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Mitt Romney promises an “American Century”

Mitt Romney’s foreign policy speech on Friday will accuse President Barack Obama of sacrificing America’s strength and leadership in the world, and will promise to restore American preeminence through increased defense spending and a more aggressive international stance. "I will not surrender America’s role in the world. This is very simple: If you do not ...

Getty Images
Getty Images
Getty Images

Mitt Romney's foreign policy speech on Friday will accuse President Barack Obama of sacrificing America's strength and leadership in the world, and will promise to restore American preeminence through increased defense spending and a more aggressive international stance.

"I will not surrender America's role in the world. This is very simple: If you do not want America to be the strongest nation on Earth, I am not your President. You have that President today," Romney will say in his speech at The Citadel in South Carolina, according to excerpts released by his campaign.

Mitt Romney’s foreign policy speech on Friday will accuse President Barack Obama of sacrificing America’s strength and leadership in the world, and will promise to restore American preeminence through increased defense spending and a more aggressive international stance.

"I will not surrender America’s role in the world. This is very simple: If you do not want America to be the strongest nation on Earth, I am not your President. You have that President today," Romney will say in his speech at The Citadel in South Carolina, according to excerpts released by his campaign.

"I am here today to tell you that I am guided by one overwhelming conviction and passion: This century must be an American Century. In an American Century, America has the strongest economy and the strongest military in the world. In an American Century, America leads the free world and the free world leads the entire world."

He will promise to reverse Obama’s "massive defense cuts," which is a reference to the $350 billion in defense savings the White House has projected will come from the deal  struck with Congress to raise the debt ceiling. He will also call for a bigger Navy, deployment of a huge missile defense shield, and a more confrontational approach to Iran.

Romney will also say that the United States must "employ all the tools of statecraft" in order to prevent the need for military action, and to organize its response to the Arab Spring.

Romney will promise to implement an eight point plan in his first 100 days in office to "set a new tone" for U.S. national security policies. He promises to grow the Navy by increasing shipbuilding from nine to 15 ships a year and to keep at least 11 aircraft carrier groups up and running. He promises to increase ties to Israel, Britain, and Mexico in order to "restore and enhance relationships with our most steadfast allies."

Romney would also deploy two aircraft carrier groups against Iran — one in the Eastern Mediterranean and one in the Persian Gulf. He also wants to increase missile defense spending and "raise to a top priority the full deployment of a multilayered national ballistic-missile defense system."

Regarding the Arab Spring, Romney would organize all diplomatic and development initiatives under a "regional director" who would "set regional priorities and direct our soft power toward ensuring the Arab Spring realizes its promise."

He also would seek to increase trade with Latin America, develop a national cyber security strategy, and conduct a full interagency review of U.S. military and assistance programs in Afghanistan.

"God did not create this country to be a nation of followers," Romney will say. "America is not destined to be one of several equally balanced global powers.  America must lead the world, or someone else will… Let me make this very clear. As President of the United States, I will devote myself to an American Century. And I will never, ever apologize for America."

Josh Rogin covers national security and foreign policy and writes the daily Web column The Cable. His column appears bi-weekly in the print edition of The Washington Post. He can be reached for comments or tips at josh.rogin@foreignpolicy.com.

Previously, Josh covered defense and foreign policy as a staff writer for Congressional Quarterly, writing extensively on Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, U.S.-Asia relations, defense budgeting and appropriations, and the defense lobbying and contracting industries. Prior to that, he covered military modernization, cyber warfare, space, and missile defense for Federal Computer Week Magazine. He has also served as Pentagon Staff Reporter for the Asahi Shimbun, Japan's leading daily newspaper, in its Washington, D.C., bureau, where he reported on U.S.-Japan relations, Chinese military modernization, the North Korean nuclear crisis, and more.

A graduate of George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs, Josh lived in Yokohama, Japan, and studied at Tokyo's Sophia University. He speaks conversational Japanese and has reported from the region. He has also worked at the House International Relations Committee, the Embassy of Japan, and the Brookings Institution.

Josh's reporting has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, CBS, ABC, NPR, WTOP, and several other outlets. He was a 2008-2009 National Press Foundation's Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellow, 2009 military reporting fellow with the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism and the 2011 recipient of the InterAction Award for Excellence in International Reporting. He hails from Philadelphia and lives in Washington, D.C. Twitter: @joshrogin

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