Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has written an op-ed piece about what’s wrong with President Barack Obama’s Middle East policy and what he would do if he is elected president. There aren’t many surprises, but it reminds us how far Romney has to go before he can be said to have articulated a clear foreign policy of his own.
Romney lists five crises in the region that he feels place U.S. security at risk and are neglected by Obama: the Syrian civil war; Muslim Brotherhood takeover in Egypt; the murder of the U.S. ambassador to Libya; violent protests at U.S. embassies; and Iran’s continued progress toward having nuclear weapons as it continues to promise to annihilate Israel.
Romney continues: “Yet amid this upheaval, our country seems to be at the mercy of events rather than shaping them. We’re not moving them in a direction that protects our people or our allies.” These crises, however, could pull America into serious conflict.
The problem, he says, is that Obama’s policy “has allowed our leadership to atrophy…by a president who thinks that weakness will win favor with our adversaries….[By] stepping away from our allies, President Obama has heightened the prospect of conflict and instability. He does not understand that an American policy that lacks resolve can provoke aggression and encourage disorder.”
He criticizes Obama for misreading the “Arab Spring,” moving away from Israel, and lacking sufficient credibility to deter Iran. He also speaks of “using the full spectrum of our soft power to encourage liberty and opportunity for those who have for too long known only corruption and oppression.”