Mitt Romney’s campaign released their foreign policy white paper last Friday. The paper was accompanied by a list of foreign policy advisers for the Romney presidential campaign. Names that stand out on the list are prominent Bush era cabinet members such as former Head of the Department of Homeland Securtiy Michael Chertoff and former CIA director Michael Hayden, as well as top adviser to the Bush White House on Afghanistan and Iraq, Megan O’Sullivan. The list makes it clear that Romney will rely heavily on the neocon think tanks and foundations to construct his Cabinet should he be elected.
The paper lays out the general principle that military spending needs to be increased in the coming years to properly assert US dominance well into the next century. Romney would set a floor for military spending at four percent of GDP. With current GDP levels this would place a minimum of $580 billion in military spending this year, just $200 billion less than current spending levels at a time that the US military is firmly entrenched around the world, most prominently in Iraq and Afghanistan. This setting of a military spending floor shows that a Romney presidency would either continue to run budget deficits or look for drastic cuts elsewhere, most likely entitlements. Taking military cuts completely off the table will make cuts in social services that much more drastic and painful for the lower and middle classes in the country.
I believe this white paper, which was quietly released on Friday afternoon (be very interested in any news subtly released on Friday afternoon), is a direct message to the defense industry in the US that they can trust that a Romney administration would not cut off the cash that has been flowing into the industry for years. Romney is telling them that they can feel comfortable digging deep into their pockets to support his campaign because it will pay dividends should he beat Obama.
The Obama administration has not enacted any drastic cuts in the Defense budget, they have actually increased military spending peaking last year at $847 billion, up from a George W Bush military defense budget in 2008 of $729 billion. Romney calling out the Obama administration for imaginary cuts indicates that he is planning on drastic increases in defense spending.
The possible reasons for increased defense spending are laid out later in the paper where he establishes Iran and Syria to be at the top of his list and targets for further UN sanctions. Sanctions being the preliminary steps to war. This is undoubtedly a message to potential Israeli and Jewish supporters that he will continue providing military and financial support for Israel.
The full Romney foreign policy white paper can be read HERE
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