Mitt Romney on Foreign Policy

Last Updated : Dec 29, 2011


Governor Romney's foreign policy stance is based on the idea that the US is the leader of the free world and the free world leads the rest of the world. To accomplish this task, Governor Romney supports the "Peace through Strength" model in which the US asserts its military and financial dominance to support struggling democracies throughout the world and curtail the spread of Islamic fundamentalism, dictatorships, and communism.

In October of 2011, Governor Romney released a 44 page white paper of foreign policy. This paper makes it clear that the Governor views the US as a nation in danger at all times and from all fronts. The job of the President as both commander in chief and primary ambassador is to seek and support policies that reward our friends in the world and punish our opponents. This is not necessarily done through military means, but rather through trade relations and other diplomatic measures.

The short version of the white paper is reproduced in the writeup below, and the sections detailing actions toward each country is reproduced under the writeup for that country. As part of the short version, Governor Romney lists eight items that he would seek in his first 100 days in office:

  • Restore America’s Naval Credibility: Announce an initiative to increase the naval shipbuilding rate from nine per year to approximately fifteen per year and sustain the carrier fleet at eleven. This will restore America’s presence and credibility on the high seas with a view toward deterring aggressive behavior and maintaining the peace.
  • Strengthen and Repair Relationships with Steadfast Allies: Take swift measures to restore and enhance relationships with our most steadfast allies. Actions include reaffirming as a vital national interest Israel’s existence as Jewish state, declaring the U.S.-U.K. special relationship to be a foundation for peace and liberty, and beginning talks to strengthen cooperation with Mexico on the shared problem of drugs and security.
  • Enhance Our Deterrent Against Iran: Reaffirm that Iran’s possession of a nuclear weapon is unacceptable. Order the regular presence of a carrier task force in both the Eastern Mediterranean and the Persian Gulf region. Begin discussions with Israel to increase levels of military and intelligence coordination and assistance.
  • Commit to a Robust National Missile Defense System: Begin process of reversing Obama-era budget cuts to national missile defense and raise to a top priority the full deployment of a multilayered national ballistic-missile defense system.
  • Establish a Single Point of Responsibility for All Soft Power Resources in the Middle East: Work with Congress and relevant Executive branch agencies to organize all diplomatic and assistance efforts in the greater Middle East under one Regional Director with unified budgetary and directive authority. One official with responsibility and accountability will set regional priorities and direct our soft power toward ensuring the Arab Spring realizes its promise.
  • Launch Campaign for Economic Opportunity in Latin America: Capitalize on the benefits arising from the pending ratification of the Colombian and Panamanian free trade agreements to launch a robust public-diplomacy and trade promotion campaign in Latin America that contrasts the benefits of democracy, free trade, and economic opportunity with the ills caused by the authoritarian model of Venezuela and Cuba.
  • Conduct a Full Review of Our Transition in Afghanistan: Conduct a full interagency review of our military and assistance presence in Afghanistan to determine the presence necessary to secure our gains and successfully complete our mission. The review will involve discussions with generals on the ground and the delivery of the best recommendations of our military commanders.
  • Order Interagency Initiative on Cybersecurity: Order a full interagency initiative to formulate a unified national strategy to deter and defend against the growing threats of militarized cyber-attacks, cyber-terrorism, cyber-espionage, and private-sector intellectual property theft. U.S. defense and intelligence resources must be fully engaged in this critical aspect of national defense.


Foreign Policy Initiative

On September 21, 2009 Governor Romney appeared on Foreign Policy Initiative and spoke about numerous subject, including the Obama administration's overall foreign policy stance in relation to the US's history of interaction to promote democracy in the world.


Palmetto Freedom Forum

In August of 2011, Governor Romney participated in the Palmetto Freedom Forum and was asked about his potential foreign policy stance if elected President. He was critical of President Obama's foreign policy and reactive.


2012 Foreign Policy Plan - Short Version


2012 Campaign Website Statements


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