Election 2012 Faceoff: Whose foreign policy presents the best course of action for the nation?

Josephine Kelly and James Phelan, College Republican representatives

The United States is an exceptional nation – the greatest symbol of freedom and liberty the world has ever seen. Today, with the Middle East up in flames and authoritarian governments rising in South America, Asia and Africa, the U.S. has a choice: We as a country, with the help of our allied friends, may lead as a global force for good, or we may let events unfold as they will. We are presented with two choices this November, and it is clear former Gov. Mitt Romney is the correct one.

We can choose a nation that leads from behind as it has for the past four years under President Barack Obama, or we can lead with the exceptional American spirit that has been passed down from previous generations under Romney.

Peace through strength is Romney’s foreign policy model. He plans to reverse the sequestrations about to hit at the end of this year, which cut hundreds of billions of dollars from our defense budget over the next decade. This will restore current military spending, keeping our military the strongest and most prepared in the world.

Due to growing security threats in the Pacific, Romney plans a major expansion of the U.S. Navy, adding additional ships, including destroyers and submarines, to a Navy in need of more vessels.

Under new American leadership, our friends around the world will recognize America as a global leader. Countries such as Israel and Poland won’t have to worry about threats, knowing that America will be there for them.

From the threat of a nuclear-capable Iran to the bullying of nations such as Russia, the world will know that America is there to do the right thing. A Romney administration wouldn’t have allowed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime to massacre almost 30,000 innocent people over the past 20 months.

Under President Romney, not only would we support our allies, but more importantly, our embassies and ourselves. The most recent attacks on the Benghazi Consulate were not only ruthlessly tragic but somewhat of a reflection on America’s current foreign policy.

In his address last week, Romney said that as a global leader we cannot be “leaving our destiny at the mercy of events. Unfortunately, that is exactly where we find ourselves in the Middle East under President Obama.”

The U.S. military made global headlines when we killed Osama bin Laden. As much of an accomplishment that was, destructive forces in the Middle East have in no way calmed down but have in fact increased since.

We are all anticipating the day when things will be safe for everyone; we hope that day will come soon. Until it does, however, Romney is correct in saying that, “Hope is not strategy.” Things will not get better until we turn strategic plans into actions and put forth efforts to make the world a safer place.

We now have the opportunity to change the world and live up to the rest of the globe’s expectations.

As Romney said, “The torch America carries is one of decency and hope. It is not America’s torch alone. But it is America’s duty – and honor – to hold it high enough that all the world can see its light.”

Brandon Gimpelman, College Democrat representative

Foreign policy might not be the first thing on every voter’s mind as they come out this November. Foreign affairs are complex, sticky and unfamiliar to almost everyone – but it is clear President Barack Obama’s foreign policy is the right choice for America.

Obama has taken many initiatives to keep America as the top superpower on the global stage. First and foremost, Osama bin Laden is no longer a threat to the United States. It took a bold decision under an immense amount of pressure, but the president was unwavering.

For Obama to send Navy SEALs into Pakistan in such a manner and not succeed would have been an embarrassment. Instead, because of his visionary leadership, thousands of American families found some kind of closure.

Obama’s main agent in foreign affairs was once one of his greatest rivals. Obama appointed Hillary Clinton to secretary of state, and it stands to be one of his best moves yet.

After the Egyptian protests in 2011, Clinton came out at the forefront of the U.S. response, calling on former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to step down and to make an “orderly transition” in Egypt.

When the Libyan Civil War broke out, Clinton was crucial in rallying the international community to support military intervention. In a few short months, former ruler of the Libyan Arab Republic Muammar Gaddafi was deposed.

Former Gov. Mitt Romney, on the other hand, has absolutely nothing to tout in the realm of foreign policy. Last March, an American solider went on a shooting rampage in Kabul, Afghanistan, killing at least 16 civilians including nine children. Obama immediately renounced the killings as “tragic and shocking.” Romney, however, stuck firm to his concept of “No Apology.”

“We may make mistakes as a nation, and we’ll say we’re sorry for that, but apologizing for America is something I will never do,” Romney said. Yes, he actually said that. He can’t even keep it together in the same sentence.

In July, Romney went on a trip overseas to the United Kingdom, Poland and Israel. In an interview with NBC’s Brian Williams, Williams asked Romney about the upcoming London Olympics. Romney responded, “There are a few things that are disconcerting.”

After a bad meeting with British Prime Minister David Cameron, the prime minister released a statement against Romney’s coordination of the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics; he said London was hosting the Olympics in one of the busiest cities in the world.

“Of course it’s easier if you host the Olympic Games in the middle of nowhere,” Cameron said.

The mayor of London, Boris Johnson, held a pre-Olympic rally with over 60,000 people.

At the event, he said, “I hear there’s a guy called Mitt Romney who wants to know whether we’re ready. Are we ready?” The massive cheers from the audience indicated a harsh rejection of Romney’s character. In the British press, Romney was humiliated with headlines like “Mitt the Twit.”

It should be blatantly obvious to the American people whose foreign policy credentials are superior. With Romney, we’re talking about a man that has no experience in foreign policy whatsoever. Romney isn’t an experienced man – he’s just a bold man. For me in 2012, it’s the guy who got bin Laden versus the other guy.