Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Romney Foreign-Policy Team

As described - and skewered - by Adam Smith at Foreign Policy.  A brief excerpt: 


Out of Romney's 24 special advisors on foreign policy, 17 served in the Bush-Cheney administration. If Romney were to win, it's likely that many of these people would serve in his administration in some capacity -- a frightening prospect given the legacy of this particular group. The last time they were in government, it was disastrous.


For example, one of Romney's top surrogates on the campaign trail is John Bolton, who served as President George W. Bush's ambassador to the United Nations. Bolton embodies the reckless neoconservative thinking that was largely responsible for getting us into Iraq under false pretenses. Today, he openly roots for diplomacy with Iran to fail and is all-too-eager to send our men and women in uniform into war. Last year, for instance, Bolton said that, "It would be in our interest to overthrow this regime in Syria."


The idea of Bolton and other Bush-Cheney officials serving in a Romney administration should be a scary prospect for all Americans.


Critics might object that employing former Bush staffers does not necessarily mean implementing all of their advice. But voters can only judge candidates by what they say they will do if in office, and the recklessness of Dick Cheney is clearly reflected in the foreign policies that Romney has advocated so far on the campaign trail.


Romney supported the invasion of Iraq and opposed ending the war last year. In December, as Obama welcomed home our troops from Iraq after almost nine years of conflict, Romney said, "It is my view that the withdrawal of all of our troops from Iraq is unfortunate. It's more than unfortunate, I think it's tragic." Cheney echoed that sentiment, saying a few months before we ended the war in Iraq that "it would be a real tragedy if we leave too soon before they are ready to fend for themselves."


On Afghanistan, though Obama and all of our international coalition partners have agreed on a timetable to transfer all security responsibility to Afghan control by the end of 2014, Romney contends that we should stay in Afghanistan indefinitely, with no strategy behind his rhetoric and no plan to bring troops home. Again, Cheney has said that we don't "need to run for the exits" in Afghanistan.


And Romney, like Cheney, remains stuck in a Cold War mentality. Romney has called Russia our "number one geopolitical foe" -- an outlandish statement that stunned foreign policy experts across the political spectrum. When former Secretary of State Colin Powell, who served under President Bush, was asked about Romney's comments, he replied, "C'mon, Mitt, think. That isn't the case." Romney's rhetoric toward Moscow has the ring of comments Cheney made in 2008, asserting that Russia posed a "threat of tyranny, economic blackmail, and military invasion" to its neighbor, Ukraine.

Yeah, Mitt! Please, think!  Then ditch Bolton, and Cheney.

Then, go home. Jet ski.  Stay there.  Do something good for your country.

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