Forever posturing as one tough dude, Mitt Romney naively sees the world in terms of black and white, friends and enemies, good guys and bad guys — and never the twain shall meet.
Daniel Larison, writing in The American Conservative, SAYS Romney’s appoach to foreign policy emulates the worst of George W. Bush’s impulses:
Romney’s weakness on foreign policy reflects the larger Republican predicament on foreign policy, which stems from the party’s failure to acknowledge fully the Bush administration’s failures and the related unwillingness to move away from the thinking that led to them…
[J]udging from Romney’s campaign statements to date the lesson that he and his advisers have learned from the last decade was that Bush was insufficiently aggressive. Bush dangerously stoked tensions with Iran and consistently made the wrong choices on Russia policy, but Romney sometimes speaks even more recklessly than Bush. Even though he did almost everything possible to make relations with Russia worse, Bush paid lip service to desiring Russian cooperation on certain issues. Romney doesn’t seem to think cooperation with Russia (or China) is possible or desirable. So far, Romney appears to favor a return to Bush era foreign policy, but with less tact and respect for the interests of other states.
Romney’s criticisms suggest that he thinks one of Obama’s greatest mistakes is pursuing cooperation with states that don’t fall simply into categories of friend or foe. It’s as if he thinks it is wrong to try to advance U.S. interests through cooperation with another state unless the other state is entirely and always on “our” side. That doesn’t leave many states with which to cooperate.