Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney called for a more robust US presence in the Middle East, tougher sanctions against Iran, and a closer relationship with Israel during an Oct. 8 speech at the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Va. Romney criticized President Obama for being “indifferent” in his handling of the uprisings throughout the Middle East, and Romney said he would organize all Middle East assistance efforts under one new official. “The President has failed to offer the tangible support that our partners want and need,” said Romney. He said “the surging violence, weakening democracy, and the rising influence of Iran” are eroding the “costly gains” earned by US troops in Iraq. Romney said he “would not hesitate to impose new sanctions” on Iran and tighten existing ones in an effort to “make clear” that the country’s nuclear pursuit “must not be tolerated.” Romney also appeared to question the Defense Department’s new strategy that shifts the United States’ focus toward the Asia-Pacific region, saying “our oldest allies are being told we’re pivoting away from them.” He also mentioned budget sequestration, promising to roll back those “devastating” defense cuts, if elected. (Romney’s prepared speech text)
The Air Force has picked Northrop Grumman over L3Harris and Lockheed Martin to develop and build the Stand-in Attack Weapon, meant to swiftly destroy enemy air defense sites and other high-value targets.