In his pursuit of the Republican nomination for president in 2008, Mitt Romney showed himself to be a hawk. At that time, he promised to defend America against enemies in Russia and China. He promised to build ships, and to build and emplace missiles in all corners of the world, to provide peace through strength.
Today, while addressing military personnel at The Citadel in South Carolina, Romney made substantially the same case. In spite of our weak economy, in spite of the newly developed Tea Party movement with its pleas to stop spending, he has made sweeping statements in favor of a strong but highly expensive national defense.
Romney would increase shipbuilding from nine new battleships yearly to fifteen. He would install missile strike and defense systems to defend against the Soviet Union, China, and the combined forces of Cuba and Venezuela. He would take a firmer stand with Iran, which he sees as a serious and ever-present threat. His stand on Iran seems to correspond to the John McCain plan; eitheer they comply or we bomb, bomb, bomb! Romney seems unaware of ongoing developments within and about North Korea, taking a more general view that Pyongyang is an enemy. Romney sees negotiation, dialogue, and diplomacy as weakness, as did Bush.
Although the Republicans have uniformly and stubbornly opposed “new” taxes, Romney would reverse the cuts to the military defense budget made by the Obama administration. He advocates having greater influence on the emerging nations of the Arab Spring, which could result in a resurgence of nation building. Romney would defend, as did Obama, the Suez Canal and all shipping lanes, and would send aircraft carriers to remain visibly offshore near Iran.
Romney sees several growing threats to America’s domination of the world, militarily and economically: Islamic fundamentalism, the nations of Iran, North Korea, Venezuela and Cuba, the ongoing struggle in the Near East, and the Soviet threat under Premier Vladimir Putin. His concern with Putin dates back to the election of 2008. Romney says Putin’s goal is the reversal of the breakup of the Soviet Union. He would have little or no liaison with our enemies and potential enemies; he would rather defend through our military superiority.
Romney has consistently demonized China, and intends to maintain military supremacy over that nation, which may be unrealistic. China, he says, may move into the 21st century, or may descend into darkness.
Specifically, Romney encourages the military/industrial complex. He promises to build a strong national ballistic missile defense system. He looks to an “American Century”, and promises to be free from political motivation.
Romney recently appointed members to his team of foreign advisors, including some who advised George W. Bush. He is much like Bush, eschewing negotiation, and advocating pre-emptive capability. If a hawk is needed, and the economy will benefit from far greater spending on defense and military, if a big stick is the answer, Romney might be the man to take the reins. I fail to see where the money is going to come from.