I participate in a small email religious discussion group. Occasionally some of the members write about politics on a facebook page or write an essay which is published more broadly.
Members of the group have recently discussed possibilities for Secretary of State. Here is my view that it is not Romney and why.
America faces a variety of threats to our national security. Some are larger and some are lesser. Some are obvious and some are hidden.
I play chess online. At times during each game, a chess player must make his best guess as to what is the best line of attack that his opponent might use against him. Not only must he think about his lines of attack, but he must anticipate the strongest attacks that could be made against his position. Failure to anticipate a strong or leading attack generally leads to defeat in chess.
America won the war against Germany partly by deceiving the Germans about our most likely place of landing attack. The Allies convinced the Germans that we would attack at the Pas de Calais. We did this so that the German strength would be diverted away from defending the beaches of Normandy. We were mostly successful in our deception of the Germans and it saved many lives.
Today, the strongest threat to our national security is China. The Chinese threat is not imminent in the way that ISIS-inspired terrorist attacks are imminent, but the Chinese threat is the largest and strongest.
Romney (and Clinton) have both said that Russia was the “greatest threat” to our national security, in the words of Clinton in one of her debates. (In fact, one of the questions in one of the Democratic debates was what nation constituted our greatest threat.)
It seems that Russia’s current leaders would be most happy with a world of nations of semi-independent strongmen. But the war Russia makes are limited to supporting Russian areas and destroying Islamic terrorists in Syria. Nations or ideologies that leave Russia alone are not threatened by Russia.
We have no need to threaten Russia and Russia has no need to threaten us.
Today America has mutual defense obligations with Taiwan, Japan, South Korea and the Philippines. China desires to expand till China rules the world in the way that the state of Qin annexed or conquered all the other states of China in 221 B.C. China is willing to use war, threats and intimidation to increase its territory and they are willing to do so in nations we have treaty obligations to defend.
Philippines President Duterte is upset at Obama because, as he alleges, America under Obama did not defend some of the territory of the Philippines being taken by the Chinese. The slow and gradual encroaching behavior by the Chinese against the fishermen and merchants of neighboring nations or against those nations themselves are the kind of thing that could easily lead to a much larger war, if and when we insist on protecting one of our allies.
World War I began over the refusal of Serbia to agree to an ultimatum of Austria in investigating the assassination of the Archduke Ferdinand. The mobilization and the war then engulfed most of Europe.
The greatest risk to America is that China would take some offense–whether the cause is real, imaginary or fabricated–and issues an ultimatum to Taiwan or Philippines that Taiwan or the Philippines reject.
What China has done with Tibet (and with some of the South China Sea) China aims to do with Taiwan, if Taiwan does not yield willingly. Romney wrongly perceives Russia as a threat to us and does not recognize the threat of China, at least so far as we know from his public statements.
The threats of ISIS and of Iran are far more easily blocked and defeated than the risk of a Chinese ultimatum.