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."