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Posted by on May 30, 2012 in Politics, War | 11 comments

Romney – Bush Redux

A few days ago I did a post on Romney’s foreign policy.  If it looks familiar it should – his foreign policy advisors are mostly retreads from the Bush/Cheney administration.  

Today there are a couple of new posts from people to the right of me on Romney’s militaristic foreign policy. From Daniel Larison we have:

Romney’s Campaign Dislikes the Neoconservative Label, But Keeps Embracing Neoconservative Policies

The campaign is right to bristle at the neoconservative label. That’s not because the label is inaccurate. Romney’s foreign policy statements often sound as if they are drafted by Weekly Standard staff writers. Except for McCain, Romney has been campaigning as the most unapologetic adherent to neoconservative foreign policy views of any Republican nominee. Regardless of the “range of backgrounds” of his advisers, the diversity of their views is not very great.Two-thirds of them worked for George W. Bush in some capacity. The campaign bristles at the description because they understand that the neoconservative label is politically damaging. That doesn’t seem to stop Romney from giving voters every reason to believe that his foreign policy would be a neoconservative one.

The second comes from OTB’s Steven Taylor:

Romney and the Military

1. Romney here appears to be saying that if he has to choose, he chooses military power over taking care of the social needs of the citizenry. Even recognizing that military power is important, this is a telling statement. It is odd, or so it seems to me, to so easily dismiss the importance of social needs and to, to use Erik’s word, sneer at the Europeans for diverting more resources to that than to military power.

2. Of course, an underlying question: how big is big enough? As Doug Mataconis noted recently, he US already spends the most in raw terms than any other country in the world. Indeed, the US spends six times was the second place country (China) spends and over 11 times what the number three county (Russia) spends. In terms of the Europe quip and Romney, it is worth noting that four of the top ten in raw spending are European countries (France, the UK, Germany, and Italy). Further, along those same lines, Doug notes:

If you add in the military budgets of the NATO and non-NATO allies in the Top 20, it amounts to more than 70% of the worldwide military spending, dwarfing the spending of nations like China, Russia, and Iran to a considerable degree. Based on sheer numbers alone, the idea that the United States isn’t spending enough on defense, a refrain one hears frequently from the hawkish wing of the GOP, is quite simply absurd.

Romney will give the wheel to the neocons again.  I don’t like a lot of what Obama has done but I sure don’t want the Weekly Standard crew in charge again.  We should all know how that worked out last time.

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  • dduck

    I thought Obama was Bush-Lite.

  • @dduck
    He is – Romney is full strength Bush.

  • merkin

    I don’t think that Romney knows enough about foreign policy to have one of his own. I believe that in the debates he endorsed the idea that Bolton would make a dandy Secretary of State.

    Romney seems to be stuck in the 1950’s, believing the greatest threat that we face is from the Russians. Meanwhile, the DoD believes that one of the biggest threats that we face are the many asymmetrical conflicts resulting from climate change, a threat that Romney and his party refuses to acknowledges because it comes from a problem that they refuse to admit exists.

  • @merkin
    Right on all counts – still something else that makes him Bush redux.

  • merkin

    Oh, I miss the edit button. “, a threat Romney and his party refuse to acknowledge because …”

  • @merkin
    I knew what you were saying – this isn’t an English class.

  • The_Ohioan

    If global warming is our biggest security threat, we’re screwed.

  • zephyr

    Well heck, just because we might be screwed already doesn’t mean we can’t screw ourselves even more on the way to the exits eh? I’m sure another round of neocon foreign policy could help with that.

  • slamfu

    “the idea that the United States isn’t spending enough on defense, a refrain one hears frequently from the hawkish wing of the GOP, is quite simply absurd.”

    How this point isn’t brought up every time the budget is discussed is beyond me. Ask a republican how much we are spending on military and the answer will be some version of “not enough”. We could slash $300Bn out of the annual military budget and still be easily the most dominant country in the world. I’m all for maintaining our position as #1, but I’d like to do it with a reasonable budget. But no, lets take the money from social programs, kids, poor people, and education first before we even think of removing any money for the F-35 program which has turned into a case study in boondoggles.

  • slamfu

    And to get to the main article, Romney isn’t just Bush Redux on foreign policy, he’s pretty much got the same opinion on everything. That should be the democratic attack on Romney, not his time at Bain. We lost a lot of ground under Bush and the policies of the GOP. They got to do just about whatever they wanted. Lower taxes, relax oversight, coddle their buddies and pet industries, and look where it got us? The people at the top made money, the people in the middle didn’t or lost ground, and the financial sector gambled $ Trillion and lost, not that they guys who organized it didn’t come out WAY ahead, and oil companies who have had everything they could ask for in terms of cooperation have not been able to keep the price of gas down, although they have been able to show record profits year after year which somehow, surprise surprise, never seem to find their way to the pumps.

    These major industries are out to get absolutely everything they can and stick it to the public shamelessly while they do, while the GOP drones on about how they are really acting in our best interests and we should let them just do what they want. I don’t know about anyone else but my sphincter is still raw from the pounding of ’08 and if Romney gets elected we can look forward to more of the same.

  • DaGoat

    Pitting Bush vs Bush-Lite doesn’t provide a very compelling argument to vote for either one. I see it as having to choose between a candidate whose foreign policy I haven’t liked vs a candidate whose foreign policy I probably won’t like.

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