Considering the National Security Choice Next Tuesday


Yesterday, on another site, I asked what events of the past week tell us about President Obama v. Governor Romney as stewards of our nation’s security. Excerpts:

Just as with the failure of their economic policy, Team Obama points the finger of responsibility [for Benghazi] at someone else, hoping to escape public scrutiny. The problem is that the president is not abstractly responsible for national security. It turns out that a decision to deny a rescue in a situation like Benghazi would almost certainly have reached the Oval Office.

Yesterday in Findlay, Ohio, Mitt Romney … showed what a very different president he would be. Nationally televised, the address was one of the best of its kind I have heard in years. And while its theme was the domestic economy, it pointed to the entirely different approach a Romney administration would take in global affairs compared to what we have now. For as the speech made clear, Mr. Romney is already thinking strategically in a way that still escapes the Obama administration after four years in office. He is looking for routes not just to traverse the current crisis in the Middle East but to transcend it. The contrast became particularly clear when he talked about energy policy…. [C]onsider how altered the global scene would be today, how much safer our nation would be, if North America had no net need for Middle Eastern oil. Governor Romney’s agenda reflects an understanding of this truth. President Obama’s actions reflect none….

In his Findlay speech, Governor Romney also talked about further openings to global trade. Since taking office, Mr. Obama has not initiated a single free trade negotiation, while China has concluded nearly two dozen. The Governor focused in particular on China, repeating again that as president he would label that country a “currency manipulator.” Some see calling China to account on monetary matters as protectionist and contradicting what Mr. Romney has also said about building better relations with China.

They have missed, though Mr. Romney has been careful to note, that such a declaration would empower a President Romney to initiate U.S.-China trade talks ( immediately. In other words,Mr. Romney is pledging to start the ball rolling in the first hours of his administration toward negotiations aimed at achieving an open and sustainable relationship with the world’s second largest economy and arguably the power on which long-term global peace most depends….

So here is what the last week has demonstrated: Governor Romney is addressing national security creatively, boldly and from many perspectives, showing a real grasp of how to reorder the most problematic issues of global affairs. Meanwhile, President Obama doesn’t have a clue. This election really, really matters.

There are 2 comments.

  1. Inactive

    As you are probably aware the last President to have a successful foreign policy and national security strategy was Reagan. Since then we have seen varying degrees of failure. He was successful because he clearly defined a goal that could be obtained and that was not dependent on the actions of others. Mainly defeating the USSR.

    I agree that Romney presents the least bad choice when it comes to national security and that his energy policy if followed through with, ( every GOP President has had a similar one, but not the courage to take on environmentalists) could change the landscape dramatically. However a better strategy with ill defined or unobtainable goals is little more than a more efficient way to waste money and lives.

    What Romney is going to do when it comes to national security a long with every other issue is at best a guessing game. At this point it is unclear to me if even he knows.

     It would be less mundane to have a discussion about if the US should continue to be the “worlds policeman” and if so should the American taxpayers continue to foot the bill.

    • #1
    • October 30, 2012 at 7:19 am
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  2. Inactive

    I’m hopeful. Hard to believe his policies would be worse.

    By the way, it’s more seamless and transparent to link directly to the source content rather than through a redirection service like tinyurl.

    These redirection services are useful when posting on twitter or someplace with only 140 characters. They aren’t as great when it comes to making the source location obvious.

    Here are the links without the tinyurl:

    For a more detailed case against URL shorteners, please see:

    • #2
    • October 31, 2012 at 1:27 am
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