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The Boston Globe

Opinion

Nicholas Burns

How Romney can win the foreign policy debate

As Mitt Romney accepts the Republican presidential nomination to run against Barack Obama, his first test is to explain how he can revive the American economy and put people back to work — the dominant issue in the election. But Romney also faces a second test — how will he lead the world’s most powerful country on the global stage? In two runs for the presidency, Romney has revealed little about his world view, his grasp of global politics, and the choices he would make as president on the most complex national security agenda in decades.

Skeptics insist Americans don’t care about foreign policy and that it won’t be much of an issue in the campaign. That is hard to square with the reality we face overseas, from the failing war in Afghanistan to Iran’s menacing nuclear campaign, a Middle East in turmoil, the euro debt crisis, and China’s challenge to American power in Asia. There is indeed a foreign policy debate underway, which prompts the question — how is Romney faring so far?

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