Post 23 October 2012
By Stacy Swimp
The third and final Presidential debate, which focused on foreign policy, accentuated the differences between the way President Obama and his challenger, Mitt Romney, see the role of government.
Governor Romney advocates a policy of peace through strength and being aware of the serious threat of radical Islam to world peace. He expressed that “peace through strength “must be achieved through maintaining a strong military.”
President Obama when pressed about the failure of Arab Spring, the dangers of radical Islam, and his peculiar approach of downsizing the U.S. military in the face of growing world terrorism, did what he has often done when confronted with the aforementioned issues. He avoided giving direct answers to the questions.
The President justified the shrinking of the U.S. military, in spite of the growing thread of jihad, by saying the military now has “fewer ships and no longer relies upon horses, and bayonets”.
The President was being sarcastic, responding to the fact that he has, as Governor Romney pointed out, reduced the navy to its weakest point since 1917.
The reality is that the President has, in fact, not only weakened our military at a time when radical Islam continues to wage jihad against the free world, but has forged an alliance with the Muslim Brotherhood, which is the leading threat to world peace and stability.
Governor Romney emphasized that among the ways we promote national security is through economic strength. He emphasized the need to:
- Promote energy independence
- Increase trade, taking more advantage of opportunities in Latin America
- Make a real commitment to balancing our budget
- Develop and cultivate more successful training programs that put kids first
- Champion small businesses.
“Mitt Romney clearly demonstrated his knowledge and ability to handle the foreign affairs of the United States. He was the only candidate to discuss how our struggling economy and staggering national debt puts our country at risk.”- Ronna Romney McDaniel
Regarding the war in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Governor Romney maintained that he believes that there must be a transition from dependence on the U.S. military to transitioning to the Afghan military taking full responsibility for the security of the region.
As President, he said that he would determine withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan, based on conditions on the ground as assessed by our military commanders. He agreed that there should be a goal of completing the transition of combat operations to the Afghan Army by the end of 2014.
The difference is that President Obama has all but telegraphed to the enemies of peace in Afghanistan when there would be a withdrawal, making what appears to be political points rather than entrusting our military leaders to determine the best plan of action.
Regarding Iran, the President refused to acknowledge that he has reduced our nuclear arsenal to the point of decimation while Iran will soon have access to a nuclear warhead.
Instead he boasted of sanctions against Iran that have in no way slowed or frustrated their commitment to accelerating their development of uranium enrichment, for the specific intent of attacking a trusted ally of the United States, Israel.
President Obama claimed that the sanctions he boasted of were the product of bi-partisanship in the U.S. Congress, while attempting to sidestep Governor Romney’s strong indictment of the President’s refusal to commit to the very real possibility of having to use military force to prevent Iran from essentially starting WWIII.
The President claims allegiance to Israel, stating: “If Israel is attacked, we will stand with Israel.” However, his policies invite attack against Israel.
In May of 2011, President Obama stated: “"The borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states. The Palestinian people must have the right to govern themselves and reach their potential in a sovereign and contiguous state."
This proposal would leave Israel in a position where it could not possibly defend itself against attacks from either the Palestinians or the Iranians. Only after an outcry from the American people, who are overwhelmingly in support of standing with Israel, did the President repent of his recommendation.
However, he now claims to “stand with Israel”. This, while he also refuses to support greater U.S.–Israeli cooperation on missile defenses that would serve to help defend Israel against Iran.
Governor Romney, when discussing the “rise of China”, expressed what he has maintained throughout his campaign. He pointed out that China is a “currency manipulator”.
The President called China a “partner” in one breath and then flip flopped by saying that China is an “adversary”, claiming that his administration has “brought more complaints against China for trade violations than George W. Bush did in two terms.”
What the President failed to tell the American people is that his failed economic policies are largely responsible for the so called rise of China.
The U.S. debt is more than $16 trillion. China is the largest foreign owner of U.S. debt. In effect, despite the President’s claim of issuing complaints against China, his administration is responsible for China increasing its holdings in the U.S.
China's exports to the U.S are flourishing under the Obama administrations, helping its economy grow, while the President’s domestic policies have forced the U.S. economy into a recession.
After four years of an Obama administration, the American people are less safe, more unemployed, and the U.S. economy is sinking at record pace.
Additionally, the President refuses to take responsibility for the fact that the economic recession produced by his failed domestic policies poses a major threat to our national security.
The differences between the way Governor Romney and President Obama see the role of the U.S. in the world is clear and undeniable. Governor Romney sees America as the “hope of the world”. President Obama sees America as a thorn in the side of the world.
The American people will have to decide whose views and values they trust most to rebuild our economy and to keep us safe.
Editor’s Note: Stacy Swimp is president of the Frederick Douglass Society, a public policy organization that promotes free market economic solutions. He is also a spokesperson for Project 21, the nation's largest network of Black conservatives. He can reached at