With the world awash in change, leading voices in the GOP have begun to suggest that it's time to sharpen the rhetoric on foreign policy, write Alexander Burns and Maggie Haberman for Politico.
Amid a wave of instability across the globe from Syria to North Korea, prominent Republicans are starting to prepare for an unexpected possibility: a 2012 presidential race fought over more than the economy.
For more than three years, the GOP has focused overwhelmingly on issues related to job creation and the size of government. The party's presidential front-runner, Mitt Romney, is holding steady in general election polling thanks to his branding as Mr. Economic Fix-It.
But now, the U.S. mission in Afghanistan appears to be fraying. Iran is continuing its pursuit of a nuclear weapon. The Syrian government is mowing down anti-government protesters. A new North Korean dictator is vowing to launch a satellite into space.
And leading voices in the Republican Party have begun to suggest that it's time to sharpen a foreign policy and national security message for the post-George W. Bush era.