Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Jim Lobe — Romney Offers Few Details in Major Foreign Policy Speech

Reprising the neo-conservative rhetoric of the primary election campaign, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney Tuesday harshly criticised Barack Obama’s foreign policy but offered few clues as to specific changes he would make if he defeats the president in November....
...critics said they were struck by the absence of specifics and, in some cases, the failure to draw clear differences between him and the president on specific policy issues.
“Both Republicans and Democrats have been waiting for this speech for a long time, calling on him to be policy-specific,” noted Heather Hurlburt, executive director of the National Security Network, a think tank close to the Democratic Party. “What he offered was a lot of neo-conservative rhetoric and still few or no policy specific”....
Judging from the rhetorical flourishes, tone, and some of the policy positions, especially regarding Israel and Iran, it appears clear that the more-hawkish wing of the party remains dominant, with some commentators noting that the speech appeared directed more at the party’s right-wing base than at independents who are likely to decide the election outcome.
Indeed, toward the beginning of his remarks, he reprised the main theme of the major foreign policy address he delivered at a military academy last October in the heat of the primary campaign: “This century must be an American Century,” in which “…we have the strongest economy and the strongest military in the world.”
The “American Century” phrase, which he repeated seven times, harks back to the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), a mainly neo-conservative group whose charter members in 1997 included, among others, Bush’s future vice president, Dick Cheney, defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld, and Middle East aide Elliott Abrams, as well as its two co-founders, Robert Kagan and William Kristol....
He assailed Obama’s “re-set” with Russia, noting that Moscow rewarded the gesture by defending Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad.
Remarkably, however, he had nothing more to say about what policies he would pursue with Russia, which he described as the U.S.’s “number one geo-political foe” only three months ago....
While he did not repeat his threat to declare China a currency manipulator on his first day on his office, he stressed that “the cheating must finally be brought to a stop. President Obama hasn’t done it and won’t do it. I will,” he said.
Read it at IPS — Inter Press Service | Geopolitics
Romney Offers Few Details in Major Foreign Policy Speech
Jim Lobe

No comments: