By Tom Cohen
Mitt Romney promised Monday to restore U.S. foreign policy to a traditional role dating back decades, based on exerting global influence through military and economic power, in a major speech two weeks before he debates President Barack Obama on international issues.
In the address at the Virginia Military Institute, Romney argued that Obama is failing to provide the global leadership needed and expected by the rest of the world, especially key allies such as Israel.
Romney cited recent protests and violence in Arab countries, including an attack on a U.S. diplomatic compound in Libya that killed the American ambassador and three others, as examples of a worsening security situation that he blamed on Obama's policies.
"It is our responsibility and the responsibility of our president to use America's great power to shape history — not to lead from behind, leaving our destiny at the mercy of events," the Republican presidential nominee said, after earlier declaring that "unfortunately, this president's policies have not been equal to our best examples of world leadership and nowhere is this more evident than in the Middle East."
By Elise Labott
Amid a growing diplomatic mandate after the revolution and increased concerns about an "uncertain and unstable" security environment, the U.S. Embassy staff in Libya requested a 16-member Special Operations "security support team" remain in the country for several months beyond the end of its scheduled departure in August, calling its work "essential," according to a State Department memo obtained by CNN Security Clearance.
The request was denied.
"Given the unstable security environment, projected staffing increases, lack of physical and technical security upgrades in place and continued high volume of VIP visits, Embassy Tripoli requests an extension" of the security support team for four months, which "will allow us to implement the security transition plans recommended by the Department," reads the February 28 document.
"A loss of SST now would severely and negatively impact our ability to achieve the department's policy and management objectives at this critical time in Libya's transition," it said.
After days of Syrian projectiles falling across the border into Turkey, tensions - and carnage - are mounting on both sides of the border.
The stray shelling has prompted Turkey to respond with threats and weapons fire, fueling concerns that the Syrian civil war will bleed into a greater regional battle.
Here are the latest developments in the 19-month Syrian crisis.FULL STORY
By the CNN Political Unit
Mitt Romney will seek to bolster his foreign policy credentials in a major speech Monday, two weeks before the GOP presidential nominee takes part in a presidential debate focused on security.
In his remarks, set to take place at the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Romney will argue that last month's consulate attack in Benghazi, Libya, "should not be seen as random acts."FULL STORY
By Barbara Starr
If there is one thing U.S. military commanders don't like, it's a surprise on the battlefield.
Generally it means bad things are happening.
So the Defense Intelligence Agency - which is responsible for gathering military intelligence - is undertaking a new effort to keep that from happening. A new classified DIA project is aimed at reinvigorating the military's ability to understand global events and threats before they become crises that impact U.S. troops and interests.
The new process involves convening special classified panels of experts inside the Pentagon from both the military and intelligence communities to look at particular problems.
By Pam Benson
The United States faces a potential security threat from two Chinese telecommunication companies operating inside the United States, according to a congressional report to be released Monday.
CNN obtained a draft report of the nearly year-long probe by the House Intelligence Committee into the business practices of Huawei and ZTE telecommunications firms.
The report concluded, "the United States should view with suspicion the continued threat of the U.S. telecommunications market" by the Chinese companies.
Huawei is a nearly $30 billion Chinese company employing 120,000 people worldwide with approximately 1,500 in the United States. It is one of the top three providers of telecommunications equipment and information communications technology in the world. ZTE is a similar but smaller firm.