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NEWS
August 31, 2012 | By Trudy Rubin, Inquirer Columnist
I've just returned from a gorgeous Maine vacation in time to follow the hoopla of the presidential conventions (from the sublime to the ridiculous?). I'll be writing on Mitt Romney's foreign-policy potential - and President Obama's performance - as the conventions progress. But having read the GOP's foreign-policy platform, with its slashing critique of the president, I can already say this: A Romney foreign policy would likely wind up looking much like Obama's. Despite a call for another "American century" in which we possess the "strongest military and strongest economy," a President Romney would soon confront the realities of today's world.
NEWS
October 23, 2012 | By Thomas Fitzgerald, INQUIRER POLITICS WRITER
BOCA RATON, Fla. - A forceful President Obama accused Republican Mitt Romney on Monday of taking a muddled approach to foreign policy that would only encourage the nation's enemies in a dangerous world. Romney parried by arguing that Obama has failed to address the threats from a Middle East in upheaval, with an Islamist regime in Egypt and a Syria convulsed in civil war, and had "wasted" four years while Iran moved closer to having a nuclear weapon. American needs "strong steady leadership, not wrong and reckless leadership that's all over the map," Obama said.
NEWS
July 31, 2008 | By Theodore Couloumbis and Bill Ahlstrom
American foreign policy has often been described as oscillating between realist and idealist poles. The U.S. presidential election campaign offers an excellent opportunity to subject the presumptive Democratic and Republican nominees to a realist-idealist test. Realists see the world through gray and melancholy lenses: humans are selfish and aggressive by nature, and conflict between political entities is inevitable. Diplomacy, backed by military force, can at best moderate state behavior, if favorable balances of power are maintained by coalitions of the privileged and the satisfied.
NEWS
May 2, 2011 | By Charles Krauthammer
"Obama may be moving toward something resembling a doctrine. One of his advisers described the president's actions in Libya as 'leading from behind.' " - Ryan Lizza, The New Yorker To be precise, leading from behind is a style, not a doctrine. Doctrines involve ideas, but since there are no discernible ones that make sense of Obama's foreign policy - Lizza's painstaking two-year chronicle shows it to be as ad hoc, erratic, and confused as it appears - this will have to do. And it surely is an accurate description, from President Obama's shocking passivity during Iran's 2009 Green Revolution to his dithering on Libya, acting at the very last moment, and then handing off to a bickering coalition, yielding the current bloody stalemate.
NEWS
May 24, 2010 | By Charles Krauthammer
It is perfectly obvious that Iran's latest uranium maneuver, brokered by Brazil and Turkey, is a ruse. Iran retains more than enough enriched uranium to make a bomb. And it continues enriching at an accelerated pace and to a greater purity (20 percent). Which is why the French foreign ministry immediately declared that the trumpeted temporary shipping of some Iranian uranium to Turkey will do nothing to halt Iran's nuclear program. It will, however, make meaningful sanctions more difficult.
NEWS
April 16, 1996 | By Ross K. Baker
Watching an old kinescope of the 1960 debates between Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy, I was reminded of how hard Kennedy attacked on three foreign policy issues. One of them, the so-called missile gap, was a myth. The second, the resoluteness of the Eisenhower administration's stand in defense of the two tiny islands of Quemoy and Matsu, was trivial. The third, the question of the administration's toughness toward Castro, put Nixon in a bind because, as vice president, he couldn't reveal that plans already had been laid for the invasion of the island by Cuban exiles.
NEWS
October 11, 2011 | By Michael Muskal, Los Angeles Times
LOS ANGELES - Jon Huntsman Jr., far behind in the race for the GOP presidential nomination, outlined his foreign policy Monday, trying to steer a course less hawkish than the party's leader, Mitt Romney, but still forceful enough to attract Republican support. The former U.S. ambassador to China, Huntsman was also critical of President Obama, his former boss, saying the president's foreign policy lacked leadership. "The world needs American leadership now more than ever.
NEWS
September 5, 2001 | By Trudy Rubin
Maybe we all expected too much from Colin Powell. When the the charismatic ex-general was appointed Secretary of State, he seemed the perfect choice to shape a foreign-policy vision for a President who lacked one. He was a glamorous diplomat-warrior. He looked just the ticket to tone down the administration's gung-ho Star Wars crowd, with a dose of realism honed by years of military service. He seemed poised to become the great articulator, to explain why America must remain internationalist.
NEWS
July 30, 1987 | By Raymond Price
Surprise! The secretary of state found himself cut out of the loop in important foreign-policy matters. Bureaucrats engaged in infighting and officials waged turf wars. This is like saying wolves hunt or cars collide: certainly true, sometimes deplorable, but hardly unexpected. George Shultz's testimony at the Iran-contra hearing certainly had a real- world flavor, including his earthy choice of language: "guerrilla warfare" among competing factions, a "battle royal" for the President's ear, Ollie North's irregulars getting "taken to the cleaners" in their dealings with the wily Iranians.
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NEWS
August 21, 2015 | By Trudy Rubin, Inquirer Columnist
Two weeks' vacation on Cape Cod was a pleasant escape from the bizarre political circus otherwise known as the Republican primary contest, in which foreign policy has mostly gotten short shrift. But for someone who has been very critical of President Obama's foreign policy, there's scant solace in the positions of those candidates who are now giving foreign policy speeches. While Obama's policies pursued inflated hopes over realities, these Republicans ignore realities in favor of dated dreams.
NEWS
March 16, 2015 | By Thomas Fitzgerald, Inquirer Politics Writer
So far, foreign policy is driving the race for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, with each potential contender vying to sound more hawkish than the next. Send U.S. ground troops to fight the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria? Bring it on. "We didn't start this war, nor did we choose it. But we will have the will to finish it," former Texas Gov. Rick Perry said at the recent Conservative Political Action Conference. He said the self-styled caliphate, known as ISIS, "presents the biggest threat to national security since communism.
NEWS
February 19, 2015 | BY DOYLE McMANUS
MOST presidential campaigns focus mostly on domestic issues, such as the economy, taxes and health care, not foreign policy. But the 2016 presidential campaign is already shaping up to be an exception to that rule. For one thing, the world is a mess. The United States is at war in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan, even if we don't have combat troops on the ground, and opportunities for new wars keep cropping up. President Obama hasn't convinced most voters that his policies are working; in a Fox News poll released last week, a whopping 73 percent of respondents said they didn't think Obama had a clear strategy in the fight against the terrorist Islamic State.
NEWS
January 22, 2015 | By Trudy Rubin, Inquirer Columnist
If anyone still needed proof of President Obama's reluctance to let foreign policy distract from his domestic agenda, he provided an excess in his State of the Union address. In the brief foreign policy portion of the speech, Obama revisited his constant themes: He trumpeted the end of America's combat missions abroad (last year he cited Iraq, this year Afghanistan) and the need for allies to shoulder the burdens of fighting terrorism - with our assistance. "I believe in a smarter kind of American leadership.
NEWS
January 22, 2015 | BY JOSH ROGIN
  REPUBLICAN voters are divided when it comes to key foreign-policy issues and the role of American power abroad. But listening to the party's potential 2016 presidential candidates at the weekend's Republican National Committee winter meeting, in San Diego, you wouldn't have known it. Not only was foreign policy front and center of every address, but the contenders were all convening around a hawkish, almost neoconservative position similar to...
NEWS
October 17, 2014 | By Trudy Rubin, Inquirer Columnist
Leon Panetta has taken a lot of heat for publicly dumping on Barack Obama's foreign policy while the president is still in the White House. Where's his loyalty? the critics ask, as Panetta makes the publicity rounds for his new memoir, Worthy Fights , which says tough things about Obama's past policies on Syria and Iraq. Shouldn't Panetta, who served as CIA director and defense secretary during Obama's first term, have zipped his lip until his former boss left office? Absolutely not. Panetta - a child of Italian immigrants who believes deeply in America's promise - is trying to nudge Obama to adopt a more engaged style of governing; he rightly believes this is the only way Obama can break through the paralysis in Washington and exert more forceful foreign policy leadership in the future.
NEWS
May 20, 2014 | By Maddie Hanna, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
NEW YORK - The United States needs to again be "a moral power" in the world, having ceded some authority during President Obama's tenure, Gov. Christie said Sunday night. Speaking at the Champions of Jewish Values International Awards Gala in a midtown banquet hall to a crowd that included Republican megadonor Sheldon Adelson, Christie did not mention Obama by name, but accused the president of taking a weak stance toward the conflict in Syria. "Once you draw that red line, you enforce it," Christie said, apparently referring to Obama's declaration in 2012 that Syria's use of chemical weapons would not be tolerated.
NEWS
May 5, 2014 | By Trudy Rubin, Inquirer Columnist
As he was traveling in Asia last week, President Obama let loose with a broadside against critics who say his foreign policy is too weak. "Why is it that everybody is so eager to use military force after we've just gone through a decade of war. . .?" he demanded at a news conference in Manila. "Many who were proponents of . . . a disastrous decision to go into Iraq haven't really learned the lesson of the last decade, and they keep on just playing the same note over and over. " His job as commander-in-chief, he added, is "to deploy military force [only]
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