Mitt Romney is due to deliver his first major speech of the GOP primary on foreign policy on Friday morning, from the Citadel military academy in Charleston, S.C. The address has been billed as a major opportunity for the GOP presidential frontrunner to put further distance -- in terms of seriousness and vision -- between himself and the rest of the primary field, but already a fair amount is known about his foreign policy outlook.
In a snippet of the speech released by the campaign in advance Thursday night, Romney calls for a strong and proactive military, and the return of America to a role of world supremacy and guardianship:
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. 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. America must lead the world, or someone else will. Without American leadership, without clarity of American purpose and resolve, the world becomes a far more dangerous place, and liberty and prosperity would surely be among the first casualties.
If that sounds a bit like the perspective of the George W. Bush administration, there's also this: Romney's team of national security advisers, also announced on Thursday, includes many of the very Bush administration officials and aides who were most responsible for pushing that era's controversial policies, from torture and warrantless wiretapping to the war in Iraq.
Take a look at a slideshow of a few of the key figures in Romney's team of foreign policy advisers, and their roles and legacies from the Bush era:
Co-Chair of the Counterterrorism/Intelligence Working Group Role with Bush: Chertoff was Bush's Secretary of Homeland Secuirty from 2005-2009, during which he helped craft the PATRIOT Act, and helped oversee many of the "tools" of the domestic war on terror, including the domestic wiretapping program. He is currently the chairman of the Chertoff Group, a security consulting firm.
Co-Chair of the Counterterrorism/Intelligence Working Group Role with Bush: Hayden was the director of the National Security Agency when Bush took office, and stayed in that role until 2005, when he became the CIA director. He as replaced in 2009 by Obama's first CIA director, Leon Panetta. During his time at NSA, Hayden was in charge of the agency's warrantless wiretapping program, which led to a major scandal when it was uncovered by The New York Times in 2005. Retired as a four-star general, Hayden is currently a principal at Michael Chertoff's security consulting firm, the Chertoff Group.
Special Adviser Role with Bush: Cohen was a longtime member of the Defense Policy Advisory Board, which made recommendations to the Secretary of Defense. He was one of the earliest and most forceful advocates of the war in Iraq, although he later became disillusioned by the failure to discover weapons of mass destruction and other challenges posed by the ongoing conflict. In a surprising essay in the Washington Post, in July 2005, Cohen wrote about his son, an Army Ranger who was preparing to depart for the battlefield of Iraq, and asked of himself, "If you had known then what you know now, would you still have been in favor of [the war]?" His reply, in part: [I]t is not an academic matter when I say that what I took to be the basic rationale for the war still strikes me as sound. Iraq was a policy problem that we could evade in words but not escape in reality. But what I did not know then that I do know now is just how incompetent we would be at carrying out that task. And that's what prevents me from answering this question with an unhesitating yes. Cohen is currently the director of the Strategic Studies Program at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University.
Senior Adviser Role with Bush: Black was in charge of the CIA's Counter-Terrorism Center at the time of the 9/11 attacks, leading some critics to accuse him of missing warning signs of the impending assault. Later, he would go on to authorize and oversee the agency's use of harsh interrogation techniques and torture on detainees from the missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. From 2002 to 2004, he was the coordinator for counter-terrorism at the State Department. In testimony before a joint congressional investigation into 9/11, in September 2002, Black famously told the committee, "All I want to say is that there was 'before' 9/11 and 'after' 9/11. After 9/11 the gloves come off." Black is currently the vice president of the security consulting firm Blackbird Technologies.
Senior Adviser Role with Bush: Senor was a spokesman and senior adviser to the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq, the U.S. government's first attempt at a transitional ruling authority after the invasion. The years that Senor was a high profile figure there, serving as an adviser to Ambassador L. Paul Bremer, the civilian administrator, are widely considered to be mired with ineptitude and shortsightedness. In the book "Imperial Life in the Emerald City," Washington Post reporter Rajiv Chandrasekaran describes Senor as telling reporters at one point, "Off the record: Paris is burning. On the record: Security and stability are returning to Iraq." (Meghan O'Sullivan, another top civilian adviser from the CPA days, is also on Romney's foreign policy team as co-chair of the Middle East and North Africa Working Group.) Senor is currently an investment banker with Rosemont Capital and a director and co-founder of Foreign Policy Initiative, a neoconservative think tank from which many of Romney's advisers are drawn.