In the latest Republican debate, Mitt Romney attacked President Obama’s approach to fighting security threats from abroad. “A foreign policy based on ‘pretty please’? You got to be kidding,” said Romney.
The former governor’s claim doesn’t just prove that he’s willing to overlook the President’s strong record on national security—it also exposes his eagerness to play politics with foreign policy.
From the beginning, President Obama’s commitment to fighting terrorist threats to the U.S. has not wavered. Shortly after taking office, he directed then-CIA director Leon Panetta to prioritize the killing or capturing of Osama bin Laden. In June of 2011, the President announced:
“Together with the Pakistanis, we have taken out more than half of al-Qaeda’s leadership. And thanks to our intelligence professionals and special forces, we killed Osama bin Laden, the only leader that al-Qaeda had ever known.”
The President has also repeatedly affirmed America’s commitment to stopping nuclear proliferation in Iran. In 2010, President Obama imposed the toughest and most comprehensive sanctions the country has ever faced, demonstrating “the growing costs that will come with Iranian intransigence.” President Ahmadinejad was forced to acknowledge the serious impact of the sanctions on Iran: “Our banks cannot make international transactions any more,” he said. These “biting external sanctions” have forced Iran to make the choice between compliance with international nuclear regulations and continued unemployment, high inflation, and low growth.
In addition to defending America from terrorist threats, President Obama helped shape a U.N. security resolution to protect Libyan citizens from the brutal Qaddafi regime, leading to an international military operation to prevent a massacre and “stop Qaddafi’s forces in their their tracks.” These operations were carried out without a single American casualty. According to the New York Times, “with Colonel Qaddafi joining the lengthening list of tyrants and terrorists dispatched during the Obama presidency, even critics conceded a success for Mr. Obama’s approach to war.”
President Obama’s actions have proven his leadership and ability to make difficult decisions to advance security around the world. Meanwhile, Mitt Romney has based his foreign policy positions on electoral politics—subject to the whims of his audience.