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

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid