Sunday, July 29, 2012

Romney, England, and Foreign Policy

Romney is traveling abroad to build his foreign policy credentials.  Romney is familiar with the outside world.  He spent two years in France as a Mormon missionary and speaks fluent French.  He also had Bain invest in at least one Chinese company, in 1998 when he was very much in day-to-day control.  This particular Chinese company specialized in providing outsourcing services for American companies, i.e., shipping jobs from America to China. Although you might think Romney would be pretty good at diplomacy, he promptly insulted his British hosts on his first foreign stop by questioning their Olympic competence.  This was a major news story in the UK.

This is a good time to look at Obama's foreign policy and, closely related, military record.  It is outstanding.  Consider:

  1. Our military is no longer bogged down in Iraq.
  2. Large quantities of loose nuclear materials have been brought to safety.  This significantly reduces the biggest security threat we face: loose nukes falling into al Qaeda's hands.
  3. Our overseas popularity is way up (for example, according to Time magazine this week, in Britain trust of the US President went from 16% before Obama to 80%).
  4. The al Qaeda leadership has been decimated, including the death of their top dog, Osama bin Laden.
  5. The Taliban have been pushed back in both Afghanistan and Pakistan.
  6. Iran is struggling under well co-ordinated international sanctions.
  7. Iran's nuclear program was severely damaged by a computer virus, probably planted by the US and Israel.
  8. North Korea is almost completely isolated.
  9. Cuba and Venezuela are struggling.
  10. Four Arab dictators have been toppled, and another (Syria's Assad) is in deep, deep trouble.  
  11. A number of African countries have made significant steps towards democracy.
All and all, things have been going our way internationally.  You can think this is an accident, just luck, but if so Obama is very, very lucky.

Unlike domestic policy where Congress holds a lot of the cards, foreign policy is almost entirely the responsibility of the President.  How things go overseas is a good measure of his leadership and Obama's lookin' good.