Sunday, June 24, 2018

Romney foreign policy speech takes tough tone but proposes few changes

LEXINGTON, Va. — Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney slammed his rival's international strategy as weak Monday in a speech at Virginia Military Institute.

Despite his tough tone, the foreign policy positions he outlined hewed close to those held by President Barack Obama.

"I believe that if America does not lead, others will — others who do not share our interests and our values — and the world will grow darker, for our friends and for us," Romney said.

The speech lambasted Obama's response to the Arab Spring, specifically his administration's handling of the violent attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11, which killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.

"I want to be very clear: The blame for the murder of our people in Libya, and the attacks on our embassies in so many other countries, lies solely with those who carried them out — no one else," Romney said. "But it is our responsibility and the responsibility of our president to use America's great power to shape history — not to lead from behind, leaving our destiny at the mercy of events."

In the address before more than 500 Virginia Military Institute cadets and local supporters, the former Massachusetts governor made his case to voters that he would be a more capable commander in chief than Obama.

"I know the president hopes for a safer, freer and a more prosperous Middle East allied with the United States. I share this hope," Romney said. "But hope is not a strategy. We cannot support our friends and defeat our enemies in the Middle East when our words are not backed up by deeds, when our defense spending is being arbitrarily and deeply cut, when we have no trade agenda to speak of and the perception of our strategy is not one of partnership, but of passivity."

As president, Romney said, he would work with U.S. partners to arm rebels in Syria, make aid to Egypt conditional on the development of democratic institutions — as well as peace with Israel — and advocate an independent Palestinian state coexisting with Israel.

Romney's most serious charge was that the president's national-security strategy is "not one of partnership but of passivity," said Karl Inderfurth, a senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a public-policy research institution.

"I think it's fair to ask Gov. Romney: What's his beef?" said Inderfurth, who was an assistant secretary of state under President Bill Clinton. "He basically endorses President Obama's approach on Iran, Libya, Syria, Afghanistan and creating a Palestinian state, all the hot-button issues."

Comments
Indonesia identifies likely location of ferry in crater lake

Indonesia identifies likely location of ferry in crater lake

Indonesia has identified the suspected location of an overcrowded passenger ferry that sank last week in a deep volcanic crater lake but will need international help to recover the wreckage, official says
Updated: 1 hour ago

Jordan says it won't take in Syrians fleeing new offensive

Jordan warns it can't take in Syrian refugees fleeing President Assad's offensive in southern province of Daraa
Updated: 1 hour ago
Indonesia identifies likely location of ferry in crater lake

Indonesia identifies likely location of ferry in crater lake

Indonesia has identified the suspected location of an overcrowded passenger ferry that sank last week in a deep volcanic crater lake but will need international help to recover the wreckage, official says
Updated: 1 hour ago

Water, mud block rescue attempt for 12 boys inside Thai cave

Officials say multiple attempts to locate 12 boys and their soccer coach missing in a flooded cave in northern Thailand for nearly two days have failed, but that they will keep trying
Updated: 1 hour ago

AP Top News at 1:54 a.m. EDT

AP Top News at 1:54 a.m. EDT
Updated: 1 hour ago
Asian stocks fall, oil gives up some gains after China move

Asian stocks fall, oil gives up some gains after China move

Asian stock markets have fallen and oil prices gave up some of their gains after Chinese regulators freed up extra money for bank lending amid a trade dispute with Washington
Updated: 2 hours ago
Koreas discuss removing North's artillery from tense border

Koreas discuss removing North's artillery from tense border

South Korea's prime minister says the rival Koreas are discussing the relocation of North Korea's long-range artillery systems away from the Korean border
Updated: 2 hours ago
In Texas, Trump's steel tariff stirs uncertainty and concern

In Texas, Trump's steel tariff stirs uncertainty and concern

The Art of the Steel: How steel pipe manufacturers and steelworkers in Texas are grappling with Trump's tariff on the metal
Updated: 2 hours ago
Mattis seeks less contentious visit with Chinese

Mattis seeks less contentious visit with Chinese

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is laying out plans for a less contentious, more open dialogue with Chinese leaders as he travels to Asia
Updated: 2 hours ago
Looming question for Mueller probe: How much to make public?

Looming question for Mueller probe: How much to make public?

America has waited a year to hear what special counsel Robert Mueller concludes about the 2016 election, but how much the nation will learn about his findings is very much an open question
Updated: 2 hours ago