Oct. 10, 2012, Albuquerque, NM — Speaking to students at the University of New Mexico Tuesday in Albuquerque, Libertarian presidential candidate and former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson called Mitt Romney's Monday foreign policy speech a "collection of promises to keep America embroiled in unnecessary wars and the same ill-advised interventions abroad that have done nothing to make the U.S. more secure."
Johnson, who has called for bringing American troops home immediately from Afghanistan, said, "When you drill through the rhetoric Gov. Romney is using to try to distinguish his foreign policy from that of Barack Obama, you really don't find a difference. He's just trying to sound tougher about it.
"Romney talks about our 'gains' in Iraq being eroded now that our troops are gone. Does that mean he wants to send them back? And what gains? In terms of foreign policy, the war in Iraq was a mistake to begin with, and it should surprise absolutely no one that the pro-Iran regime we helped install isn't being as obedient as we would like. And today, we learn that Iraq is buying $4.2 billion worth of arms from Russia. Wonder whose $4.2 billion they are using?
"Likewise, Gov. Romney's vague plan for getting our troops out of the Afghanistan morass sounds pretty much like Obama's, with a goal of 'successful' transition to the same Afghan security forces who have developed a disturbing habit of turning their weapons on our own troops. Both the Obama and Romney definitions of 'successful' will be interesting to see. The prudent approach to Afghanistan is simple: Bring our troops home now, and stop trying to fix a country that has defied fixing for generations.
"Regarding Syria, Libya and the rest of the region, Gov. Romney has fully committed himself to the fundamentally flawed idea that America can somehow manage the outcomes of revolutions and turmoil over which we really have no control. U.S. interventions and management over the past couple of decades have done nothing but galvanize anti-U.S. sentiment in the Middle East and beyond. To promise a continuation of those failed interventions, and suggest an even more aggressive approach, is just foolhardy.
"Sadly, there is no debate in this campaign between the Democrat and the Republican on foreign policy. The only real distinction Gov. Romney drew in his speech at Virginia Military Institute was to criticize Obama's plan to reduce military spending, which is in fact the best idea Obama has had in a very long time. We are bankrupt, and if we are to ever get control of government spending, military spending will have to be cut, and cut substantially. Those cuts can be made without endangering our basic defense — if we simply stop playing 'offense' and involving our military in the internal affairs of nations on the other side of the globe."
About presidential candidate Gary Johnson: Gary Johnson, two-term governor of New Mexico from 1995-2003, has been a consistent advocate for limited, efficient government and personal liberty. Johnson switched from the Republican Party to the Libertarian Party on Dec. 28, 2011. As the Libertarian Party nominee, Johnson will appear on all 50 states' ballots. An outspoken pro-Constitution Libertarian, Johnson would end the war in Afghanistan now. He opposes the failed multi-billion dollar war on drugs and demands greater transparency at the Federal Reserve. As president, Johnson would cut federal spending by 43 percent, slash debt and make government live within its means while reducing taxes and regulation to foster real job creation and economic opportunity like he did in eight years as governor. The National Review said he was "#1" in job creation as governor. An avid skier and bicyclist, he has reached the highest peaks on four of the seven continents, including Mount Everest.