Foreign and Defense Policy

No national security meetings in Romney’s first 100 days?

The Wall Street Journal has a story today about the mix of moderates and neo-conservatives in Mitt Romney’s circle of foreign policy advisors, and speculates what this means for the foreign policy his administration might pursue. But the most troubling annecdote comes from the candidate himself. The story notes that foreign policy “is hardly the campaign’s dominant focus, given voters say they care most about the economy” and concludes with this story:

Mr. Romney made that clear at a July fundraiser in Montana as he rehashed the challenges Mr. Reagan faced when he took office. He recounted how [James] Baker, a former secretary of state, held a national security meeting about Latin America during the first 100 days of Mr. Reagan’s presidency.

“And after the meeting, President Reagan called me in and said, ‘I want no more national-security meetings over the next 100 days—all of our time has to be focused on getting our economy going,’ ” Mr. Romney recalled Mr. Baker saying.

Given the challenges a Romney administration will face – from a spiraling Syria to key decisions on the way forward in Afghanistan to dealing with Iran’s nuclear program and the threats from al Qaeda in Yemen and East Africa – it is unlikely Romney will have the luxury of ignoring foreign policy for his first 100 days. Moreover, if history is any guide, the world has a way of intruding on the best laid plans of American presidents to focus on the home front (witness the EP-3 crisis with China that George W. Bush faced in his first 100 days).

But the fact that Romney thinks it would be desirable to ignore the world for his first 100 days is troubling. Yes, the American people are focused on the economy – and understandably so. But Romney isn’t running for treasury secretary – he is running for Commander in Chief. And those responsibilities begin on Day 1 of his presidency.

5 thoughts on “No national security meetings in Romney’s first 100 days?

  1. So, Mr. Thiessen: You read a Wall Street Journal story; you note that the story involves speculation; you see an anecdote (which may have been altered, shortened, taken out of context) regarding a talk given by Romney (was it altered, as we have seen NBC news do?) where he quotes an adviser’s (Baker) story about Ronald Reagan. Then YOU speculate about what Romney might/would do. What an irresponsible post by you.
    The “fact” (what fact, pray tell?) that Romney…”desirable to ignore the world for the first hundred days” (where did you get that from the story above?)…is “troubling.”
    No, Mr. Thiessen. What is troubling is that you have speculated on fourth hand information, made up your own speculation about what you claim Romney would do, then criticized it as if it were true about Romney.
    Bizarre.

  2. When he has meetings is pretty meaningless. I have no confidence in the sort of minds that came up with notions like the “War on Terror” anyway. (Something wrong with “War on Al Qaida”?)

    What IS important with regard to national security is…the economy. The way things are going right now, the United States will soon (maybe before the decade is out, almost certainly within the one to follow) have only a ghostly afterimage of its current military power. The capabilities everyone takes for granted are expensive, and most of them are necessary to remain dominant. The rotting of the economy via cronyism and socialism will destroy the sources of revenue necessary to fund the military nobody imagines the U.S. without.

    The decline in U.S. military power may lead to an increase in the frequency and intensity of armed conflict. It may also lead to further economic problems for the U.S. and the West. Nobody seems to note this.

    Maybe the reason for commentators being oblivious to the problem is that many of the “hawks” are woefully ignorant of free-market economics and unfortunately subscribe to a number of economic fallacies, while many of the free-market, lower-case libertarians are utterly incapable of comprehending Machiavelli and unaware of the difference between “ought to” and “is.” However, if the government does not get out of the economy, and if federal spending is not significantly reduced, you won’t have to worry about the differences between military you have and the one you want – you won’t be able to afford either one.

    Having written all that, here on a comments page for a think tank in a nation of folks who spend most of their time watching American Idol, no fix will happen. The economy will continue to rot, the government will continue to grow, and American will continue to fester as it becomes like France, but worse. Just imagine what you’ll be able to discuss at national security meetings then!

  3. I sometimes wonder what President Obama thought he was supposed to do to run this country as he has done a horriable job at it! He has failed at it on every level, his foreign policy is null and void, we are bankrupt (to the point that it will take generations to pay off the debt)! I hope and PRAY that Romney wins because if he doesn’t, we are in very deep,dark trouble!!!!

    • I will pray for you, as it’s very obvious that you’re completely ate up with the FNDARD! This disease seems only to afflict RDA’s like yourself, who have other people do their thinking for them!
      How horrible it must be to go thru life without ever have a mind of your own to use!
      So I’ll pray for you, even though it’s probably too late!

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