Foreign policy and the GOP

 

I get it, this election is about the economy. I’ve said so too many times to link here. But the presidency isn’t only about the economy (or cars or handouts or special forces), and it’s time Mitt Romney figured out what – with all due credit – the maestros of the Democratic Party did: National security matters.

Once upon a time, natsec was such an obvious GOP advantage that most Dems wouldn’t even bother. Not so last night, and not so in this election. Barack Obama is as vulnerable as can be (even though he killed Osama with his bare hands while reading Burke) – he’s gutted defense, scooted from Iraq, is preparing to scoot from Afghanistan, abandoned Syria, headfaked a China policy, and allowed Iran to make more progress toward a nuclear weapon in his term than in the three decades before. And that’s just off the top of my head. But instead of making those liabilities into, er, liabilities, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have assumed the American people will just know that they’re going to be awesome leaders because they talk about stopping the apologies, resourcing defense, and restoring American global leadership. Give us some substance.

I’m stuttering over this one (I hear it’s a good technique), but, but… John Kerry was right. And so was everyone who parroted him. Yes, he’s a windsurfing, elitist, hyper-partisan who pandered to Syrian dictator Assad and has demeaned our troops in the past. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that we are at WAR. There are men and women who are fighting to keep us safe. They are the best, the bravest, the brightest, and we walk into our offices, our cinemas, our supermarkets, our schools, and our public squares because they make our feeling of safety real. Conservatives have always believed that our nation and the men and women who wear a uniform to protect it deserve everything we can give them — not least our gratitude.

Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan: Fix this.

Editor’s note: AEI’s Marc Thiessen responds to this post here.

 

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About the Author

 

Danielle
Pletka

  • As a long-time Senate Committee on Foreign Relation senior professional staff member for the Near East and South Asia, Danielle Pletka was the point person on Middle East, Pakistan, India and Afghanistan issues. As the vice president for foreign and defense policy studies at AEI, Pletka writes on national security matters with a focus on Iran and weapons proliferation, the Middle East, Syria, Israel and the Arab Spring. She also studies and writes about South Asia: Pakistan, India and Afghanistan.


    Pletka is the co-editor of “Dissent and Reform in the Arab World: Empowering Democrats” (AEI Press, 2008) and the co-author of “Containing and Deterring a Nuclear Iran” (AEI Press, 2011) and “Iranian influence in the Levant, Egypt, Iraq, and Afghanistan” (AEI Press, 2012). Her most recent study, “America vs. Iran: The competition for the future of the Middle East,” was published in January 2014.


     


    Follow Danielle Pletka on Twitter.


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    Email: dpletka@aei.org
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