Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Romney's Dangerous Ploy on Foreign Policy: Obama Is Weak on Security

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Romney's Dangerous Ploy on Foreign Policy: Obama Is Weak on Security

Article excerpt

Americans too easily believe the simplistic myth perpetuated in the Republican debate Saturday that Obama and Democrats are weak on national security while Republicans keep the US strong. It's a cheap shot, but Democrats have also played this dangerous game.

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the weakest of them all? According to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, it is President Obama who is endangering American national security - despite the fact that this president increased military spending in each of his three years in office, ordered more drone attacks on the Taliban and Al Qaeda than his predecessor, and took out Osama bin Laden.

And yet, Mr. Romney, in his foreign-policy speech at The Citadel military college in Charleston, S.C., last month, characterized Mr. Obama as weak on national security: "If you do not want America to be the strongest nation on earth, I am not your president," he said. "You have that president today."

He echoed that assertion in Saturday night's GOP debate focusing on national security and foreign policy. "If we re-elect Barack Obama, Iran will have a nuclear weapon. And if you elect Mitt Romney, Iran will not have a nuclear weapon," Romney stated.

Obama's record on military spending is apparently not enough for Romney, who wants to add another $30 billion a year to the Pentagon budget as well as enlist another 100,000 new troops. With two wars winding down and tremendous budget pressures, Obama now wisely seeks more than $450 billion in defense cuts.

Still, one wonders who among the Republicans will be the first to declare that America is facing an "Obama gap" in defense? Watch for it when the GOP candidates again debate national security on Nov. 22 in Washington.

Americans too easily believe the simplistic myth that Democrats are weak on national security and Republicans keep the US strong.

It's a cheap shot but by no means the first, and Democrats have also played this dishonest game.

They shamelessly misled the public during the Eisenhower administration, indicting Ike for allegedly weakening America. General of the Army Dwight D. Eisenhower, who led allied forces to victory over the Nazis, was scurrilously defamed by Democrats who accused him first of permitting a "bomber gap" to develop between the United States and the Soviet Union, followed by the fictitious "missile gap."

One of the worst proponents of the missile-gap lie was John F. Kennedy, who said the nation was losing the "satellite-missile race" because of "complacent miscalculations, penny-pinching, budget cutbacks, incredibly confused mismanagement, and wasteful rivalries and jealousies."

He and other officials went so far as to claim that Soviet missile counts were as much as 1,000 times what really existed - a gross exaggeration. …

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