Mitt Romney turned attention to his foreign policy this week, with a largely substance-free and fact-challenged speech on Tuesday and a European tour that will eventually take him to Israel. While Romney gone to great lengths to avoid talking national security, it’s no secret that neither Romney nor his advisers appear capable of outlining a clear vision of a Romney administration’s foreign policy. What little specifics we do hear sound suspiciously like the Obama administration’s positions. So for those wondering what a Romney presidency might mean for U.S. troops and diplomats, there’s not much to go on.
But what’s troublesome about Romney on foreign policy is what’s cooking behind the scenes. Gen. Colin Powell recently complained that Romney’s foreign policy team is “quite far to the right.” Indeed, veterans of the Bush/Cheney administration “pepper” Romney’s foreign policy team and the so-called “Cheney-ites” are reportedly winning the presumptive GOP presidential nominee’s ear. Here’s an in depth look at some of the key advisers a President Romney will hear from on foreign policy and what we might come to expect in a Romney administration:
Before advising Romney, Amb. John Bolton served briefly as U.S. ambassador to the U.N. under a recess appointment — awkward from the start because of his lifelong disdain for anything multilateral. After leaving government and taking up a position at the American Enterprise Institute, he turned on the Bush administration for not being hawkish enough on Iran. It’s a note he’s been striking since as a Fox contributor, sometime presidential candidate, and frequent guest on right-wing conspiracy theorists’ radio shows. He cheers for negotiations with Iran to fail, a position that supports his “default setting” of wanting to bomb Iran for any old reason even though he has admitted it might not work. Ominously, Bolton even once suggested a nuclear attack against Iran.
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