To say that the lack of focus on Foreign Policy, National Security, and National Defense in the current election campaign is disappointing to me, would be an understatement. I am very disappointed that the Romney-Ryan campaign has failed to define the differences between Romney and Obama. There ARE differences between them, and there are other points of perceived differences.
In my opinion, the Obama Administration is vulnerable on Foreign Policy and National Security, which it continues to claim is its strength. And it is not that I'm enamored with the Romney "me too" routine on Foreign Policy, but we have already seen that the Obama Administration has a record of making the wrong choices. The Romney campaign seems to rest this important part of its platform on others to define, and while that may be the smart political move, it doesn't sit well with me.
Still, the stated differences are there:
The Romney platform calls for ADDING 100,000 Troops, rebuilding Our Navy, and adding to the DoD Budget. This is desperately needed. Including the War on Terror, current Military Spending is less, as a proportion of GDP, than it was during the peaceful years of the 1980's. We are well on our way to the type of Military that allowed WWI, WWII, Korea, and Viet Nam to occur. Morale inside the Military is dipping below the Clinton cuts years, towards the Carter years.
Despite Biden's claim that after 2014, without exception, there would be no US Troops in Afghanistan, Obama this year signed an agreement to keep Troops there through 2024. Though he forgot to predicate that with "combat" Troops, the fact will remain that those Troops will still be there and still be a target of the enemy which is regaining influence in the country. Either Biden just outright lied, on purpose, or he has failed to read the White House's own website, and been excluded from the discussion inside the White House. Regardless, the rush to retreat through 2014 is and has been, since 2009, a bad decision. It has emboldened the enemy, which has significantly increased attacks to the point that 75% of ALL violence in Afghanistan has occurred since Obama took office.
Romney has only differentiated the point of broadcasting to the enemy the timeline of withdrawal, as far as I can tell. When it comes to the 2014 date, he has said in debates, "Me too," while saying he disagreed with the publication of the timeline. I suspect there are other differences, but I haven't seen evidence of them. The Obama retort of "Liar, liar, pants on fire," to nearly every issue is childish, and lacks all value in a debate.
Libya, particularly the Benghazi attack, is a clear loser for Obama. Not only did the Administration deny requests for additional security by the Military Commander and the Ambassador on the ground, in the wake of attacks previous to 9/11/2012, but it then engaged in an attempt to misportray the attack as just a spontaneous mob, when it knew it was an enemy terrorist attack. The Obama Administration decided to not send re-inforcements, while it watched the attack via a drone feed. Now it cannot decide to claim that intelligence said it was a spontaneous mob (it didn't) or that it ignored the intelligence and claimed so anyways.
Egypt, particularly the Embassy attack, is another clear loser for Obama. The difference here is that since diplomats weren't killed in the attack, it has been able to get the event ignored in the wake. Despite the fact that the black flag of Al-Qaeda was raised over OUR Embassy, and the US Flag desecrated, this event is now swept under the rug as merely a spontaneous mob. It was NOT about a poorly made video, by an Egyptian Coptic Christian. Worse, the enemy was installed into government by the Obama Administration. He repeated the Carter mistakes of Iran, as if he were reading from the history books. "Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it."
In Israel, there is a clear difference between the two. Romney has been clear in his support of Our Ally, and the most democratic and free Nation in the region. He has been clear in his support of recognizing Jerusalem as the capital, and that is something we should have done decades ago. Obama has had 3 1/2 years to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital, and has not. He had to fight with his own party to falsely claim that he supported it, politically, despite that inaction. Obama has paid unconvincingly lip service to the alliance, while undermining Israel as a policy. He has demanded that Israel meet pre-conditions in order to negotiate away its borders to Hamas terrorists that have stated they will not quit killing Israeli civilians, until there is no more Israel.
Tied into the question of Our Ally, Israel, is our enemy, Iran, which has as a constitutional policy that it will export terrorism, is actively supporting the Assad atrocities on Syrian civilians, to include the use of Hezbollah, and Quds (Jerusalem) Forces inside of Syria, and continues to call for the eradication of Israel. While I do not support the President stating what would trigger the use of Military Force to prevent a Nuke Weaponized Iran, it is a necessity to say that it is a viable option that will become unpreventable at an unstated point of nuclearization.
The philosophy of the Islamist government of Iran is such that they don't necessarily need a missile, despite the fact they have them, to explode a nuclear device against the United States. The Ayatollah and Ahdiminijihadist have a philosophy of death. It has a stated belief that a final showdown with the United States will bring about Paradise. It celebrates suicide bombers as martyrs. It has missiles that can hit Israel, and airplanes that can hit New York. It has Hezbollah cells in several American cities, and bases of operation in Latin America.
Iran is another loser for Obama. When the Iranian people attempted to peaceably overthrow its tyrants, they needed only the moral support of the bastion of Freedom, America, to tell them it would back them up. Obama didn't even bother to vote present for it. His silence allowed the Iranian government to rape and murder its subjects, without pause. Romney has said he would have played it differently. Iran is ground zero of the Islamist explosion, and the central source of state-sponsored terrorism. It cannot be "contained," as were the Soviets, and sanctions alone will not work.
The War on Terrorism is another loser for Obama. He has barely uttered the words since it denied it was changing the terminology from "war" to "overseas contingency operations," and then did so anyway. It has refused to use the word "Victory," and has stricken the Taliban off the enemy's list, claiming they are just misunderstood. Obama rests his entire policy on the death of one man: bin Laden, while ignoring that he was replaced very quickly and was ineffective as an operational leader. His replacement, al-Zawahari, was the #2 from day one of the organization, and at least as effective, and more violent than bin Laden, but the Admin tries to downplay that.
The fact remains that the death of no single terrorist can end the war, nor can the war end just because we want to ignore that the enemy is attacking us. We have killed many al-Qaeda leaders. We have captured many. These events occurred before and after the last inauguration. But the enemy has re-built in the last 3 years, as they saw the weakness of the elected President. It has spread. It remains in Afghanistan, in Pakistan, in Iraq, in Iran, in Syria, but has expanded its influence there, while building its forces in Africa, in Yemen, in Mali, in Kenya, in Nigeria.
And rather than pursuing and destroying al-Qaeda in Africa, Obama diverted forces to track down an aging, has been rebel in Kony. Kony is reported to command less than 500 fighters in the jungles of Africa, and has no known Islamist ties, but rather than attack Boko Haram, or al-Shabab, Obama sent hundreds of US Troops to Africa to chase an ineffective ghost.
The clearest difference between Obama and Romney on Foreign Policy is Romney's "Peace through Strength" which defeated the Soviets and won the Cold War versus Obama's Apology Tour and relentless begging of the enemy to negotiate, despite the fact that they have no desire or need to give up anything in order to achieve everything they want, in 2014, or before.
Romney has said that Friend and Foe alike will know that we mean what we say, that'll we'll stand by Our Friends, and follow through with promises against Our Foes. That would be a distinct difference from the current policies of Obama, which have undermined our allies, and emboldened our enemies.