Romney Has No Foreign Policy Vision


Fred Kaplan has questions:

What is Romney’s position on drone strikes? What’s his position on Afghanistan? During the Republican debates, he once said that his position was not to negotiate with the Taliban but to defeat them. What does that mean? Does he want to keep tens of thousands of U.S. troops there after NATO’s 2014 deadline? To what end? Doing what? He also once said that military spending should consume at least 4 percent of gross domestic product. Obama’s most recent military budget ($525 billion, not counting the cost of the war in Afghanistan) amounts to 3 percent. So Romney intends to raise the budget by one-third, or by about $175 billion a year—by more than $1 trillion in the next six years. Where is he going to get the money? What’s he going to spend it on? No details. None.

When your goal is solely the acquisition of power, why say anything that might alienate anyone? Eli Lake searches for Romney's foreign policy team and finds … indifference:

“One of the things that troubles me is that there is no lead foreign policy person who is traveling with the governor and who is there to talk to the press,” says Danielle Pletka, vice president for foreign and defense policy studies at the conservative American Enterprise Institute. She says foreign policy “is one of President Obama’s biggest failings and the American people need to hear a debate about more than the economy.”

Larison, on the other hand, thinks Romney is wise to keep quiet:

Whenever Romney has tried to make foreign policy into a major issue in the election, he has blundered on the policy substance and undermined his already very weak credibility on these issues. It isn’t possible for him to say absolutely nothing about foreign policy, but it would be a very good idea for him to say much less than he does right now.

Well, good idea for him, but for us? We need to know how Romney can possibly balance the budget while ramping up military spending, and cutting taxes on the wealthy, if he is not to end the safety net as we have known it since FDR. We also need to know if the next Republican president will both take us into another Mid-Eastern war and explode the debt. The one question I wish a reporter could ask Romney is a simple one:

What aspects of George W. Bush's foreign policy do you disagree with?

(Photo: In this handout from the Israeli GPO, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with former Governor of Massachussets Mitt Romney in the Prime Minister's residence on January 13, 2011 in Jerusalem, Israel. By Amos BenGershom/GPO via Getty Images.)