Foreign-policy credentials: As chairman of the organizing committee of the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics, Romney was credited with financially rescuing the scandal-tarnished event and restoring -- for a time -- the reputation of the International Olympic Committee. He lived abroad as a Mormon missionary in France while in college, and like Barack Obama before him, Romney has made a few campaign stops in Europe this time around.
Overview: As one might expect from the primary front-runner and favorite for the nomination, Romney has stayed clear of controversial positions and doesn't deviate much from the Republican Party's standard talking points. He's in favor of robust defense spending, strong ties with Israel, bulking up border security, and getting tough with China.
As a former governor, Romney has virtually no official experience implementing foreign policy, but having gone through the primary process in 2008, he may be more prepared to handle tough national security questions.
Advisors: Romney has lined up a team of GOP national security heavyweights, including former CIA Director Michael Hayden, former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, former Senators Jim Talent and Norm Coleman, and author Robert Kagan. Mideast advisor Walid Phares has proved a somewhat controversial pick, due to his past association with Christian militia groups during the Lebanese Civil War.
On the Issues:
Afghanistan/Pakistan: Romney shocked many party insiders with his remarks on Afghanistan during the June 14 debate. "It's time for us to bring our troops home as soon as we possibly can -- as soon as our generals think it's OK," Romney said. "One lesson we've learned in Afghanistan is that Americans cannot fight another nation's war of independence."
Of course, Romney's frequent reference to the advice of generals leaves him quite a bit of wiggle room on the question of when a drawdown should begin. He has attacked the current administration's position, saying, "I don't know of a single military advisor to President Obama who recommended the withdrawal plan that he's chosen, and that puts the success of our soldiers and our mission at greater risk."
Romney would continue the policy of drone strikes on terrorist targets within Pakistan, but is less willing to attack the country than some other candidates, saying he would "work with our friends in that country to get them to do some of the things we can't do ourselves." He describes the country as "close to being a failed state."
Military spending: Romney has called for an additional $30 billion in military spending, including increasing active-duty forces by 100,000 troops. "If you do not want America to be the strongest nation on Earth, I am not your president," is a common campaign refrain.