Since the administration of President George W. Bush, the Republican Party has shifted from adhering to a non-interventionist foreign policy to becoming a force that intervenes in the internal affairs of other nations.
After the 2008 presidential campaign, when President Barack Obama inherited two wars, who then escalated the war in Afghanistan, attempted to extend the Iraq War and enhance drone attacks all over East Africa and the Middle East, the GOP became less militant – possibly in part to the public growing wary of all of the wars.
When former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney ran for the presidency four years ago, he argued against withdrawing troops from Iraq and Afghanistan and also made no mention of the 700 bases in 130 countries. Four years later, he has begun to approach foreign policy a little bit more diplomatically and maybe even more than the incumbent Commander in Chief.
In the debates, he has talked about winding down from Afghanistan – not so much a timetable however – but has been open about his intentions with Iran and its alleged pursuit of a nuclear weapon.
Romney had criticized the president’s handling of foreign policy, but had agreed with the former Illinois Senator’s drone bombings in Somalia, Yemen, Uganda, Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.
To maintain a full understanding of Romney’s view of foreign policy during the last campaign, a political junkie or undecided voter has to look back at the 2008 CNBC presidential debate when Romney was asked about authorization for an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities. Romney replied a president would “sit down with your attorneys and tell you what you have to do.” Following this, Texas Republican Congressman Ron Paul charged that a president must sit down and read the constitution.
A Romney administration would have been no different than the present Obama administration. This means that the drone attacks would have persisted, the situation in Afghanistan would not have change and more pressure would have been applied against the Iranian government.
Here are three pertinent foreign policy issues in which Romney stood for, if he waselected:
- Would review a transition to power for the Afghan military
- Work with the Afghanistan and Pakistan governments to eliminate the insurgency
- Would not announce a withdrawal date
- Work closely with the nation of Israel on military strategies
- Make clear that the U.S. will not stand for anti-Israel policies
- Work on a campaign to state that “Israel’s existence as a Jewish state is not for update”
China & Asia
- Maintain a strong military presence in the Pacific to discourage Chinese aggression against its neighbors
- Strengthen alliance and relationship with Asian nations, such as India and Indonesia
- Defend human rights in Asia; support reforms in China for its people