News / USA

Romney Adviser Discusses Foreign Policy Plans

Romney Adviser Discusses Foreign Policy Plansi
|| 0:00:00
X
September 12, 2012 2:33 AM
Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is known for his abilities in the corporate world, but he has been criticized for lacking experience in foreign policy. Dov Zakheim, a foreign policy adviser to Mr. Romney, spoke to VOA about some of the Republican nominee's policy plans. VOA's Suzanne Presto in Washington reports.
Suzanne Presto
Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is known for his abilities in the corporate world, but he has been criticized for lacking foreign policy experience.  Dov Zakheim, who served at the Department of Defense during the administrations of Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, is among Romney's foreign policy advisers.

Middle East

Romney has said his first foreign trip as president would be to Israel.  During his visit there in July, he lashed out against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

"The dictator in Damascus, no friend to Israel and no friend to America, slaughters his own people as he desperately clings to power," Romney told an audience in Jerusalem.  

Syrian security forces and rebels have been battling for more than a year. The United Nations estimates that at least 20,000 people have been killed in the bloodshed.

Adviser Dov Zakheim says the Republican nominee would aid the rebels.

"Romney has made it very clear that he would do all that it takes to get arms to the rebels -- that means money, that means equipment," said Zakheim.  He added that to achieve this goal, the U.S. likely would work more closely with other countries that support the rebels.

Iran's Nuclear Ambitions

During his visit to Israel, Romney also had strong words for Iran's leaders.

"We should employ any and all measures to dissuade the Iranian regime from its nuclear course, and it is our fervent hope that diplomatic and economic measures will do so," said the nominee.

Iran is pursuing a nuclear enrichment program, despite United Nations sanctions. Tehran says the program is peaceful, but it has not given U.N. nuclear inspectors access to disputed sites.  

Zakheim says Romney would make sure Iran does not have even the capability to make a nuclear weapon.  

"Mr. Romney, as a fresh face, as a new start, would come in and say 'no enrichment, no exemptions' and, of course, back that up with a serious promise of the use of force, which frankly we hope we won't have to use," Zakheim said.

Russia

At the Democratic Party presidential convention, President Barack Obama criticized his challenger's foreign policy credentials.

"After all, you don't call Russia our number one enemy -- not al-Qaida, Russia -- unless you're still stuck in a Cold War mind warp," said Mr. Obama, prompting cheers from the crowd.

Romney has referred to Russia as America's "number one geopolitical foe."  Zakheim says it is because Russia's behavior is "not conducive to improving the world situation."  

At the U.N. Security Council, Russia has blocked U.S.-supported resolutions on Syria aimed at stopping the fighting there, and Russia also has opposed stronger actions to curb Iran's nuclear ambitions.

"Our concern with Russia again is not that we see them as an enemy because we don't," explained Zakheim.  "Our concern with Russia is that they seem to be backsliding in terms of human rights, in terms of aggressiveness toward their neighbors."

South Asia

As the political campaign season in the United States ramps up ahead of the November election, the war in Afghanistan is winding down.  The United States plans to withdraw its combat forces in 2014.

If elected, Romney is not bound to adhere to that 2014 withdrawal timetable.  

"As of now, 2014 is on the schedule and Mr. Romney is prepared to abide by it, if the military is comfortable," said Zakheim.

To get supplies into Afghanistan, the U.S. relies on routes through neighboring Pakistan, but tensions remain heightened between Washington and Islamabad.  

The U.S. has long been frustrated with insurgent havens in Pakistan.  The U.S. has used drones to strike suspected terrorist targets there, which Islamabad says violates its sovereignty.  Last year, U.S. Navy Seals raided a compound in the Pakistani garrison city of Abbottabad and killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, the mastermind of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.  

Pakistan remains a major recipient of U.S. foreign aid.
   
The U.S.-Pakistani relationship calls for "a much more sophisticated approach," Zakheim says.

"That means not cutting off aid entirely but maybe directing it in more effective and efficient ways," the policy adviser explained.  "It means still maintaining a relationship with the military, but what that relationship is like, how we give them money, in what sense and to what purpose and to what end and to whom -- those are very important questions that need to be answered."

China

Romney has repeatedly said he would designate China a currency manipulator, a label that could lead to sanctions.  The Republican nominee also pledged to counter what he says are abusive Chinese practices in the areas of trade and intellectual property.  Zakheim says  Romney does "not see China as a natural enemy."  

Africa

In Africa, foreign policy adviser Zakheim says Romney would continue to support programs that battle terrorism and those that promote development and health.  Zakheim highlighted the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, known as PEPFAR, which began under President George W. Bush and continued under President Obama.

Zakheim noted that bipartisan foreign policy is possible, if the policies are good ones.

You May Like

Beijing Warns Hong Kong Protesters, Cracks Down at Home

In suppressing protest news, China reportedly has arrested more than 20 people on the mainland who acted in support of Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters More

Competing Goals Could Frustrate Efforts to Fight Islamic State

As alliances shift and countries re-define themselves, analysts say long-standing goals of some key players in Middle East may soon compete with Western goals More

Child Sexual Exploitation to Worsen in SE Asia

Southeast Asia’s planned economic integration is a key step for boosting the region’s productivity, but carries downsides as well More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Jay from: Ohio
September 12, 2012 12:13 PM
Just what we need to get rid of the deficit, another war monger. Trillions of dollars spent on the longest war in american history, and Romney wants to start pointing fingers on the way to an election. Not good....He doesnt see china as an enemy because they have made him alot of money with all those jobs hes given to their slavery based economy. He is in the same class as all of those ceo's that care about nothing more than thier own wallets and not the good of the american people. From the outside in, the democratic party allways has seemed to be for the people, and the republicans for war and business with a side of what do the "conservatives" want to hear. We wont allow abortions(got the churches vote), but we will send our children to needless wars to die so we can get rich..oops i mean conquer terrorists....communists..or whatever the excuse is that era.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid