Romney: Obama Didn't Act Fast Enough on Foreign Policy

Image: Romney: Obama Didn't Act Fast Enough on Foreign Policy

Tuesday, 18 Mar 2014 06:34 AM

By Elliot Jager

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President Barack Obama has procrastinated in making foreign policy decisions, frittering away the chance to influence events until it was too late, 2012 GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney wrote in The Wall Street Journal.

The consequence, Romney said, is a litany of leadership failures on the global stage. There are no "good choices" because of the president's "terrible timing." That is the case regarding Iran's quest for nuclear weapons, Bashar Assad's persistence in Syria's relentless civil war, and the refusal of Iraq and Afghanistan to sign status-of-forces agreements with the United States.

Urgent: Do You Approve of Obama's Handling of Foreign Policy? Vote Here

"Why, across the world, are America's hands so tied?" the former Massachusetts governor wrote. "A large part of the answer is our leader's terrible timing."

Romney said the time to have acted on Ukraine was when the protests and violence first began to percolate and it was obvious Russia would try to exploit the instability.

"That was the time to talk with our global allies about punishments and sanctions," Romney wrote.

The time to have acted on Syria — seeing to it that the rebels were armed — was during the early stages of the rebellion when promoting moderate leaders and reassuring Assad's Alawite base would have been possible.

Romney said that the United States should have pressured Hosni Mubarak to reform Egypt's political system before violence destabilized the country. It should have signed deals about force levels with Iraq and Afghanistan before announcing timelines for troop withdrawals.

Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton failed to "anticipate events, prepare for them, and act in time to shape them," Romney wrote. They failed "to act when action was possible and needed."

As a result, Romney said, the world has diminished respect for the United States, and the troubles Washington faces have only been exacerbated.

Romney wrote that "a chastened president" and current Secretary of State John Kerry "can yet succeed . . . Timing is of the essence."

Urgent: Do You Approve of Obama's Handling of Foreign Policy? Vote Here

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