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What Would 'President Romney' Do About Syria?

Author: Andrew C. Miller, Assistant Director, Center for Preventive Action
July 25, 2012
Christian Science Monitor

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Judging from headlines, one might think Mitt Romney has a radically different approach to the Syria crisis than President Obama: "Romney slams Obama Syria policy, calls for arming rebel forces" (The Hill) is just one example. As Syria continues to unravel, Mr. Romney continues to criticize the president – even giving Mr. Obama an "F" grade in foreign policy partly for his handling of the crisis. Romney devoted much of his speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars convention in Reno, Nev. Tuesday to lambasting Obama's foreign policy.

How then would "President Romney" handle Syria? Contrary to his condemnations, Romney would effectively have the same policy as Obama. The lack of specific alternatives on Syria in his VFW speech only underscores that reality.

Romney suggests that the president has done little except "sublet" the crisis response to Russia and the United Nations. Obama's actions are even "emboldening Assad and discouraging the dissidents," according to the GOP candidate. On Monday, he told CNBC "I think from the very beginning we misread the setting in Syria" and that "America should've come out very aggressively from the very beginning and said Assad must go."

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