It is not often that world events make so clear, so fast, the direct consequences of choosing one president over another. But, then again, it is rare for the underlying worldviews of two candidates to be so sharply divergent.
Romney constructed his foreign policy on the concrete understanding that the United States and its allies are in strategic competition with rival actors, that our respective interests do not naturally dovetail and that decisive and early action must be taken to shape and channel competing interests in order to head off crises.
Obama, on the other hand, has rested his foreign policy on the ethereal hope that the era of geopolitical competition is over—left behind in the “19th century,” as he is wont to say, with no place in the 21st. And he mocked Romney for saying otherwise.
But unfortunately, hope is not a strategy.