Skip to comments.Romney’s Greatest Weakness
Posted on 03/05/2012 3:55:51 AM PST by Kaslin
Middle East foreign policy is Obama’s greatest strength and Romney’s greatest weakness. When I say ‘Obama’s greatest strength,’ I’m referring to voter perception and marketability. For example, get ready to hear Obama take credit for killing Osama bin Laden from the Situation Room about 10,000 times between now and November. Obama even devoted his 2012 State of the Union Address to previewing his foreign policy “wins.”
But with zero military service under his belt and no international foreign policy experience, Romney is coming from behind. Romney also lacks a clear foreign policy agenda (like Rep. Ron Paul has) that appeals to mainstream America and independents. So, I think Romney would need to adjust his approach on Afghanistan if he wants to appeal to mainstream America and defeat Obama’s brag-worthy talking points.
Obama knows that the War in Afghanistan is dreadfully unpopular with Americans and he’s positioning himself to win by continually advertising his plan to pull all combat troops out of Afghanistan by 2014.
Romney has a short window of opportunity. He can keep offering vague critiques of Obama’s Afghan policy by calling it “naïve” and “misguided.” Or, like a self-assured CEO, Romney can offer a concrete plan to drawback troops faster and choke al-Qaida more effectively. Basically, he must offer voters a pull-out plan they can fall in love with—one that’s radically different from Obama’s plan to spend two more years blowing cash and training back-stabbers in Afghanistan.
GOP candidates Newt Gingrich and Rep. Ron Paul have both expressed the need for America to pull out of Afghanistan sooner than Obama’s 2014 deadline. Gingrich recently said: “We are not going to fix Afghanistan. It is not possible. These are people who have spent several thousand years hating foreigners. And what we have done by staying is become the new foreigners. …The Karzai government is playing us for fools.”
War-weary independent voters find little worth loving in Romney’s current and ambiguous approach to Afghanistan—which some interpret as staying in Afghanistan longer than Obama or even his fellow Republicans like Gingrich and Paul propose staying.
To even have a chance at beating Paul and Gingrich in the primaries and then Obama in the general election, I think Romney would need to address his major weakness, namely foreign policy. There are three key points Romney would need to communicate:
1.) Obama’s surge-and-stay is backfiring
Since 2008—under Obama’s watch—nearly two-and-a-half times the number of Americans have died in Afghanistan as the six previous years combined.
The War in Afghanistan began in 2001, and the Pentagon reports that since 2001 76 coalition troops were killed by the Afghans forces we trusted and trained. However, half of these deaths have occurred since May of 2009. So, the longer we stay and the more troops we send into Afghanistan, the worse the blowback. There is no use denying that the Taliban is no longer our only enemy and there’s an escalating problem of Afghan “allies” turning on Americans under Obama’s troop surge.
American lives are our greatest cost in Afghanistan. The other cost is monetary. I think Romney needs to specifically show Americans how Obama’s plan to keep fighting in Afghanistan through 2014 hinders the free market’s ability to stabilize and create jobs. It costs the U.S. and her NATO allies about $6 billion a year to train and maintain the 350,000-troop Afghan security force.
2.) Obama’s Afghan policy is unpopular
Americans citizens and American troops have grown increasingly disgruntled with Obama’s Afghan policy. On June 21, 2011, Pew reported that 56% of Americans favored bringing all troops home from Afghanistan without delay. And on Oct. 5, 2011, Pew reported that 66% of recent (post-9/11) veterans questioned whether the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were worth fighting.
In recent weeks, however, American anger and doubt over ongoing intervention in Afghanistan has escalated. Why? Because in just eight days, at least six American military personnel have died. Moreover, these six Americans did not die at the hands of the Taliban. Rather, they died at the hands of America’s trusted Afghan “allies” who Obama wants to keep aiding and training.
For example, two high-ranking American officers, Army Maj. Roberty J. Marchanti II and Air Force Lt. Col. John D. Loftis, were shot in the forehead multiple times as they sat in a small conference room in the ultra-secure National Police Coordination Center within the Interior Ministry. Only upper-level Afghan officers can access the Center with a secure code. The primary suspect in this cold-blood dual-murder is 25-year-old Afghan policeman, Abdul Saboor, who spent years working his way up and earning the trust of Americans within the Ministry.
3.) Obama hurts Americans by trusting and siding with Karzai
After American troops mistakenly burned Qurans in Afghanistan this month, the Obama administration quickly issued multiple apologies to Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
Rather than vaguely criticizing Obama’s apology, I think Romney should get specific. He should cast doubt on Obama’s judgment for befriending a man as untrustworthy as Karzai.
Karzai is the same dude who has admitted to accepting multi-million-dollar bags of cash every other month from Iran. And Karzai apparently uses Iran’s cash to assist the Taliban even while he accepts American funding and claims he’s helping us route the Taliban.
The New York Times reports: “The payments, which [Afghan and Western] officials say total millions of dollars, form an off-the-books fund that [Karzai’s closest aide Umar] Daudzai and Karzai have used to pay Afghan lawmakers, tribal elders and even Taliban commanders to secure their allegiance, the officials said.”
Karzai is supposed to be on our side. He’s not. Despite Afghans killing six innocent Americans in eight days and despite both Obama and NATO commanding general John R. Allen apologizing for the Quran-burning, Karzai’s office released a chilling statement from Afghanistan’s authority, the Ulema Council.
According to The New York Times, the Ulema Council recommends that: “those [Americans] responsible for the burning of the Korans and other religious texts should be put on trial and punished. And it called for the American-led coalition to respond by handing over all Afghan prisoners in its custody and ceding control of its prisons.”
Romney should tell the story of the late U.S. Ambassador Richard Holbrooke who served as Obama’s special representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Holbrooke’s dying words to his surgeons before entering emergency aorta surgery on Dec. 13, 2010 were: “You’ve got to stop this war in Afghanistan.” Holbrooke warned Obama about trusting Karzai and he vocally accused Karzai of managing corrupt elections. Romney should point a finger at Obama for ignoring the warnings of Holbrooke who had his ear to the ground in Afghanistan.
Romney could also reference CIA intelligence chief Michael Scheuer, who tracked bin Laden for four years and spent most of his 22-year career in Afghanistan. Scheuer thinks President Obama owes an apology to the American military men and women who died at the hands of the Afghan Forces they trained—and a swift exit plan for the Americans who remain in Afghanistan.
Obama says he apologized to Karzai “…to save lives …it calmed things down …[to] best protect our folks and make sure they can accomplish their mission.” Obama’s stated purpose in keeping combat troops in Afghanistan through 2014 is: “…to disrupt, dismantle and ultimately, ultimately, defeat al-Qaida,” says White House spokesman Jay Carney.
Romney’s greatest weakness is that he is Romney.
"If Obama got Osama, Nixon landed on the moon."
Mitten’s greatest weakness is that he is a dynasty candidate...one who continues on the old family linage in elected government. Daddy was a governor and he is destined to better dad by becoming President. No other reason, simply to show the world that being the President of the United States is truly a genetic trait borne by genius and superior DNA.
You can bet that “Daddy” greased the wheels to his successes in school, college, business and politics. They are all part of the GOP “family” with never ending support from their beloved establishment Republicans.
Romney keeps telling us that he is a businessman but all of the work done in his name was by others. He simply delegated that responsibility to his employees and partners and took the credit....nothing more.
He is an “empty suit” and only wants the Presidential position as the “cherry” on top of the cake.
It is looking more & more like it is going to be Mitt.
Yes I will once again take hold of my nose and vote for him.
This beautiful country can't take another 4 with ZERO running the show. . . . . CAN'T. . . .
Romney greatest weakness, like Obama, is TRUTH.
Both are systematic liars.
Both do not give a damn about their lying.
Both have the MSM covering up their lies.
Eric Cantor on Fox giving Romney booster points.
If Romney has such a great resume - why didn’t he endorse him from the get-go?
There are so many phony endorsers jumping on the bandwagon after sticking their fingers in the air - it’s pathetic.
Have you noticed some discernible difference between Obama and Romney that I missed?
I can not nor will not vote for Romney under any circumstances.
and I stopped reading right there.
Google them the report back to me.
Not a very convincing argument you have there.
I am not trying to convince anybody. You made the statement that there is no difference between ZERO and Mitt.
There is a lot of difference.
I am not pleased with the choices we have left.
I will vote for the Republican nominee even if it's Paul.
There is a lot of difference.
Please provide a list.
You are confusing me with another poster.
I pointed out that telling people to "google" information for why you are defending Romney, is not a very convincing argument for you.
I am not defending Romney, I don't care for Romney. I was for Herman and when he dropped out there was no one left that I cared about. I did vote for NOOT here in Florida because he was the lesser of evils I had to choose from. I don't care for NOOT either.
Now if someone really thinks there is no difference between Romney & ZERO, they need help. Google is a good start.
We will NOT survive if ZERO gets another 4.
I pointed out that telling people to “google” information for why you are defending Romney, is not a very convincing argument for you.
You are going to have to do more than tell me to use google, to get me to vote for Romney.
ansel12 didn't say that, I did but I misspoke and now admit it. Romney is much worse than Obama.
Romney denies he's 100% liberal and that's a lie.
Yes I will once again take hold of my nose and vote for him.
Spoken like a true blue republican. Too bad this isn't a republican forum.
It is pretty funny how Romney almost gives Herman Cain’s answer on foreign policy a lot of the time, that he’ll just consult with the generals to see what he should do.
I still think that Romneycare is Mitt’s Kryptonite.
Today Romney pretty much took the Obama position on gas. Whoops! There goes another issue!
I feel like you have to pick the hill you're going to die on. For me, I think this is the hill I'm going to die on. I cannot in good conscience vote for Romney. I held my nose and voted for McCain, and for what? Why did I do that? Had McCain won, I don't think we'd be better off today. The only thing that makes me pause in my decision not to vote for Romney is the issue of possible SCOTUS judges. Still, I think this is the hill I'm choosing to die on.