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American Prospect: The Romney Foreign-Policy Agenda

Author: James Mann, Author-in-Residence, Johns Hopkins’s School of Advanced International Studies
May 22, 2012


James Mann of the American Prospect provides insight into presidential candidate Mitt Romney's foregin policy agenda and how he has yet to announce the direction he hopes to steer the country.

Imagine for a moment: It is two weeks after Election Day and President-elect Mitt Romney holds a press conference to announce his foreign-policy team, the officials who will guide his administration's relations with the rest of the world. "Team of rivals!" proclaims Romney. He says he has decided to fill the top jobs in foreign policy with his competitors for the Republican presidential nomination. For secretary of state: Rick Santorum. For secretary of defense: Newt Gingrich. For CIA director: Rick Perry. For national security adviser: Michele Bachmann …

OK, that was just a scary joke. It's not going to happen. But it does serve as a reminder that, after 30-plus Republican primaries and an unprecedented number of debates, voters have little idea of how Mitt Romney would deal with the world outside America's borders, what his philosophy is, or whom he would name to high-level positions in his administration. The greatest uncertainty, though, is one that reaches beyond Romney: Where would the next Republican administration go after the disaster of George W. Bush's war in Iraq? Toward other military interventions, or an effort to preserve the status quo, or some degree of retrenchment?

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