As he locks down the Republican nomination for U.S. president, Mitt Romney is framing what looks to be a decidedly hawkish foreign policy. But should the former Massachusetts governor defeat Democratic President Barack Obama in November, it remains far from clear how he actually would tackle what his own website describes as a "bewildering array of threats and opportunities." More clear is the strategy that Romney plans to use to try to diminish Obama's record on foreign policy.
Obama, whose own foreign policy inexperience was widely viewed as a weakness four years ago, now generally gets high marks in polls on the topic - particularly since the killing of Osama bin Laden last year. The president's campaign cites the dismantling of al-Qaeda's leadership and the historic sanctions against Iran as evidence of his effectiveness. The Romney campaign, however, believes it can paint an alternate picture of Obama as naive, weak and perhaps secretly convinced that the world's most pre-eminent superpower has entered an era of unstoppable and terminal decline.