I don't understand the Republican critique of Obama's national security policy -- nor is it at all clear what a President Romney would do differently in terms of using force.
One Romney campaign official said last week that the anti-American riots in the Arab world would not have occurred if Romney were president. Really?
Eliot Cohen, a colleague of mine at SAIS who is a distinguished historian and now a Romney campaign adviser, pens a piece in the Washington Post that combines harsh words -- "hypocrisy," "unseemliness," "cringe-inducing" -- with few hard facts. Cohen blames the administration for "passivity" on Iran and Syria, as if Romney would be sending troops and bombers. He doesn't mention Libya, where Romney was for and against Obama's successful policy to oust Qaddafi without prolonged military involvement.
A more balanced analysis is in the Los Angeles Times in an article by Paul Richter. He says, quite rightly in my view, that Obama acts cautiously and tries to act in concert with others. Some unnamed aide once stupidly labeled this "leading from behind," but that does not connote the leadership required to assemble such coalitions.