Mitt Romney rolled out his foreign policy platform this morning — and it looks remarkably familiar.Addressing cadets at South Carolina’s Citadel military academy, Romney attacked President Obama for forfeiting U.S. military and economic primacy and promised to restore America’s global dominance by increasing defence spending and taking a more aggressive approach toward global threats.
Here’s an excerpt from his speech:
“This century must be an American Century. In an American Century, America has the strongest economy and the strongest military in the world. In an American Century, America leads the free world and the free world leads the entire world. God did not create this country to be a nation of followers. 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 very simple: If you do not want America to be the strongest nation on Earth, I am not your President. You have that President today.”
If that sounds a lot like a page out of the George W. Bush playbook, that’s because it basically is. Romney’s foreign policy team is stacked deep with former Bush administration officials, and his platform adheres closely to their hardline — and occasionally controversial — view of American exceptionalism. Even the venue of Romney’s speech harkens back to the Bush era — George W. Bush rolled out his first foreign policy campaign platform at the Citadel in 2000.
The Romney plan lays out eight actions that he will take during his first 100 days in office to roll back Obama’s policies and “set a new tone” for America. Here’s a rundown:
- Build a bigger Navy. Romney also promised to reverse Obama’s “massive defence cuts,” a reference to the $350 billion spending cuts included in this summer’s debt ceiling deal.
- “Strengthen and repair relationships with steadfast allies” — namely Israel, the United Kingdom, and Mexico. Romney promises to reduce aid to Palestinians if they keep trying to pursue statehood at the UN. He also says he will enhance military cooperation with Mexico, but it is unclear how a border fence will help “repair” relations.
- Take a harder line against Iran. Romney says he will “make clear that the military option is one the table” and step up military aid to Israel. He also rejects diplomatic engagement as an option.
- Start building a missile defence system again.
- Appoint a “regional director” to deal with the Arab Spring.
- Increase trade with Latin America.
- Do another review of the situation in Afghanistan.
- Formulate a new strategy against cyberthreats.
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