ABC News’ John Berman and Emily Friedman report:
To date the 2012 Presidential race has largely focused on three issues: jobs, jobs, and jobs. But Friday, in a speech at The Citadel in South Carolina, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the once-again front-runner in the Republican presidential race, will lay out what his aides call a sweeping foreign policy plan. The Romney plan will call for a halt in cuts to defense spending, new spending on missile defense, and a review of the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan.
The speech is titled, “An American Century: A Strategy to Secure America’s Enduring Interests and Ideals. In excerpts provided to ABC News, Romney will say, “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. ”
“American Century,” is by no means a new term. The famed Time publisher Henry Luce coined the phrase to fight isolationism and assert American international dominance in the 20thCentury. Romney, to an extent, is co-opting that theme for these times
Romney will echo ideas laid out in his book, “No Apology,” saying that America must reassert it’s leadership in international affairs. “God did not create this country to be a nation of followers. America is not destined to be one of several equally balanced global powers,” Romney will say. “America must lead the world, or someone else will.”
And in a biting critique of President Obama, Romney’s prepared text reads: “If you do not want America to be the strongest nation on Earth, I am not your President. You have that President today.”
Specific proposals from Romney will include increasing the naval shipbuilding rate to approximately fifteen per year and sustain the carrier fleet at eleven. He would also establish a unified Regional Director for the Middle East to “direct our soft power toward ensuring the Arab Spring realizes its promise.” And Romney will call for a full review of the transition in Afghanistan, “to determine the presence necessary to secure our gains and successfully complete our mission.” On the campaign trail, Romney has been saying he would like to bring virtually all the troops home by the end of 2014, which is a similar end-date as the one suggested by President Obama.