Dimitris Rapidis

Mitt Romney’s agenda

We might not know what the Republican candidate for Presidency plans are, but it is quite apparent that at least in foreign policy agenda he will endeavor to shift Obama’s so-called soft-and-chilling handling of some of the major issues dealing with US hard politics in the Middle East and East Europe.

His recent tour in Britain, Poland and Israel is well-orientated and carefully chosen. For all three there is a counter-agenda aiming at regaining any softening of US role in geopolitical terms. Before leaving American territory, Romney gave an impression of his plans charging President Obama for coddling Russia at the expense of NATO allies, blinking in the face of unfair Chinese trade practises, and avoiding to give a clear message in the cases of Afghanistan and Iran.

The visit in London signifies for candidate Romney the thawing of bilateral relations with the closest and most traditional ally in Europe endorsing Cameron’s skeptic strategy over the future of British-led investment and banking interests in Europe as the crisis remain unsolved. Romney shows strong devotion to British-American common interests pertaining the European territory hoping to build a stong front against ill-shaped planning of Brussels and Berlin to cope with recession.

His visit in Poland was invested with hopes for re-catching the lost ground that President Obama’s appeasing policy against Russia left in the former Communist states with Poland being amongst the most prominent ones. Putin seems relaxed and safe as the US once influential role in the region is regarded as week, at least comparing with the previous strategic doctrine of ex-President Bush in the region. Romney represents the part of the military and industrial complex in the US feeling sidelined by Obama’s resetting policy and relation with Russia in a more loose and less conflicting context. The re-triggering of some elements of Cold Era’s communication scheming might possibly see the light in case Romney is elected.

Israel has always been a priority for US foreign policy guidelines both for strategic and domestic interests. As strategic we point out the role Israel is playing as major ally in Middle East, and as domestic interests we consider the definite role American-Israelis are playing in the shaping of US foreign policy. In addition to that, as civil war in Syria is getting harsher and bloodier, a possible pre-emptive strike is possibly under consideration with Israel being the major shelter of action. Similar is the danger with Iran, where the US navy is getting prepared in the Gulf Region for a second strike. The UN is absent, now more than before that its envoy is relinquished from its position, Russia and China are skeptical and hesitant; therefore US has to be in effective position to impose military and geopolitical leverage while preserving any further instability stemming from the Arab states against Israel.

Finally Afghanistan remains a floating field both in terms of military expenses as well as in terms of US pivotal role in Central Asia. Combatting and putting down anti-regime forces in Kabul and around is said to be the only way to exit this “new Vietnam” puzzling situation and safeguard any possible influece in an area geopolitically and traditionally occupied by Russia and China.

For all these reasons, Obama’s soft power profile in foreign affairs is something Romney and his hawkish allies aim to put down and establish hardcore military and diplomatic intervention. Fareed Zakaria’s insightful book over Post-Americanism, dealing with the world after the decrease of US powerful role around the globe and the introduction of a burden-sharing era in international politics, might be flawed by Romney’s revival of hard politics setting military intervention as the primar weapon of reaction to crisis in the place of diplomatic action.

Still, we have not clarified whether Romney’s stance is rather intended for domestic consumption or it is simply a reproduction of Bush’s foreign policy legacy.

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