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Romney and Georgia

Joshua Keating reviews Romney’s main attacks on Obama’s foreign policy record, and says this at one point in the entry on Russia:

The criticism of the president’s overtures to Moscow fits in with a larger Republican critique of Obama’s abandoning U.S. allies, such as former Soviet satellite Georgia, in the name of engagement with rivals.

The abandonment claim has been a common one, but interestingly it has not been one of Romney’s regular talking points. Perhaps this is because the claim is baseless? Romney hasn’t hesitated to repeat untrue talking points to criticize the “reset” on other issues, especially the arms reduction treaty, so the decision not to talk about Georgia might be meaningful. As Joshua Kucera showed in a recent article on Romney and Russia policy, Georgia receives no attention in his campaign’s white paper:

A curious feature of Romney’s rhetoric on Russia is the absence of Georgia. Georgia and Mikheil Saakashvili are heroes of most American Russophobes (like the Republican candidate of 2008, John McCain), but Romney’s white paper, while warning of the threat of Russian “expansionist behavior,” doesn’t mention Georgia at all. Instead, on his website he suggests that the victim of Russian aggression would be, improbably, Central Asia.

This was an omission that I found most welcome when I reviewed “An American Century,” as it seemed to indicate that enthusiasm for NATO expansion was waning. We can certainly hope that is the case. Regardless, we can expect Romney to demagogue everything else related to current Russia policy.

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

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