Romney claims to believe that Russia is our #1 enemy:
“This is to Russia,” Romney said. “This is without question our number one geopolitical foe.
It is always Russia, typically with China alongside, and so in terms of a geopolitical foe, a nation that’s on the Security Council, that has the heft of the Security Council, and is of course a massive security power — Russia is the geopolitical foe and the idea that our president is planning on doing something with them that he’s not willing to tell the American people before the election is something that I find very, very alarming.
Whenever Romney speaks about foreign policy, I never rule out that it could be driven almost entirely by shameless opportunism. He sees an opening to criticize Obama on policies related to Russia, he takes it, and then predictably can’t avoid ridiculous hyperbole. However, it’s not just opportunism. This seems to reflect the bizarre, outdated hostility towards Russia that his earlier policy statements have conveyed. Sometimes the U.S. and Russia have divergent interests, and sometimes these interests may conflict, but that’s true of the U.S. and any other major power. His description of Russia as “our number one geopolitical foe” suggests that Romney has a very warped, anachronistic view of the threats to the United States. It’s a good bet that “our number one geopolitical foe” wouldn’t be permitting the resupply of our military in Central Asia through their territory and airspace. For some reason, Romney wants us to think that his Russia policy would be defined by Cold War-era paranoia.
Update: Yes, this statement is consistent with Romney’s previous anti-Russian rhetoric, but all that this means is that Romney has been consistently wrong on issues related to Russia for at least the last two years. It doesn’t say much for his thinking about national security in general. As Heather Hurlburt puts it:
Mitt Romney reflexively saying that Russia is the U.S.’s “No. 1 geopolitical foe” today shows, yet again, how bad the U.S. political class is at geostrategy; it also shows how uncomfortable Romney is on national security issues, needing when in doubt to reach back to those comfortable certainties of the 1980s.