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The Progressive

Romney’s Foreign Policy Speech: All War All the Time

He denounced “the abrupt withdrawal of our entire troop presence” from Iraq, though he didn’t say how long he would have kept our troops there.

And he hinted broadly that he’d keep U.S. troops in Afghanistan beyond 2014. “I will evaluate conditions on the ground and weigh the best advice of our military commanders,” he said. “And I will affirm that my duty is not to my political prospects, but to the security of the nation.”

On Iran, he also threatened war, aligning himself squarely with Benjamin Netanyahu. “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,” he said. The policy of the Obama Administration has been to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, not the capability to build them. But like Obama at the U.N. in September, Romney threatened war against Iran “for the sake of peace.” George Orwell alert!

As for Israel, Romney said: “The world must never see any daylight between our two nations.” That’s a green light for more Israeli intransigence with the Palestinians.


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On China, Romney said its “recent assertiveness is sending chills through the region.” He vowed to “restore our Navy to the size needed to fulfill our missions”—and he said he’d build “15 ships per year, including three submarines.” That would put China on high alert.

And Romney seems eager to relaunch the Cold War. (Romney in April seemed to think the Soviet Union still existed, as he blamed Obama for entering “into an agreement with the Soviets, excuse me, with Russia” on nuclear weapons reductions.) “I will implement effective missile defenses to protect against threats,” he said at the VMI. “And on this there will be no flexibility with Vladimir Putin.” Similar hardline language from Romney earlier in the year only made Putin more stubbornly opposed to missile defenses—and more ready to respond with moves of his own.

Romney’s approach would be sure to kick off a new arms race with Moscow.

A Romney presidency would be a boon for military contractors but no one else.

Matthew Rothschild

Matthew Rothschild

Matthew Rothschild is senior editor of The Progressive magazine.

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