Bay Stater reprises anti-Obama foreign policy language from his book in thematic address at Citadel. Says “God did not create this country to be a nation of followers.”
Romney: “I will not surrender America’s role in the world. This is very simple: If you do not want America to be the strongest nation on Earth, I am not your President. You have that President today.”
MITT ROMNEY DELIVERS REMARKS ON U.S. FOREIGN POLICY
It’s a great honor to be in South Carolina, where patriotism is a passion that tops even barbeque and football.
And it’s a great honor to be here at the Citadel.
Every great university and college produces future engineers, doctors, lawyers and entrepreneurs. Here at the Citadel, you do all that but you have another specialty – you produce heroes. Over 1400 of your alumni have served in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere fighting the war against terrorism. And sixteen have paid the ultimate price.
Since 1842, every tyrant, petty thug or great power that threatened America learned that if you wanted to take on America, you were taking on the Citadel. That’s a line of heroes that’s never broken and never will be.
This is a true citadel of American honor, values and courage.
The other day I heard the President say that Americans had gone “soft.” I guess he wasn’t talking about how hard it is for millions of Americans who are trying to get a job or stretch a too small paycheck through the week.
As each of you looks beyond this great institution, to the life before you, I know you face many difficult questions in a world fraught with uncertainty. America is in an economic crisis the likes of which we have never seen in our lifetime. Europe is struggling with the greatest economic crisis since the Cold War, one that calls into question the very definition of the European Union.
Around the world we see tremendous upheaval and change. Our next President will face extraordinary challenges that could alter the destiny of America and, indeed, the future of freedom.
Today, I want you to join me in looking forward. Forward beyond that next Recognition Day, beyond Ring Weekend to four years from today, October 7th, 2015.
What kind of world will we be facing?
Will Iran be a fully activated nuclear weapons state, threatening its neighbors, dominating the world’s oil supply with a stranglehold on the Strait of Hormuz? In the hands of the ayatollahs, a nuclear Iran is nothing less than an existential threat to Israel. Iran’s suicidal fanatics could blackmail the world.
By 2015, will Israel be even more isolated by a hostile international community? Will those who seek Israel’s destruction feel emboldened by American ambivalence? Will Israel have been forced to fight yet another war to protect its citizens and its right to exist?
In Afghanistan, after the United States and NATO have withdrawn all forces, will the Taliban find a path back to power? After over a decade of American sacrifice in treasure and blood, will the country sink back into the medieval terrors of fundamentalist rule and the mullahs again open a sanctuary for terrorists?
Next door, Pakistan awaits the uncertain future, armed with more than 100 nuclear weapons. The danger of a failed Pakistan is difficult to overestimate, fraught with nightmare scenarios: Will a nuclear weapon be in the hands of Islamic Jihadists?
China has made it clear that it intends to be a military and economic superpower. Will her rulers lead their people to a new era of freedom and prosperity or will they go down a darker path, intimidating their neighbors, brushing aside an inferior American Navy in the Pacific, and building a global alliance of authoritarian states?
Russia is at a historic crossroads. Vladimir Putin has called the breakup of the Soviet empire the great tragedy of the 20th Century. Will he try to reverse that tragedy and bludgeon the countries of the former Soviet Union into submission, and intimidate Europe with the levers of its energy resources?
To our South, will the malign socialism of Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela, in tight alliance with the malign socialism of Castro’s Cuba, undermine the prospects of democracy in a region thirsting for freedom and stability and prosperity?
Our border with Mexico remains an open sore. Will drug cartels dominate the regions adjoining the United States, with greater and greater violence spilling over into our country? Will we have failed to secure the border and to stem the tide of illegal immigrants? And will drug smugglers and terrorists increasingly make their way into our midst?
This would be a troubling and threatening world for America. But it is not unrealistic. These are only some of the very real dangers that America faces, if we continue with the feckless policies of the past three years.
But of course, it doesn’t have to be this way. This isn’t our destiny, it is a choice. We are a democracy. You decide. In this campaign for President, I will offer a very different vision of America’s role in the world and of America’s destiny.
Our next President will face many difficult and complex foreign policy decisions. Few will be black and white.
But I am here today to tell you that I am guided by one overwhelming conviction and passion: This century must be an American Century. In an American Century, America has the strongest economy and the strongest military in the world. In an American Century, America leads the free world and the free world leads the entire world.
God did not create this country to be a nation of followers. America is not destined to be one of several equally balanced global powers. America must lead the world, or someone else will. Without American leadership, without clarity of American purpose and resolve, the world becomes a far more dangerous place, and liberty and prosperity would surely be among the first casualties.
Let me make this very clear. As President of the United States, I will devote myself to an American Century. And I will never, ever apologize for America.
Some may ask, “Why America? Why should America be any different than scores of other countries around the globe?”
I believe we are an exceptional country with a unique destiny and role in the world. Not exceptional, as the President has derisively said, in the way that the British think Great Britain is exceptional or the Greeks think Greece is exceptional. In Barack Obama’s profoundly mistaken view, there is nothing unique about the United States.
But we are exceptional because we are a nation founded on a precious idea that was birthed in the American Revolution, and propounded by our greatest statesmen, in our fundamental documents. We are a people who threw off the yoke of tyranny and established a government, in Abraham Lincoln’s words, “of the people, by the people, and for the people.”
We are a people who, in the language of our Declaration of Independence, hold certain truths to be self-evident: namely, that all men are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights. It is our belief in the universality of these unalienable rights that leads us to our exceptional role on the world stage, that of a great champion of human dignity and human freedom.
I was born in 1947, a classic baby boomer. I grew up in a world formed by one dominant threat to America: the Soviet Union and Communism. The “duck and cover” drills we learned in school during the Cuban Missile Crisis resulted from a threat by a known, identifiable enemy, with clear borders and established leaders. We needed spy planes to find the hidden missile bases in Cuba but we didn’t need them to find Nikita Khrushchev. President Reagan could negotiate with Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev and sign treaties for which each side could be held accountable. And when we caught the Soviets cheating, we could bring the world’s attention to their transgressions.
Today, our world is far more chaotic. We still face grave threats, but they come not from one country, or one group, or one ideology. The world is unfortunately not so defined. What America and our allies are facing is a series of threatening forces, ones that overlap and reinforce each other. To defend America, and to secure a peaceful and prosperous world, we need to clearly understand these emerging threats, grasp their complexity, and formulate a strategy that deals with them before they explode into conflict.
It is far too easy for a President to jump from crisis to crisis, dealing with one hot spot after another. But to do so is to be shaped by events rather than to shape events. To avoid this paralyzing seduction of action rather than progress, a President must have a broad vision of the world coupled with clarity of purpose.
When I look around the world, I see a handful of major forces that vie with America and free nations, to shape the world in an image of their choosing. These are not exclusively military threats. Rather, they are determined, powerful forces that may threaten freedom, prosperity, and America’s national interests.
First, Islamic fundamentalism with which we have been at war since Sept. 11, 2001.
Second, the struggle in the greater Middle East between those who yearn for freedom, and those who seek to crush it.
The dangerous and destabilizing ripple effects of failed and failing states, from which terrorists may find safe haven.
The anti-American visions of regimes in Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, and Cuba—two of which are seeking nuclear weapons.
And these forces include rising nations with hidden and emerging aspirations, like China, determined to be a world superpower, and a resurgent Russia, led by a man who believes the Soviet Union was great, not evil.
There is no one approach to these challenges. There is no Wall that the next President can demand to be torn down. But there is one unifying thread that connects each of these possible threats: when America is strong, the world is safer.
Ronald Reagan called it “Peace through Strength” and he was never more right than today. It is only American power—conceived in the broadest terms—that can provide the foundation of an international system that ensures the security and prosperity of the United States and our friends and allies around the world.
American strength rises from a strong economy, a strong defense, and the enduring strength of our values. Unfortunately, under this President, all three of those elements have been weakened.
As President, on Day One, I will focus on rebuilding America’s economy. I will reverse President Obama’s massive defense cuts. Time and again, we have seen that attempts to balance the budget by weakening our military only lead to a far higher price, not only in treasure, but in blood.
My strategy of American strength is guided by a set of core principles.
First, American foreign policy must be prosecuted with clarity and resolve. Our friends and allies must have no doubts about where we stand. And neither should our rivals. If the world knows we are resolute, our allies will be comforted and those who wish us harm will be far less tempted to test that resolve.
Second, America must promote open markets, representative government, and respect for human rights. The path from authoritarianism to freedom and representative government is not always a straight line or an easy evolution, but history teaches us that nations that share our values, will be reliable partners and stand with us in pursuit of common security and shared prosperity.
Third, the United States will apply the full spectrum of hard and soft power to influence events before they erupt into conflict. Resort to force is always the least desirable and costliest option. We must therefore employ all the tools of statecraft to shape the outcome of threatening situations before they demand military action. The United States should always retain military supremacy to deter would-be aggressors and to defend our allies and ourselves. If America is the undisputed leader of the world, it reduces our need to police a more chaotic world.
Fourth, the United States will exercise leadership in multilateral organizations and alliances. American leadership lends credibility and breeds faith in the ultimate success of any action, and attracts full participation from other nations. American leadership will also focus multilateral institutions like the United Nations on achieving the substantive goals of democracy and human rights enshrined in their charters. Too often, these bodies prize the act of negotiating over the outcome to be reached. And shamefully, they can become forums for the tantrums of tyrants and the airing of the world’s most ancient of prejudices: anti-Semitism. The United States must fight to return these bodies to their proper role. But know this: while America should work with other nations, we always reserve the right to act alone to protect our vital national interests.
In my first 100 days in office, I will take a series of measures to put these principles into action, and place America—and the world—on safer footing.
Among these actions will be to restore America’s national defense. I will reverse the hollowing of our Navy and announce an initiative to increase the shipbuilding rate from 9 per year to 15. I will begin reversing Obama-era cuts to national missile defense and prioritize the full deployment of a multilayered national ballistic missile defense system. I will order the formulation of a national cybersecurity strategy, to deter and defend against the growing threats of militarized cyber-attacks, cyber-terrorism, and cyber-espionage.
I will enhance our deterrent against the Iranian regime by ordering the regular presence of aircraft carrier task forces, one in the Eastern Mediterranean and one in the Persian Gulf region. I will begin discussions with Israel to increase the level of our military assistance and coordination. And I will again reiterate that Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon is unacceptable.
I will begin organizing all of our diplomatic and assistance efforts in the greater Middle East under one official with the authority and accountability necessary to train all our soft power resources on ensuring that the Arab Spring does not fade into a long winter.
I will launch a campaign to advance economic opportunity in Latin America, and contrast the benefits of democracy, free trade, and free enterprise against the material and moral bankruptcy of the Venezuelan and Cuban model.
I will order a full review of our transition to the Afghan military to secure that nation’s sovereignty from the tyranny of the Taliban. I will speak with our generals in the field, and receive the best recommendation of our military commanders. The force level necessary to secure our gains and complete our mission successfully is a decision I will make free from politics.
And I will bolster and repair our alliances. Our friends should never fear that we will not stand by them in an hour of need. I will reaffirm as a vital national interest Israel’s existence as a Jewish state. I will count as dear our Special Relationship with the United Kingdom. And I will begin talks with Mexico, to strengthen our cooperation on our shared problems of drugs and security.
This is America’s moment. We should embrace the challenge, not shrink from it, not crawl into an isolationist shell, not wave the white flag of surrender, nor give in to those who assert America’s time has passed. That is utter nonsense. An eloquently justified surrender of world leadership is still surrender.
I will not surrender America’s role in the world. This is very simple: If you do not want America to be the strongest nation on Earth, I am not your President.
You have that President today.
The 21st century can and must be an American century. It began with terror, war, and economic calamity. It is our duty to steer it onto the path of freedom, peace, and prosperity. My hope is that our grandchildren will remember us in the same way that we remember the past generations of Americans who overcame adversity, the generations that fought in world wars, that came through the Great Depression, and that gained victory in the Cold War. Let future generations look back on us and say, they rose to the occasion, they embraced their duty, and they led our nation to safety and to greatness.
The Greatest Generation is passing. But as their light fades, we must seize the torch they carried so gallantly at such sacrifice. It is an eternal torch of decency, freedom and hope. It is not America’s torch alone. But it is America’s duty – and honor – to hold it high enough that all the world can see its light.
Believe in America.
Thank you, and God Bless the United States of America.
FACT SHEET: MITT ROMNEY’S STRATEGY TO ENSURE AN AMERICAN CENTURY
“An American Century:
A Strategy to Secure America’s Enduring Interests and Ideals”
The Constitution places responsibility for national defense and foreign relations on the shoulders of the president. The president must have the judgment, vision, wisdom, and leadership qualities to understand the looming threats our nation faces and the course of action he will pursue. This White Paper explains the threats to our nation’s interests and ideals, sets out Mitt Romney’s foreign policy strategy and principles, and discusses his policies on some of the most significant challenges facing the United States.
To View Foreign Policy White Paper Please See: http://mi.tt/rlfG42
The Threatening Trends Facing America
America faces a bewildering array of threats and opportunities.
Nations with Rising Ambitions: Powerful countries such as China and Russia are growing in strength and seeking their place in the sun. Their economic success and rising power could contribute significantly to the health of an international system built on economic and political freedom. But it also could help unravel such a system. The authoritarian character of China and Russia already propel those countries to engage in behavior that undermines international security.
Radical Islamic Jihadism: Radical Islam poses a multifaceted challenge. It poses a direct terror threat to our homeland and to our allies. Jihadists seek to exploit fragile states across the world as safe havens from which to plan and launch attacks or to tip those nations into theocratic revolutions. In a world in which weapons of mass destruction can fall into the wrong hands, the United States faces a set of national security dilemmas that are as urgent as they are complex.
Struggle for the Greater Middle East: The broader Middle East is caught up in profound turmoil. This geostrategically important region-the cradle of the world’s major faiths-holds populations striving to break free from the stasis of authoritarian rule. It holds other populations suffering under the boot of dictatorships and/or locked in sectarian strife. It contains states too weak to police or protect themselves. It is the world’s primary flash point for nuclear proliferation. It poses a constant risk of catastrophic war that could take millions of lives and plunge the world economy into chaos.
Failed and Failing States: Failed or failing states, like Somalia, Yemen, Afghanistan, and Pakistan are wracked by poverty, disease, internal strife, refugees, drugs, and crime. They are or can become safe-havens for terrorists, pirates, and other kinds of criminal networks. Their problems regularly spill across borders turning internal problems into regional and even global ones.
Rogue Nations: The rogue nations of the world-Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, and Cuba-are diametrically opposed to American interests and values and they threaten international peace and security in numerous ways, including, as in the case of North Korea and Iran, by seeking nuclear weapons, or by harboring criminal networks, exporting weapons, and sponsoring terrorists. They deny their people the human dignity and well-being offered by economic opportunity and political freedom. They can be the source of intense regional conflict that can spread and endanger the peace of the world.
Mitt Romney’s Strategy
The threats we face are complex, but the one unifying thread that forms Mitt Romney’s strategy to address them is this: when America is strong, the world is safer. It is only American power-conceived in the broadest terms-that can provide the foundation for an international system that ensures the security and prosperity of the United States and our friends and allies.
First, a Romney foreign policy will proceed with clarity and resolve. Our friends and allies will not have doubts about where we stand and what we will do to safeguard our interests and theirs. Neither will our rivals, competitors, and adversaries. As the world’s greatest power, the United States will strive to set the international policy agenda, create a predictable economic and security environment that enables other countries to develop policies that are in conformity with our own, and minimize those occasions in which the United States is confronted by instability and surprise.
Second, a Romney administration will seek to maintain and advance an international system that is congenial to the institutions of open markets, representative government, and respect for human rights. History teaches that nations that share our values will be more reliable U.S. partners and will tend to stand together in pursuit of common security and shared prosperity.
Third, a Romney administration will apply the full spectrum of hard and soft power to influence events before they erupt into conflict. Resort to force is always the least desirable option, the costliest in resources and human life. A Romney administration will therefore employ all the tools of statecraft to shape the outcome of threatening situations before they demand military action. Though the use of armed force will never be off the table when the safety of America is at stake, a Romney administration will take a comprehensive approach to America’s security challenges.
Fourth, a Romney administration will exercise leadership in multilateral organizations and alliances. American leadership lends credibility and breeds faith in the ultimate success of any action, facilitating the participation not only of allies but others who are sitting on the sidelines. American leadership will also focus multilateral institutions like the United Nations on achieving the substantive goals of democracy and human rights enshrined in their charters. While America should work with others to advance our interests and values, America will always reserve the right to act alone to protect our vital interests.
Restoring the Sinews of American Power
Mitt Romney will restore the three foundations of American power: strong values, a strong economy, and a strong military.
Strong Values: Some believe America is declining and no longer possesses the resources or the moral authority to play a leadership role in the world. They do not see an international system undergirded by American values of economic and political freedom as necessarily superior to a world system organized by multilateral organizations like the United Nations. Mitt Romney rejects the philosophy of decline in all of its variants. He believes that a strong America is the best guarantor of peace and the best patron of liberty the world has ever known. The “last best hope of earth” was what Abraham Lincoln called our country. Mitt Romney believes in fulfilling the promise of Lincoln’s words and will defend America abroad in word and in deed.
Strong Economy: A strong economy is vital to our ability to deter military threats and forge an international system based on liberal economic and political values. But today we find the American economy in serious trouble. Unemployment is over 9 percent, far above the post-war monthly average of 5.6 percent, and it has been over 8 percent for 31 consecutive months, the longest such spell in modern history. In the book he released last month, Believe in America, Mitt Romney laid out a vision for rebuilding the foundations of the American economy on the principles of free enterprise, hard work, and innovation. An economically resurgent America on a sound fiscal footing will be in far better position to credibly deter our rivals, reassure our allies, and strengthen our overall influence abroad.
Strong Military: American military power is vital to the preservation of our own security and peace around the world. But President Obama has put us on course toward a “hollow” force. He has already cut the projected defense budget by $350 billion over the next twelve years and he has sought further cuts over the same period. He agreed to a budget process that may cut another $600 billion. To reverse this trend, Mitt Romney will:
· Reverse Obama-era defense spending cuts and set a core defense spending floor of 4% of GDP.
· Find efficiencies in the Department of Defense procurement process and non-force staff to reinvest in the force.
· In his first 100 days, put our Navy on the path to increase its shipbuilding rate from nine per year to approximately fifteen per year.
· Modernize and replace the aging inventories of the Air Force, Army, and Marines, and selectively strengthen our force structure.
· In his first 100 days, begin reversing Obama-era cuts to missile defense and commit to a robust multi-layered national ballistic-missile defense system to deter and defend against nuclear attacks on our homeland and our allies.
While the potential for conflict with an authoritarian China could rise as its power grows, the United States must pursue policies designed to encourage Beijing to embark on a course that makes conflict less likely and continues to allow cooperation with the United States, economic opportunity, and democratic freedom to flourish across East Asia. Mitt Romney will implement a strategy that makes the path of regional hegemony for China far more costly than the alternative path of becoming a responsible partner in the international system. Mitt Romney will:
· Maintain robust military capabilities in the Pacific. Maintaining a strong military presence in the Pacific is not an invitation to conflict, but a guarantee that trade routes remain open and East Asia’s community of nations remains secure and prosperous.
· Deepen cooperation among regional partners like India and build stronger ties to influential countries like Indonesia. Strong cooperation among countries with whom we share a concern about China’s growing power and increasing assertiveness will help maintain freedom of navigation and ensure that disputes over resources are resolved by peaceful means.
· Pursue deeper economic cooperation with nations around the world through a “Reagan Economic Zone.” This zone will codify principles of free trade and draw in an expanding circle of nations seeking greater access to other markets. Offering Beijing the possibility of participation will give China significant incentives to end its abusive commercial practices. The zone will also knit together the entire region, discourage imbalanced bilateral trade relations between China and its neighbors, limit China’s ability to coerce its neighbors, and ultimately will encourage China to participate in free trade on fair terms.
· Defend human rights. Any serious policy must confront the fact that China’s Communist regime continues to deny its people basic political freedoms and human rights. A nation that represses its own people cannot be a trusted partner in an international system based on economic and political freedom. A Romney administration will encourage the evolution of China toward a more politically open and democratic order. It will support and engage civil society groups within China that are promoting democratic reform, anti-corruption efforts, religious freedom, and women’s and minority rights. It will look to provide these groups and the Chinese people with greater access to information and communication through a stronger Internet freedom initiative.
Middle East / Arab Spring
The Greater Middle East is experiencing the most dramatic change since the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. The protests that have broken out across the Arab world bespeak a generational yearning for a better life and for human dignity and present an opportunity for profoundly positive change. But the ongoing revolution is double-edged. Iran and Islamist extremists are seeking to influence events and expand their control. The future of democratic institutions in the region hangs in the balance. To protect our enduring national interests and to promote our ideals, a Romney administration will pursue a strategy of supporting groups and governments across the Middle East to advance the values of representative government, economic opportunity, and human rights and opposing any extension of Iranian or jihadist influence. In his first 100 days, Mitt Romney will engage Congress to organize all diplomatic and assistance efforts in the greater Middle East under one Regional Director with unified budgetary and directive authority. One official with responsibility and accountability will set regional priorities and train our soft power on ensuring the Arab Spring realizes its promise.
Israel: Israel is the United States’ closest ally in the Middle East but its security problems are heightened in these times. In his first 100 days, Mitt Romney will reaffirm as a vital U.S. national interest the existence of Israel as a Jewish state. To ensure Israel’s security, Mitt Romney will work closely with Israel to maintain its strategic military edge. The U.S. will work intensively with Turkey and Egypt to shore up the now fraying relationships with Israel that have underpinned peace in the Middle East for decades. With regard to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Mitt Romney will reject any measure that would frustrate direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. He will make clear to the Palestinians that the unilateral attempt to decide issues that are designated for final negotiations is unacceptable. The United States will reduce assistance to the Palestinians if they continue to pursue United Nations recognition or form a unity government that includes Hamas, a terrorist group dedicated to Israel’s destruction.
Immediate Post-Revolutionary States: Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya: Nations in transition to new governmental structures are threatened by destabilizing jihadist forces and Iranian backed elements seeking to exploit the upheaval to make political inroads. A Romney administration will support those individuals and groups that are seeking to instill lasting democratic values and build sturdy democratic institutions. Mitt Romney will make available technical assistance to transitional governments to promote democracy, good governance, and sound financial management. He will convene a summit that brings together world leaders, donor groups, and young leaders of civil society groups that espouse these values.
Syria: The United States must recognize Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad for what he is: a vicious dictator, a killer, and a proxy for Iran. Mitt Romney believes the United States should pursue a strategy of isolating and pressuring the regime to increase likelihood of a peaceful transition to a legitimate government. We should redouble our push for the UN Security Council to live up to its responsibilities and impose sanctions. We should work with Saudi Arabia and Turkey to call on Syria’s military to protect civilians rather than attack them and increase the possibility that the ruling minority Alawites will be able to reconcile with the majority Sunni population in a post-Assad Syria. And we should make clear that the United States and our allies will support the Syrian opposition when the time comes for them to forge a post-Assad government.
Iraq: U.S. military and diplomatic personnel have made stunning gains in Iraq. But in light of reported draw down of troops to levels far below what military commanders recommend, it is impossible to forecast what conditions in Iraq will confront the next American president in January 2013. Mitt Romney will enter office seeking to use the broad array of our foreign-policy tools-diplomatic, economic, and military-to establish a lasting relationship with Iraq and guarantee that Baghdad remains a solid partner in a volatile and strategically vital region.
Mitt Romney believes that it is unacceptable for Iran to possess a nuclear weapon. Mitt Romney’s objective will be to end Iran’s pursuit of a nuclear weapon, eliminate the threat of Iranian nuclear terrorism against the United States and our allies, and prevent nuclear proliferation across the Middle East. He will:
· In his first 100 days, make clear that the military option is on the table by ordering the regular presence of an aircraft carrier task force in both the Eastern Mediterranean and the Persian Gulf region simultaneously. He will also begin talks with Israel to increase military coordination and assistance and enhance intelligence sharing.
· Increase military coordination with Arab allies in the region and conduct more naval exercises in the region as a demonstration of strength and resolve.
· Implement tougher sanctions. Mitt Romney will focus new sanctions on the financial institutions that underpin the Iranian regime and its Revolutionary Guard Corps and on their commercial activities. He will pursue sanctions on firms that transport such products to and from Iran.
· Step up enforcement of existing U.S. laws that bar commerce with Iran, such as the exportation of refined petroleum products to Iran.
· Increase diplomatic isolation of Iran and work to indict Ahmadinejad for incitement to genocide under the Genocide Convention.
· Support the Iranian opposition by improving the flow of information to the Iranian population about its own government’s repressive activities and refusing to stand silent while the Iranian regime ruthlessly terrorizes its own people.
· Commit to the on-time completion of a fully capable missile defense system in Eastern Europe on the current timeline, but retain the option of reverting to President Bush’s swifter plan if Iran is making faster progress on developing long range missiles or if new technologies on which the current plan relies fail to materialize in a timely fashion. Mitt Romney will deny Russia any control or veto over the system.
Mitt Romney will commit to eliminating North Korea’s nuclear weapons and its nuclear-weapons infrastructure. He will make it clear that continued advancement of its nuclear program will be punished instead of rewarded. Mitt Romney will:
· Work with allies to institute harsher sanctions on North Korea, such as cracking down on financial institutions that service the North Korean regime and sanctioning companies that conduct commercial shipping in and out of North Korea.
· Step up enforcement of the Proliferation Security Initiative to constrain North Korean illicit exports.
· Work to persuade China to commit to North Korea’s disarmament. Mitt Romney will discuss with China how the international community will address the humanitarian and security issues that will arise should North Korea disintegrate. And by reinvigorating our military and counter-proliferation relationships with South Korea, Japan, and others regional allies, he will demonstrate to the Chinese that they should join the coordinated effort or be left behind.
Afghanistan & Pakistan
Our mission in Afghanistan is to eliminate al Qaeda from the region and degrade the Taliban and other insurgent groups to the point where they are not existential threats to the Afghan government and do not destabilize Pakistan. Our objective is to ensure that Afghanistan will never again become a launching pad for terror. Mitt Romney will:
· In his first 100 days, order a full interagency review of our transition in Afghanistan. He will review our military and assistance presence to determine the level required to secure our gains and to train Afghan forces to the point where they can protect the sovereignty of Afghanistan on their own. Withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan under a Romney administration will be based on conditions on the ground as assessed by our military commanders.
· Work with the Afghan government and Pakistan and use U.S. leverage to ensure that those nations are fully contributing to the success of our mission. He will make clear to Afghan President Hamid Karzai that our commitment must be met with reciprocal efforts to crack down on corruption in his government, respect free and fair elections as required by the Afghan constitution, and coordinate with the United States on fighting the narcotics trade that fuels the insurgency. Pakistan should understand that any connection between insurgent forces and Pakistan’s security and intelligence forces must be severed.
Venezuela and Cuba lead a virulently anti-American “Bolivarian” movement across Latin America that seeks to undermine institutions of democratic governance and economic opportunity. The region is also witnessing an epidemic of violent criminal gangs and drug cartels. A Romney administration will pursue an active role in Latin America by supporting democratic allies and market-based economic relationships, containing destabilizing internal forces such as criminal gangs and terrorists, and opposing destabilizing outside influences such as Iran. Mitt Romney will:
· In his first 100 days, launch a vigorous public diplomacy and trade promotion effort in the region-the Campaign for Economic Opportunity in Latin America (CEOLA)-to encourage trade and investment between the United States and Latin America and draw a stark contrast between the virtues of democracy and free trade and the ills of the authoritarian socialist model offered by Cuba and Venezuela.
· Build on separate existing anti-drug and counterterrorism initiatives to form a unified Hemispheric Joint Task Force on Crime and Terrorism to coordinate intelligence and enforcement among allies to combat regional terrorist groups and criminal networks and sever connections to foreign terrorist entities like Hezbollah.
· Explore with Mexico, in his first 100 days, the need for enhanced military-to-military training cooperation and intelligence sharing to combat drug cartels and criminal gangs. Mitt Romney will complete a border fence protecting our southern frontier from infiltration by illegal immigrants, trans-national criminal networks, and terrorists.
Mitt Romney will reset President Obama’s “Reset” with Russia. He will implement a strategy to discourage aggressive or expansionist behavior on the part of Russia and encourage democratic political and economic reform. He will:
· Review the implementation of the New START treaty and other decisions by the Obama administration regarding America’s nuclear posture and arms-control policies to determine whether they serve the best interests and national security of the United States.
· Pursue policies to reduce Europe’s reliance on Russian sources of energy. He will explore increasing technical assistance to the Eastern European nations currently developing the Turkey-to-Austria Nabucco natural gas pipeline and work with the private sector to spur access to untapped shale energy resources in Western Europe.
· Deter Russian ambitions to its south by enhancing diplomatic ties, increasing military training and assistance, and negotiating trade pacts and educational exchanges with Central Asian states.
· Forthrightly confront the Russian government over its authoritarian practices. Mitt Romney will increase the flow of information into Russia that highlights the virtues of freedom and a government free of corruption. He will bring more leaders of Russian civil society to the United States on exchange programs.
Diplomatic & National Security Institutions
Mitt Romney will empower our diplomatic, assistance, and national security institutions to best secure our enduring national interests and ideals.
Reorganize Diplomatic & Assistance Agencies: To foster regional strategic planning that focuses our soft power resources to solve 21st century regional problems, Mitt Romney will work with Congress and relevant executive branch agencies to place unified budgetary and directive authority under one official responsible for all diplomatic and assistance programs within a particular region. These will be designed to mirror the regional military combatant commands.
Train Counterterrorism Resources on Emerging Threats: Mitt Romney will ensure that our counterterrorism resources are effectively trained on emerging asymmetric threats. He will:
· In his first 100 days, order a full interagency initiative to formulate a unified national strategy to deter and defend against the growing threats of militarized cyber-attacks, cyber-terrorism, cyber-espionage, and private-sector intellectual property theft. U.S. defense and intelligence resources must be fully engaged in this critical aspect of national defense.
· Order an initiative to combat the radicalization of U.S. citizens and residents that leads to homegrown terrorism. Mitt Romney will redouble efforts to work with state and local authorities to share intelligence “vertically.” He will bolster efforts to collect and monitor communications between terrorist networks abroad and people within our borders. He will enhance partnerships with Muslim-American communities to identify threats and suspicious activity, and develop our database of knowledge about the hallmarks of radicalization and recruitment. He will also require that any counterterrorism strategy must contain measures to preserve privacy and our constitutional rights.
Clarify Legislative Mandates to Protect America: Mitt Romney will work with Congress to clarify the legal authorities and oversight structure for our counterterrorism professionals. He will:
· Update the chief source of statutory authority for the war on terrorism to authorize the use of force against any foreign terrorist entity that is waging war against the United States.
· Work with Congress to unify the over 108 authorizing committees in Congress that oversee the Department of Homeland Security. This will free-up DHS resources currently spent on reporting to these committees and clear up the inconsistent legislative mandates and priorities issued to DHS.
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Mitt Romney’s comprehensive strategy has this principle at its core: a strong America is the best ally world peace has ever known. President Reagan called this “Peace through Strength,” and that phrase remains just as true today. Mitt Romney rejects the narrative that America is in decline. Decline is a choice. Mitt Romney will strive to ensure that the 21st century is an American Century.
Setting a New Tone: Eight Actions for the First Hundred Days
1. Restore America’s Naval Credibility
Announce an initiative to increase the naval shipbuilding rate from nine per year to approximately fifteen per year and sustain the carrier fleet at eleven. This will restore America’s presence and credibility on the high seas with a view toward deterring aggressive behavior and maintaining the peace.
2. Strengthen and Repair Relationships with Steadfast Allies
Take swift measures to restore and enhance relationships with our most steadfast allies. Actions include reaffirming as a vital national interest Israel’s existence as Jewish state, declaring the U.S.-U.K. special relationship to be a foundation for peace and liberty, and beginning talks to strengthen cooperation with Mexico on the shared problem of drugs and security.
3. Enhance Our Deterrent Against Iran
Reaffirm that Iran’s possession of a nuclear weapon is unacceptable. Order the regular presence of a carrier task force in both the Eastern Mediterranean and the Persian Gulf region. Begin discussions with Israel to increase levels of military and intelligence coordination and assistance.
4. Commit to a Robust National Missile Defense System
Begin process of reversing Obama-era budget cuts to national missile defense and raise to a top priority the full deployment of a multilayered national ballistic-missile defense system.
5. Establish a Single Point of Responsibility for All Soft Power Resources in the Middle East
Work with Congress and relevant Executive branch agencies to organize all diplomatic and assistance efforts in the greater Middle East under one Regional Director with unified budgetary and directive authority. One official with responsibility and accountability will set regional priorities and direct our soft power toward ensuring the Arab Spring realizes its promise.
6. Launch Campaign for Economic Opportunity in Latin America
Capitalize on the benefits arising from the pending ratification of the Colombian and Panamanian free trade agreements to launch a robust public-diplomacy and trade promotion campaign in Latin America that contrasts the benefits of democracy, free trade, and economic opportunity with the ills caused by the authoritarian model of Venezuela and Cuba.
7. Conduct a Full Review of Our Transition in Afghanistan
Conduct a full interagency review of our military and assistance presence in Afghanistan to determine the presence necessary to secure our gains and successfully complete our mission. The review will involve discussions with generals on the ground and the delivery of the best recommendations of our military commanders.
8. Order Interagency Initiative on Cybersecurity
Order a full interagency initiative to formulate a unified national strategy to deter and defend against the growing threats of militarized cyber-attacks, cyber-terrorism, cyber-espionage, and private-sector intellectual property theft. U.S. defense and intelligence resources must be fully engaged in this critical aspect of national defense.