October 7th, 2011
01:26 PM ET

Romney's national security pitch

GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney unveiled his national security policy today with some swipes at President Barack Obama and some proposals sure to please the defense spending industry.

Among the proposals –

– reverse projected spending cuts and set a floor for defense spending of 4% of gross domestic product (GDP)

– increase Navy shipbuilding to a rate of 15 ships per year

– reverse Obama missile defense cuts and commit to a missile defense system

– launch review of Afghanistan transition plan

– in Latin America "launch a vigorous public diplomacy and trade promotion effort in the region"

– complete border fence on border with Mexico

– reset the Obama administration "reset" with Russia

Pentagon correspondent Chris Lawrence talked about the spending and weapon proposals with Newsroom anchor Suzanne Malveaux.   Over on CNN's Global Public Square blog, Brookings' Michael O'Hanlon gives his take.

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Filed under: 2012 Election • Afghanistan • Arab Spring • Cybersecurity • Foreign Policy • Homeland Security • Iran • Iraq • Israel • Jordan • Kuwait • Middle East • Military • NATO • North Korea • Obama • Pakistan • Pentagon • State Department • Syria • Terrorism
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  4. John Doe

    Good, I hope what he is saying is true. What we need to watch is Iran, and North Korea. And eliminate Al Quada.

    October 9, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Reply
  5. Judith

    Romney's foreign policy advisors are a bunch of Bush's neo-cons. God spare us from this kind of thinking. Now he's rattling sabers at Iran–just we need is another middle eastern war.

    October 7, 2011 at 6:24 pm | Reply
  6. Iconoclast

    If there is to be any meaningful reduction in government than there can't be any programs that are not put on the table. As other commentors have pointed out it is absolute hypocrisy to demand smaller government and not reduce our defense spending as part of that. But then again at least the republicans have been very consistent in their hypocrisy.

    October 7, 2011 at 6:21 pm | Reply
  7. SKS

    If Romney is so Strong on supporting the Military, why DIDN'T ANY of his 5 sons join the Army, Navy or the Marines? Actions SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS ROMNEY.

    October 7, 2011 at 6:17 pm | Reply
    • Brad Naksuthin

      We spend more on defense than most of the nations of the world put together.
      Yet we've been stuck fighting a losing battle in Afghanistan for 10 years.
      Which only proves that spending more on defense doesn't win wars.
      We spend ten billion dollars a year, 100,000 coalition soldiers, 200,000 Afghan security forces fighting about 25000 illiterate peasant farmers who have no tanks, no helicopters, no drones, no air force, no navy, no humvees, no night vision goggles, no combat boots , YET even though we've pumped tens of thousands of fresh troops into the region the Taliban continue to attack at will. Last month they launch a daring "Tet" style offensive on the American embassy in Kabul.
      We need to reassess the amount of money we are spending on defense. We are not getting the bang for our buck. We need to find out why a bunch of rag tag desert Mullah's have been able to attack and kill better equipped superior American forces for TEN years...the longest war in US history.
      If spending more on defense would win this war, all Americans would be for greater defense spending.
      I fear what we are doing is simply creating a huge jobs program for military contractors and their employees.
      NOT contributing to the defense of the nation.

      Since the debacles of Iraq and Afghanistan the US has pour over a trillion and a half dollars into the two wars.
      Imagine what good that money would have done here at home repairing crumbling bridges, broken roads, and fixing the deficit.

      October 7, 2011 at 7:13 pm | Reply
  8. PJ

    Romney will say and commit anything to get the Nomination. What does he know about National Security or Foreign Relations for that matter other than his two years of missionary work trying to convert people to his religion? He is a phoney and not to be believed at all.

    October 7, 2011 at 6:12 pm | Reply
  9. MC in TX

    So ... at a time when our deficit is in crisis and our defense spending has been setting records for a good decade (even though currently our only real enemy is rag-tag groups of rebels) the GOP front-runner is proposing that we need to ramp UP defense spending and aggravate our relationship with Russia, the one country with military power that is even remotely comparable to ours.

    But, hey, at least he favors lowering taxes which should offset the effects of this spending on the deficit. Oh ... wait a minute ...

    October 7, 2011 at 5:03 pm | Reply
  10. SPQR

    President Obama 2012 !

    October 7, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Reply
  11. QuietStormX

    Romney sounded so childish and not know what he's talking about. First President Obama has been rewriting the wrongs and sabor rattiling of the Bush and republicans fear mongering and lies. How is he going to do all he proposed and not pay for it like before with Iraq and afganinastan. President Obama found this out after Bush and the lowly republicans left. We cn't afford republicans again. We still have Much to do and correct. Romney has no clue of what he is talking about. The Economy has to be fixed first before you can doi anything. We don't need another shell game again!!!

    October 7, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Reply
    • HurtfulTruth

      Oh, he knows EXACTLY what he's talking about......he's simply pandering to those who just want to see the best ANTI-OBAMA impersonation to call their candidate!

      To THEM, he sounds no different than those who were vocal against the FIRST African Americans to be integrated into so many aspects of American life.....INCLUDING the Citadel....so EVERY chance that they get to "reminisce" about their days of "glorious supremacy", they jump on it....which is CLEARLY represented by the RACIAL MAKEUP OF THE STUDENTS IN THAT PHOTO!!!

      But you all know how it goes.....

      * The first African Americans to fly aircraft during WWII – deemed "unqualified" and "not intelligent enough" to operate the aircraft they used to NEVER lose ANY of the bombers they escorted!

      * The first African American to integrate the Citadel – HARRASSED from the day he arrived to the day he left and....of course...treated like he was "unqualified" and "not intelligent" enough to be there:
      "Cadets yelled out windows to camouflage the source of the insults. And the abuse didn't end with his knob (freshman) year. Whatever punishment other cadets received, it was worse for Foster because he was Black. said New Jersey native Dave Hooper of Inverness, Ill., a 1970 graduate who was Foster's first roommate. Hooper said he received letters warning him never to associate or go home with Foster."
      "During "roving mess," when the athletes ate with the other cadets, freshmen were forced out of their usual seats and had to find another place to eat. It was obvious when Charles was looking for a seat Conroy said, because the chant "rigger, rigger" was heard. "I told Charles to always find me. When he would sit down with me, all the southern boys would leave." – Pat Conroy, Citadel Graduate.

      Now fast-forward to 2011......and the first African American PRESIDENT being called a "Kenyan-born, secret Muslim, needs-a-teleprompter-to-read('unintelligent'), knows NOTHING about what he's doing('unqualified')" individual, who Republicans have OPENLY stated that they REFUSE to work with him – sounds A LOT like what happened at the CITADEL backin the 1960's, doesn't it??!! – being subjected to vitriol from those who are proud to stand in front of an ALL-WHITE, ALL-MALE group of Citadel students and a sign that reads "BELIEVE N AMERICA".....in BIG BOLD LETTERS!!!!

      Looks like LITTLE.....if ANYTHING has truly changed since the days of "rigger, rigger" in the Citadel mess hall!!!!

      October 7, 2011 at 4:10 pm | Reply
  12. huxley

    When is Defense spending "too much"? We already spend more than every other country on earth COMBINED. Thats China, Russian, India, all of the Middle East. Add them all up – the United States spends more. We spend even more than we spent during the Cold War and World War II.

    October 7, 2011 at 3:11 pm | Reply
    • strangerq

      In other words – he wants to increase military spending, and cut taxes for the rich – at the same time.

      ^ This is Bush Cheney Nightmare part II!!

      October 7, 2011 at 5:52 pm | Reply
  13. JB

    Don't group all the republicans together. Mitt Romney and many of the others represent the fraud conservatives called the neo-cons that have become the face of the republican party. We're trillions of dollars in debt and we're supporting more military spending and building a fence on the mexican border using borrowed money? We don't want a continuation of Bush and to an extent Obama. We want the troops home. We want the budget back under control. We don't want this war-mongering about Iran when we have enough problems with our foreign policy. We don't want more liberty eroded in the name of freedom. Ron Paul 2012!

    October 7, 2011 at 3:03 pm | Reply
  14. nshee

    Is this just a place to vent, or can people actually make sound comments? Your posts hold no substance except for opinions. Put some beef into your comments and don't waste people's time looking at "whatevs" and "Where do you get these clowns." These comments are so idiotic it makes the readers look like idiots. Get some sense and then comment. Otherwise keep quiet and don't incite people with idiotic comments. We need a real perspective come this election, and bitter talk here is only going to confuse those who don't know what to do. At least Romney here is putting forth some idea to make the country better. You got a better idea, tell us. But if you don't, keep quiet.

    October 7, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Reply
    • Tdap

      In your rant about leaving intelligent comments, I was unable to find yours. That's okay, even a hypocrite needs a moment for unintelligble rant. By the way, this section of this story is reserved for opinion. Here's one: Romney is out of his mind if he thinks his position will sit well with the majority of Americans, not to mention the rest of the world. A world that already resents American arrogance. Hmmm, more military and the attitude that we're running things whether you like it or not. That sounds like a real winning policy.

      October 7, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Reply
      • HurtfulTruth

        Well said!

        October 7, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
      • Obama

        Not "well said".

        Truth sure gets peoples blood boiling! You haters bring choas, confusion and noise to the world. Go join the mobs of indecisiveness and try standing for a million DIFFERENT agendas. None of those people can agree on ANYTHING. At least Romney has the guts, the intelligence and the leadership to try and steer this ship of fools!

        October 7, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
    • BeanTown Bully

      I take issue with your statement about Romney trying to do "better". If it is a know concesus that we are low on cash, how is increasing speanding on defense a "good" idea. Covert ops have proven to bear more fruit than a ground or air war. Romney is merely pandering...

      October 7, 2011 at 5:22 pm | Reply
    • alanseago

      You are correct, nshee, about the lack of thought that goes into most comments. But commenters have a point when they criticize Mr. Romney for proposing more defense spending.

      This country has a very real economic problem. Mr. Obama didn't cause it, but he hasn't shown that he can fix it, either. Many of us would like to vote for someone else, but who? I am very much pro-defense, but Romney's expensive proposals are part of the problem. A resurrection of "Star Wars"? That's not a solution. To anything.

      October 7, 2011 at 5:22 pm | Reply
  15. HurtfulTruth


    Minority Enrollment –

    Charles Foster became the first African-American cadet to graduate from the Citadel in 1970 and he was well known for his success in ROTC.

    Norman Seabrooks became the first African American cadet to captain a Football team.

    Norman Doucet of the Class of 1994 was the first African American Cadet Regimental Commander of The Citadel.[20]

    The Corps of Cadets at The Citadel was all-male until August 1996, although women had attended civilian graduate evening programs at the school for many years.

    On January 20, 1994, Shannon Faulkner became the first female student to enroll in day classes at The Citadel. After additional legal battles, Faulkner won the right to enroll in the residential Corps of Cadets program. She joined an otherwise all-male class on August 15, 1995. However, after only four hours of military indoctrination training, she spent the majority of the first week in the medical infirmary and then voluntarily resigned citing emotional and psychological abuse and physical exhaustion. In the fall 1996, four more women enrolled at the Citadel (Nancy Mace, Petra Lovetinska, Kim Messer and Jeanie Mentavlos.) While two (Kim Messer and Jeanie Mentavlos) dropped out after four months citing harassment, Nancy Mace became the first female cadet to graduate from The Citadel on May 8, 1999. Using credits earned from a two-year community college, Mace graduated in three years. Mace's father, Brigadier General Emory Mace, became the Commandant of Cadets during her second semester at The Citadel.

    The first international female cadet was Czech-born Petra Lovetinska-Seipel, who graduated May 2000. Lovetinska holds the rank of captain in the U.S. Marine Corps and served in the Iraq War. She is married to a fellow Marine officer, Captain Patrick Seipel.

    In May 2002 the first African American women [[Toshika "Peaches" Hudson of Columbia, S.C; Renee Hypolite of Philadelphia, Pa.; Natosha Mitchell of Dyersburg, Tenn.; Geneive Hardney of Staten Island, N.Y.; Lesjanusar "Sha" Peterson of Chicago, Ill.; Adrienne Watson of Sanford, N.C.; and Jamey McCloud of Wadmalaw Island, S.C]] – seven cadets in all – graduated from the Citadel.

    First African American females to graduate in.......2002.......the place has been around since 1842......yeah, PERFECT spot for a conservative N'ER BASHING!!!!

    October 7, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Reply
  16. Denis Now

    That's the problem when you are receiving dirty money, you don't have so much room to move in politics, or policies, because someone "own" you... so here we go again, what is the difference between Obama, Bush, Mitt, Perry? None...other than "different" parties in the paper..... the rest... same all same.... sad, but that's the reality and people don't see an end....

    October 7, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Reply
  17. cal usa

    For a while we thought that Republicans just wanted to continue the Bush policies of taxcuts and no regulations that were so successful in getting us to the economy we're "ejnoying" today. Romney now tells us they also want to continue building up the defense budget that Bush doubled, continue pouring money into the Star Wars that Reagan started 30 years ago and keeping us in wars that Americans want ended. The question is how many people are willing to give these yahoos an opportunity to double down on failed strategies? By all rights, President Obama should win 50 states, or allow any state that supports the GOP platform to secede.

    October 7, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Reply
  18. HurtfulTruth

    WOW!!!! That group of students......in Conservative-World......must TRULY represent their "vision" of what an "American Leader" should "look" like!!!

    Then they wonder why they're called racist for their vitriol about the President. These subliminals do NOT occur accidentally. Are they THAT stupid as to NOT inform that institution of the importance of showing a more diverse student body??!!

    It really gets under my skin when people come on these boards and start talking about people using the "race card".....well, if conservatives weren't notorious for scenes like THIS, we wouldn't have a reason to use it!!!

    October 7, 2011 at 2:46 pm | Reply
    • Conrad

      Posted on Tell us shentoimg we don't knowEveryone loves to hear shentoimg new, or to be told a story that no one knows. So when you speak to reporters (both written press and TV interviewers), try to let slip a snippet of original info either shentoimg about yourself that most people do not know, an insight into your training, or a reflection of your feelings and emotions during the competition. As difficult as it might be to think of shentoimg original to say after a race when the brain is starved of oxygen, a little imagination can go a long way.

      March 2, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Reply
  19. Lars

    Mitt's speech sounded a bit like some of Hitler's speeches of the 30s. Excite the weak-minded and scream military nationalism.

    October 7, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Reply
  20. Socrates

    I have a question for the American people. Where do you get these clowns? Palin, Perry, Mitt, etc...I know that any country has one clown in politics but you people, you have so many. Maybe you can identify these clowns in their early years and send them for brain treatment and maybe when they are adults their stupidity, which is very dangerous, will change. It is a real problem the production of stupids in the US. Too many, just too many to handle.

    October 7, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Reply
    • Plato

      Categorizing Perry and Palin with Romney is a mistake. If you would listen to Romney, he at least makes sense. Romney is for small government, self-reliance and not "leaning" on the government for everything, fair taxes, border control, fair trade, protecting America, familiy values, healthcare for citizens, religious liberty and freedom, and most importantly improving the economy and generating jobs!!

      October 7, 2011 at 4:55 pm | Reply
      • What?

        Plato, Did you read your own words. Military is part of the government. How can you be for a smaller government and stil want to make the military larger. If I read between the lines correctly, what you are saying is that Romney wants to limit all parts of government except the one that he controls as Commander In Chief. You can't have it both ways. Do you want smaller government or bigger government? This is a perfect example of what is wrong with politics: He "says" that he wants smaller government, but what he really wants is more "power" to control more of the world!

        October 7, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
      • Buzzer

        @ What? "How can you make government smaller while making the military larger?" Are you really that ignorant? Its called a budget...some areas of government expand, while others contract and the cuts exceed the increases, based on the priorities of the people that formulate the budget. I can't believe that I had to explain this...but this level of ignorance probably explains your username.

        October 12, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
      • What?

        Considering that we spend more on national defense than the next 17 countries combined, defense should be the first thing that we cut in the budget. Don't get me wrong. I believe in a strong national defense and I am a veteran. We could cut Social Security, medicare and medicaid from the budget and it still would not balance the budget. Cutting defense by 50% would minimize the cuts to programs that are needed by the poor and would balance the budget. We can't balance the budget by increasing defense spending. We have to make better use of the money that we are currently taking in. Granted, I don't agree with the expansion of medicare spending over the last 8 years (remember the prescription drug benefit to seniors that Bush did't pay for) and I don't agree with the expansion of the Federal government over the last 10 years (remember who started the Department of Homeland Security?). I also don't agree with an increase in taxes, even though I don't believe that closing loopholes is a tax increase. Paying 40% of our GDP for the military and wanting to "increase" that amount is not practical or sane budgeting. All I am saying is cut the defense budget first where you can get the biggest bang for our taxes. If you do this, government gets smaller and you don't have to increase taxes.

        October 17, 2011 at 8:39 pm |
  21. sonny chapman

    Did Mitt mention why none of his 5 abled-bodied sons were not helping to carry out his Foreign Policy "Vision" through military duty ? Typical Repub., like Bush/Cheney, love a "muscular" foreign policy but don't want their kids or grandkids fighting in wars & don't want to pay taxes for these wars they love so much.

    October 7, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Reply
    • Sonny Chapman Jr.

      What difference does that make? If they had served you would have come up with another reason to criticize and disagree with Romney. In an age where people VOLUNTEER for the military, believe it or not, not everyone volunteers to join, imagine that. If they were called to serve there's no doubt they would have, unlike your draft dodging Clinton!

      October 7, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Reply
    • alanseago

      It is hardly fair, Mr. Chapman, to criticize Mitt Romney for what his children did or didn't do.

      October 7, 2011 at 5:32 pm | Reply
  22. chachi

    this should all lower my taxes. or maybe we'll have to cut funding for schools or seniors to do it. whatevs. Vote Republican.

    October 7, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Reply

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