Q: Sen. Obama said, “If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets, and President Musharraf will not act, we will.” You said you didn’t agree with Obama’s plan and you called it “ill-timed and ill-considered.”
ROMNEY: Yes, I think Barack Obama is confused as to who are our friends and who are our enemies. In his first year, he wants to meet with Castro & Chavez & Assad & Ahmadinejad. Those are our enemies. Those are the world’s worst tyrants. And then he says he wants to unilaterally go in and potentially bomb a nation which is our friend. We’re trying to strengthen Musharraf.
Q: But if the CIA said, “We had Osama bin Laden in our sights, Musharraf says no,” what do you do?
ROMNEY: It’s wrong for a person running for the president to get on TV and say, “We’re going to go into your country unilaterally.” Of course, America always maintains our option to do whatever we think is in the best interests of America. But we keep our options quiet.
2007 GOP Iowa Straw Poll debate - Aug 5, 2007
The jihadists' history with America justifies their confidence that we will abandon the fight. In 1983, jihadists attacked US marines in Lebanon--and we withdrew. The again in 1993, jihadists attacked US marines in Somalia--and we withdrew. Next, jihadists placed bombs in the World Trade Center, but they were arrested and tried as if they were street criminals, not a real and present threat. In 2000, jihadists audaciously attacked the USS Cole, killing 17 American sailors, but once more, we did nothing.
With all this history as a backdrop for their lectures to the young, jihadists have become quite confident in the knowledge that, time and again, we have underestimated their threat, their capacity to kill, and their steadfast resolve. This is a lesson they pass on to the young radicals in the making. Only in recent years has American resolve in Iraq and Afghanistan provided a counterexample of Western fortitude in the face of jihadist attacks.
No Apology, by Mitt Romney, p. 71 - Mar 2, 2010
Q: Osama bin Laden is dead. We've been in Afghanistan for ten years. Isn't it time to bring our combat troops home from Afghanistan?
ROMNEY: It's time for us to bring our troops home as soon as we possibly can, consistent with the word that comes to our generals that we can hand the country over to the Afghan military to defend themselves from the Taliban. I think we've learned some important lessons in our experience in Afghanistan. I want those troops to come home based upon not politics, not based upon economics, but instead based upon the conditions on the ground determined by the generals. But I also think we've learned that our troops shouldn't go off and try and fight a war of independence for another nation. Only the Afghanis can win Afghanistan's independence from the Taliban.
2011 GOP primary debate in Manchester, NH - June 13, 2011
Q: How do you prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon? Is it worth going to war to prevent that?
ROMNEY: Well, it's worth putting in place crippling sanctions. It's worth working with the insurgents in the company to encourage regime change in the country. And if all else fails, if after all of the work we've done, there's nothing else we can do beside take military action, then of course you take military action. It is unacceptable for Iran to have a nuclear weapon. We will not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon. This term "unacceptable" has been applied by several presidents over history, and our current president has made it very clear that he's not willing to do those things necessary to dissuade Iran from their nuclear folly. I will take a different course. I will make sure that the sanctions, diplomatic pressure, economic pressure, and support of insurgents within the country help them become dissuaded to get away from their nuclear ambition. And finally, have a military presence there.
2011 debate in South Carolina on Foreign Policy - Nov 12, 2011
ROMNEY: Israel does not want us to make it more difficult for them to sit down with the Palestinians. Ultimately, the Palestinians and the Israelis are going to have to agree on how they're going to settle the differences between them. My view is this: We stand with the Israeli people. We link arms with them. If we disagree with them, like this president has time and time again, we don't do it in public like he's done it, we do it in private. And we let the Israeli leadership describe what they believe the right course is going forward.
Yahoo's "Your Voice Your Vote" debate in Iowa - Dec 10, 2011
Q: What is the earliest you think our 90,000 troops in Afghanistan should be brought home?
ROMNEY: Well, we want to bring our troops home as soon as we possibly can. The commanders are saying they think 2014 is a better date. If I'm president, I will inform myself based upon the experience of the people on the ground that are leading our effort there. I want to make sure that we hand off the responsibility to an Afghan security force that is capable of maintaining the sovereignty of their nation from the Taliban. I don't want to do something that would put in jeopardy the hard earned success which we've had there. And I would bring our troops home as soon as we possibly can, of course, based upon my own experience there, informing myself of what's happening there and listening to the commanders on the ground.
WMUR 2012 GOP New Hampshire debate - Jan 7, 2012
Well, other than the fact he basically gave Iran his entire playbook if he gets elected (and then saying a few years later we should keep our options quiet), I can't really disagree with the things he has said. Can I be amused that they were talking about Osama being in Pakistan back in the 2007 election cycle though?
Of course, ask anyone that knows me back from my Navy days and they'll confirm I had been saying he was within spitting distance of Islamabad since 2005, so maybe that's why it amuses me...
Newt Gingrich on War & Peace
Ron Paul on War & Peace