defense system, cybersecurity, deterrence against Iran, support for the so-called Arab Spring, a free trade economic policy toward Latin America, a full review of the situation in Afghanistan, greater support for Israel, closer ties with the UK, and talks with Mexico toward cooperation on their drug problems and bilateral security.
I'm in favor of strengthening the navy, our first line of defense and power projection. But as much as I support missile defense, I don't think we can afford it right now. I would not make deployment a priority. I've called for a policy of deterrence vs. Iran, and I'm all for free trade in general. I'd like to hear exactly what he means by supporting the Arab spring. I'm highly skeptical. I strongly support Israel, but don't think we should be increasing foreign aid to anyone any time soon, even allies. In fact, it would have been nice to hear about some cuts in aid, particularly in aid to places with hostile regimes or populations.
Despite my differences, overall this speech reinforces what I already thought about Mitt Romney -- that he is fairly solid on foreign policy.