For my write-up today on Mitt Romney's No Apology: Believe in America, I'll focus on some things that Romney says about President Barack Obama's foreign policy. Romney criticizes President Obama for ending President George W. Bush's plan for missile defense for Eastern Europe, as well as Obama's decision to support the reinstatement of leftist President Manuel Zelaya in Honduras, even though the Supreme Court there had lawfully removed him.
There is another
side to the story. Obama ended the missile defense plans in order to
reset relations with Russia, and the result was a START treaty and
Russia helping us in Afghanistan (see here, here, and here).
And Obama favored the reinstatement of Zelaya as President in Honduras
because the Honduran military had removed him, and Obama thought that
democracy rather than military force should be the way to handle things
in Honduras (see here).
could argue that Obama's policy has not worked as well as hoped. After
all, Russia has not assisted us that much when it comes to Iran and
Syria. And Romney notes that Russia makes overtures towards Hugo
Chavez. But I wonder: Would taking a tough stand towards Russia better
the situation? We don't want Russia to think that it can walk all over
us, but do we have much capital (if you will) that could actually help
us were we to confront Russia? During the Reagan Administration, the
Soviet Union was in trouble because it could not support its large
military and its economy at the same time, and there were economic
problems that were caused by communism. But, as Romney notes, Russia
today is quite prosperous.
(UPDATE: This article says in response to Romney's convention speech, in which he made the same point about Russia and missile defense: "Here, Romney goes back to one poorly received comment he made during his
star-crossed trip to Europe and the Middle East. Before he left in
late-July, Romney, in a speech to the VFW, said Obama's actions in the
region 'began with the sudden abandonment of friends in Poland and the
Czech Republic. They had courageously agreed to provide sites for our
anti-missile systems, only to be told, at the last hour, that the
agreement was off.' That didn't sit well with the Slovakian foreign minister and deputy prime minister, Miroslav Lajcak, who told The Wall Street Journal, 'People have moved on. We are in a different situation now. We are
discussing a different project. I see no reason to revisit discussions
from three years back.' Lajcak was referring to the Obama administration's decision to tinker
with the plan first put in place by President George W. Bush. Rather
than plant missile bases in Poland and the Czech Republic, Obama has
opted to build them aboard naval vessels and with the cooperation of all
the NATO countries.")