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Was Mitt Romney Right About Barack Obama’s Foreign Policy? [POLL]

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Mitt Romney spoke yesterday at the Virginia Military Institute about foreign policy. It was a major speech that outlined some of his own views on foreign policy as well as major critiques of the the President. In his speech, Romney said that Obama’s lack of leadership had made conditions worse and more dangerous. According to Reuters:

The former Massachusetts governor also accused Obama of failing to use U.S. diplomacy to shape events in Iran, Iraq, Israel, Syria, Russia and elsewhere.

“The president is fond of saying that, ‘The tide of war is receding,’” Romney said. “And I want to believe him as much as anyone. But when we look at the Middle East today … it is clear that the risk of conflict in the region is higher now than when the president took office.”

Romney’s speech was short on specifics, but in broad terms he laid out his national security priorities before the second of his three debates with Obama, which will be at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York on October 16 and will include discussion of foreign policy.

Romney’s aim on Monday was to portray himself as having the presidential stature needed for the world stage. He had a similar goal during a trip overseas in July, but that was marred by a series of missteps, including his inadvertent insult of the organizers of the London Olympics.

In calling for a more forceful foreign policy, Romney indicated that he would not rush into armed conflict.

But he accused Obama of a hasty troop withdrawal from Iraq, saying hard-fought gains there are being eroded by rising violence and a resurgent al Qaeda. Obama considers his withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq the fulfillment of a 2008 campaign promise, sought by Americans weary of war.

Romney also said he might not be so quick to pull troops out of the unpopular war in Afghanistan. Obama has pledged to end the U.S. combat role in Afghanistan by the end of 2014 as part of NATO’s plan to hand over security responsibility to Afghan forces.

Romney said he would pursue a transition to Afghan security forces by that time but would evaluate conditions there before making a final decision to pull out.

Obama was right to order the mission that led to the killing of Osama bin Laden last year, Romney said, but he charged that other elements of the president’s strategy for the region were weak or ill-advised. Romney pointed to the extensive U.S. reliance on attacks by drone aircraft as “no substitute for a national security strategy for the Middle East.”

Was Mitt Romney right in criticizing President Obama’s foreign policy? What did you think of Romney’s speech? Let us know in today’s KFYO Poll of the Day.


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