Romney slams Obama foreign policy

Washington: In a scathing attack on US President Barack Obama`s foreign policy, his Republican rival Mitt Romney has accused the administration of betraying the country by leaking national security secrets for political gains and failing to stand up to adversaries like China and Iran.

Ahead of his six-day trip to Britain, Israel and Poland, Romney said Obama`s policies have made it "harder to recover from the deepest recession in 70 years; exposed the military to cuts that no one can justify; compromised our national security secrets; and in dealings with other nations, given trust where it is not earned, insult where it is not deserved, and apology where it is not due."

His remarks came against the backdrop of public support enjoyed by Obama for the military raid that killed al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad and the President`s good scores in opinion polls for his handling of American diplomacy. "This conduct is contemptible," Romney said of leaks of the national security secrets in his address at the Veterans of Foreign Wars convention here last evening. He accused the White House of seeking political gains by leaking the secrets.

"It betrays our national interest. It compromises our men and women in the field. And it demands a full and prompt investigation by a special counsel, with explanation and consequence. Whoever provided classified information to the media seeking political advantage for the administration must be exposed, dismissed and punished. The time for stone walling is over," Romney said.

"As you know, the harm that`s done when national security secrets are betrayed extends to the trust that allies place in the United States. The operating principal of American foreign policy has been to work with our allies so that we can deter aggression before it breaks out into conflict. That policy depends on nurturing our alliances and standing up for our values. Yet the President`s moved in the opposite direction," the Republican leader said.

Referring to challenges like stopping Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, standing up to adversaries like China and Russia and supporting Israel, he said Obama`s performance was not up to the mark on these fronts. "Sadly, this President has diminished American leadership, and we are reaping the consequences," he said in a major foreign policy speech, vowing that he "will not surrender America`s leadership in the world."