Mitt Romney is in favor of expanding missile defense and international cooperation regarding it. He criticized the New START treaty and the cancellation of the Bush defense system in Eastern Europe, saying they weakened our defense; however, he is amenable to President Obama's plans.
Second, Mitt would make clear that while he is willing to cooperate with Russia on missile defense in ways that will enhance the overall effectiveness of the missile-defense system, he will not compromise the capability of the system or yield operational control of it. Russia must abandon any backdoor scheme to constrain our missile defenses. The United States should never give Russia a veto over our security and that of our allies.
First, Mitt would reserve the option of reverting to President Bush's original plan of deploying proven interceptor technology in Poland if it becomes clear that Iran is making faster progress on developing long range missiles than the Obama plan assumes or if the new technologies on which the plan relies fail to materialize in a timely fashion. If Iran is going to deploy intercontinental missiles sooner than 2020, the United States should retain the option of defending against them.
During Tuesday remarks to the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Romney accused President Obama of not tending to important U.S. partnerships with friendly nations. Romney was referring to the 2009 decision by the Obama administration to cancel its predecessor's plans to field 10 long-range missile interceptors in Poland and a large radar base in the Czech Republic.
"It began with the sudden abandonment of friends in Poland and the Czech Republic," the former Massachusetts governor said. "They had courageously agreed to provide sites for our antimissile systems, only to be told, at the last hour, that the agreement was off."
Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney attacked President Barack Obama’s administration this week for abandoning Poland and the Czech Republic by altering plans for an American missile defense system in Europe...
“People have moved on,” said Miroslav Lajcak, the minister of foreign affairs and deputy prime minister [of Slovakia], in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. “We are in a different situation now. We are discussing a different project. I see no reason to revisit discussions from three years back.”
“This is no time for our president to be pulling his punches with the American people – and not telling us what he’s intending to do with regards to our missile defense system, with regards to our military might and with regards to our commitment to Israel and with regard to our absolute conviction that Iran must have a nuclear weapon,” Romney said in a statement.
...to restore America’s national defense...I will begin reversing Obama-era cuts to national missile defense and prioritize the full deployment of a multilayered national ballistic missile defense system.
“America must lead the world, or someone else will,” Romney said, reprising the argument from his 2010 book, “No Apology,” that U.S. military strength and leadership are essential to deterring tyrants and keeping world peace. “In an American century, America has the strongest economy and the strongest military in the world.”
Romney pledged in his first 100 days, if elected, to boost naval shipbuilding, deploy Navy carriers to deter Iran’s suspected military ambitions, increase intelligence cooperation with Israel, review military and aid spending in Afghanistan and invest heavily in missile defense and cybersecurity.
Does New START limit America’s options for missile defense? Yes. For the first time, we would agree to an interrelationship between strategic offensive weapons and missile defense. Moreover, Russia already asserts that the document would constitute a binding limit on our missile defense program. But the WikiLeaks revelation last weekend that North Korea has supplied Iran with long-range Russian missiles confirms that robust missile defense is urgent and indispensable.
"New START does something the American public would never countenance and the Senate should never permit: It jeopardizes our missile defense system," Romney wrote.
Among his concerns was the clause that would allow Russia to withdraw from the treaty in the event the U.S. expands its missile defense systems.
Romney, who is scheduled to deliver a high-profile foreign policy speech in Washington next week, said it's risky to tinker to with defense plans when American intelligence regarding Iran's missile capability is murky.
"President Obama has made a dangerous and alarming decision to shelve our missile-defense system in Europe," Romney said in a statement. "His decision is wrong in every way, despite his rationale."