Monday, October 8, 2012

Romney's foreign policy speech

Mitt Romney delivered a major foreign policy speech today at the Virginia Military Institute.  Romney put forth several proposals which are, frankly, just awful.
I will put the leaders of Iran on notice that the United States and our friends and allies will prevent them from acquiring nuclear weapons capability. I will not hesitate to impose new sanctions on Iran, and will tighten the sanctions we currently have. I will restore the permanent presence of aircraft carrier task forces in both the Eastern Mediterranean and the Gulf region—and work with Israel to increase our military assistance and coordination.  For the sake of peace, we must make clear to Iran through actions—not just words—that their nuclear pursuit will not be tolerated.
Apparently Romney thinks that we don't have enough forces near Tehran.  Here's a map that shows the US bases in the vicinity of Iran:


Note: The map appears to be slightly out of date, as we've handed over the bases in Iraq when our last soldiers left the country last year.  But still, that's a shitload of bases, not to mention that we can send stealth bombers from Missouri anywhere in the world, as well as lots of other ways to project our power across the globe.  And the 75,000 American soldiers permanently deployed in Europe.  But yeah, we need two more carrier groups.  Then they'll know we're serious.

Romney continues:
The size of our Navy is at levels not seen since 1916. I will restore our Navy to the size needed to fulfill our missions by building 15 ships per year, including three submarines.
If there's one thing that'll make terrorists huddled in caves or hiding in major cities shake in fear, it's a nuclear attack sub at $2 billion a pop.
In Syria, I will work with our partners to identify and organize those members of the opposition who share our values and ensure they obtain the arms they need to defeat Assad’s tanks, helicopters, and fighter jets.
What could possibly go wrong?

And in Afghanistan, I will pursue a real and successful transition to Afghan security forces by the end of 2014.  President Obama would have you believe that anyone who disagrees with his decisions in Afghanistan is arguing for endless war. But the route to more war – and to potential attacks here at home – is a politically timed retreat that abandons the Afghan people to the same extremists who ravaged their country and used it to launch the attacks of 9/11.  I will evaluate conditions on the ground and weigh the best advice of our military commanders. And I will affirm that my duty is not to my political prospects, but to the security of the nation.
Allow me to paraphrase what he just said.  "I agree that getting out by the end of 2014 is a good idea.  I'm not sure exactly what I'd do that's any different, but Obama must be wrong somehow.  After I win, I'll talk to the generals and have them tell me what to do."
Finally, I will recommit America to the goal of a democratic, prosperous Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security with the Jewish state of Israel.  On this vital issue, the President has failed, and what should be a negotiation process has devolved into a series of heated disputes at the United Nations. In this old conflict, as in every challenge we face in the Middle East, only a new President will bring the chance to begin anew.
As you may recall, Romney had something rather different to say about the possibility of Palestinian statehood at that secretly-taped fundraiser from a few months back (when he talked about his disdain for the 47%):
One is the one which I've had for some time, which is that the Palestinians have no interest whatsoever in establishing peace, and that the pathway to peace is almost unthinkable to accomplish.
The final debate of the season, on October 22, concerns foreign policy.  Hopefully, Obama will find the time to do his homework and be ready to take down Romney, who gave him lots of ammo today.

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