After hearing about Mitt Romney’s big national security speech yesterday, I finally got curious enough to read the transcript. Obviously he thinks Barack Obama has done everything completely wrong, but that’s just blather. I wanted to figure out what actual, concrete proposals he made. As near as I can tell, here they are:
- No cuts to the defense budget.
- No more national security leaks.
- No more criticism of Israel, ever.
- A successful transition to Afghan security forces by the end of 2014.
- No more cheating by China on trade issues.
- “Conditions” will be placed on aid to Egypt
- On Iran, “Sanctions must be enforced without exception….Negotiations must secure full and unhindered access for inspections….There must be a full suspension of any enrichment, period.”
Hmmm. #1 requires action by Congress, not the president. #2 sounds great, but Romney would be the first president in history to do this. So color me skeptical. #3 I believe, though it probably won’t matter much in terms of actual policy. #4 is basically what Obama is already working toward. #5 is pretty vague. #6, ditto. And #7 isn’t really very different from Obama’s current policy either.
In other words, Romney will talk tougher than Obama, but not really do anything very different. At least, that’s my takeaway from the actual policy content of his speech. Anybody else have a different take?