Many have expressed concern that the current Presidential campaign has been devoid of National Security/Foreign Policy issues, myself included. I've said very little about Romney, because he has previously said very little about National Defense. I've picked up a few encouraging snippets in the last few weeks, but finally he has added some substance, on the topic Obama considers his strong suit.
"Hope is not a strategy." Romney is not the first I've heard say that. My old team Sergeant said it on a regular basis, when he felt complacency was setting in, when he thought someone wasn't planning or preparing properly, when someone forgot to plan. He was right "Hope is NOT a strategy." You can't just hope the right supplies and equipment will be available when you need it, where you need it, or that the other units involved are on the same sheet of music. You have to have a plan and you have to have thought out all the details of that plan, including what the enemy may do in response to your moves.
Romney is right. Hope is not a strategy. You have to have a plan for how to help your friends, and how to defeat your enemy.
Romney has pledged to roll back the Obama cuts to the Troops, to the restore the Navy from its current 1916 strengths. He has pledged to lead the Free World, not just hope others will do the right thing. He stated his recognition that a strong military prevents war, and that the world is more dangerous today than it was in 2008.
He noted that our Friends, our Allies, want American leadership, that the people of the Middle East, and the world want the Freedoms we have here. He pointed out that Libyans rejected the presence of the Islamist terrorists that had killed our diplomats, from remaining in their midst.
In the short 22 minutes of Romney's speech he points out many failures of the current Administration, such as Obama's silence when the Iranian people risked, and sacrificed their lives, in hopes that the world would help them overthrow their tyrannical regime, in 2009.
And when the civilian fatalities stood at half of the now 30,000, Obama sent Panetta & General Dempsey to Congress where his Secretary of Defense stated he would not get Congressional permission to go to war in Syria, but would wait on UN or NATO approval, despite the Constitution. And when the civilian fatalities stood at 1/3rd, the Administration said they didn't know who the rebels were, even after a year of combat. Now, al-Qaeda has made inroads, along with Hamas into the Syrian Civil War against Bashar Assad, his Russian and Communist Chinese allies, his Iranian allies, and their Hezbollah underlings. Lost in the crossfire are Syrians, who want Freedom, and democracy.
Though the Obama Administration denied the obvious for weeks, it has finally admitted that the attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi was the work of Al-Qaeda, or at least its Islamist allies, and not just an overreaction to a two bit video no one had heard of or would have heard of, if it hadn't of been for the attack on our Embassy in Cairo. In fact, the attack on the Embassy in Cairo was advertised and supported by the Islamist Nour Party there, an ally of the Muslim Brotherhood ruling party, and the attack on the Consulate in Benghazi appears to have been led by a terrorist released prematurely from GITMO, and directed to occur by Al-Qaeda's leader, al-Zawahari.
And the attack came days before Obama announced he was releasing a 1/3rd of the remaining terrorists left at GITMO, and turning over the terrorists at Bagram, along with the prison to Afghanistan.
The Romney speech comes on the heels of Lara Logan's speech to the Better Governance Association in Chicago, where she told them that Islamism, the Taliban, and Al-Qaeda have grown stronger in the last few years (of the Obama Administration). She knows. She's been there. She was in the middle of the events in Cairo, and has the lumps to prove it. She has interviewed General Allen, President Karzai, and members of the Taliban. She wore no scarf with Karzai or Allen, semi-covered her hair with Karzai's underlings, and had to scarf the camera as well with the Taliban.
We now know there were many Islamists in that crowd that day.
Obama has abandoned the Middle East, and Latin America, while ignoring Africa, while ordering the Military to focus instead on the vast ocean of the Pacific, with fewer Troops. His Administration pulled back on security forces in Libya, when his Ambassador there asked for more, and intelligence noted a pending attack. And the Marine response team that should have been on a moment's notice, was days away. His Ambassador, OUR Ambassador there was murdered as a result. Yes, it is the fault of the Islamist Terrorists that conducted the attacks, but it is the Administration which is to blame for ignoring the intelligence and the requests of the Ambassador on the ground.
Romney has struck a stark difference between his policies in Foreign Affairs and the current Administration's. Romney says he won't publish an enemy emboldening timeline of retreat, but will instead use the Diplomacy of Strength. He won't abandon allies, or back down from enemies, but instead ensure that allies and enemies alike will know we mean what we say, and have the means to back it up, and the will to do so.
Romney has said he won't allow America to be tossed about on the waves of world events, but will lead from the front, and shape those events.
I'm not necessarily excited about Romney but I am impressed with his speech. And I'm glad he has finally stated some positions on National Security and Foreign Policy. I will hold him to those words if he wins, just as I have pointed out that Obama's were empty when he said "Afghanistan would be his top priority," in the 2008 campaign.
It is time to turn the tide back in the favor of Freedom, and to push the rise of Islamism back on its heels.