The U.S. has cited corruption as a major issue in Afghanistan for years. Yet as the U.S. military effort has begun to wind down, the Americans have made little progress in combating an endemic problem.
The Obama administration has initiated more prosecutions against leakers than all previous administrations combined. But Mitt Romney is focusing on what he alleges is the administration's record of leaking classified information for political purposes. Republicans cite the details of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden as one example.
Mitt Romney's trip abroad accomplished some of what he wanted. In Israel he delivered a hawkish pro-Israel message of support for the conservative government meant to appeal to those U.S. Jews skeptical of President Obama. But his trip also had missteps, notably in Britain but not only there.
It may have just been a coincidence that on the eve of Mitt Romney's visit to Israel, President Obama signed legislation that increases U.S. military and security aid to the Jewish state. But the timing showed once again the benefits of incumbency in an election year.
Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein's criticism of the Obama White House for intelligence leaks were picked up by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. This didn't please Feinstein, who backed away from some of her statements.
Now is not the time to pull back on military and foreign engagement, according to former Undersecretary of Defense Michele Flournoy. In Foreign Affairs, she argues that strategic military deployments abroad, a policy of "forward engagement," help preserve the United States' standing in the world.
President Obama has made national security an area of strength during his presidency. But Mitt Romney planned to use a speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars on Tuesday to chip away at that advantage, hammering Obama on looming defense cuts and for alleged leaks from the White House.
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