Obama Vs Romney National Security Policies In A Nutshell

Tyler Durden's picture

Mitt Romney's policy statements have this far been quite hawkish on both the approach to 'dealling' with adversaries and on the funding of the military (growing DoD by 2,5% per year). President Obama on the other hand wants to build consensus and have us move in tandem with our allies. As such, he wants to keep our military spending relatively flat and encourage our allies to spend more. As Citi notes, this would suggest a Romney win is better for sentiment (on defense stocks) in the short-term, though since change occurs very slowly in Washington, even an Obama win would leave the status quo; implying no material change in the outlook for defense industry revenue and earnings power over the next several years no matter the winner. For everything you wanted to know about their policy and budget differences, but were afraid to even contemplate, as well as fiscal and threat realities, these four charts are critical.


Via Citi:

Romney vs Obama In A Nutshell


Governor Romney’s rhetoric clearly fulfills the typical role of the conservative in the election promising more vs. the democratic challenger. His 4% GDP target is especially ambitious as it would have the US spend more in peace-time than it ever has in war-time


On the surface, a Romney administration would clearly be more constructive for defense spending given the candidate’s commitment to various defense budget targets higher than the Obama plan, ranging from a 2-year old budget baseline to 4% of GDP. Obama’s long-term plan is roughly equivalent to status quo as reflected in his FY13 budget proposal. We note that both candidates’ plans reflect long-term growth in defense budgets.





It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Romney’s national security policies are bit more aggressive vs. Obama’s, including taking stronger stances against China and Russia. However, we don’t consider their Middle East or Afghanistan policies to be far off. More notable is Romney’s commitment to bolster shipbuilding.



The Tough Fiscal and Threat Realities


It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Romney’s national security policies are bit more aggressive vs. Obama’s, including taking stronger stances against China and Russia. However, we don’t consider their Middle East or Afghanistan policies to be far off. More notable is Romney’s commitment to bolster shipbuilding.




There are a variety of defense budget plans floating around. We note that our est. is materially lower vs. both candidates’ plans.




No matter the winner, the next President faces difficult fiscal realities given the $1T+ deficits of the day. He’ll also face a threat environment that includes a potentially “nuclear” Iran, an emerging China, an unstable middle-East, a frosty Russia, and a growing concern over cyber security. In our view, all this will make it difficult to place radical pressure on defense budgets in either direction lest the country returns to armed conflict or world peace breaks out. At this point, we expect a flat base budget outlook to emerge post the election (ex-sequester implementation).


Source: Citi

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
bank guy in Brussels's picture

Whoever wins

the dread in America will soon set in

Michaelwiseguy's picture

I don't know why they're screaming bloody murder about the fiscal cliff on TV news.

I think the best thing for America is jumping off the fiscal cliff head first.

I will be dancing and singing as we fly off the fiscal cliff at ramming speed.

knukles's picture

I agree with Ron Paul.
Declare victory, go home and let everybody else fight their own fights.
Nobody elected US the world police.
Waste of life and treasure

redpill's picture

It's the obvious answer.  But this would do two things that will never be allowed to happen:


1) Castrate the military industrial complex


2) Force the US to become more energy independent


Both of those things are completely unacceptable to various corporate-political-globalist interests.


StychoKiller's picture

As you're probably aware:  infinite growth on a finite planet is mathematically impossible...time to leave the cradle.

LongSoupLine's picture

Let me get this article back on track...

Obama: Banks

Romney: Banks

The End.

Michaelwiseguy's picture

The choice is Left Wing Style Totalitarianism Vs Right Wing Style Totalitarianism.

Either way we're all fucked.

machineh's picture

Hey, at least Israel will be safe! /sarc

Buckaroo Banzai's picture

Let's put a foreign policy spin on this.

Obama: Muslim terrorists

Romney: ????

Not a Romney supporter, and won't vote for him, but when it comes to foreign policy, we know exactly where Obama stands. There are a couple of dead SEAL heroes who know this in the most profound way.

Helvetico's picture

The dead know nothing, shithead.

Silver Bully's picture

'The dead know nothing, shithead.

Et tu, brute?

ArrestBobRubin's picture

True but under Obama we're still not at war with Iran, now are we?

Think that would cost a few more American lives than 2 SEALS Bucky?

Do we think Benny Yidfuckyahoo or Shel Adelson would give a shit?


riley martini's picture

 Obama has declared complete economic warfare aginst Iran . Due to economic war conducted by the Obama adminstration inflation has skyrocketed . More people are killed by economic warfare and econimic disruption than any military attacks . Iran is the country that is under threat not the USA the way the fascist media propaganda would have you belive .

socalbeach's picture

I am extremely concerned about Iranian nuclear weapons and Muslim terrorists.  Every night before I go to bed I search the attic and garage looking for hidden Iranians.

Theosebes Goodfellow's picture

Say, SoCal Beach, could you at least push a broom whilst in the attic? At least it'll be tidier iffen you'se find them Eyerainians. And that's complete bullshit about your garage. You got so much crap in there a man can't even walk about in it.

Gully Foyle's picture

Russia and China are holding up One World Government plans.

Iran and Turkey are jockeying to be the US of the Middle East.

Russia and China back Iran.

The nonaligned nations back Iran, but they are pretty wishy washy and powerless.

China backs the nonaligned nations because they have rescources.

Russia, China, nonaligned nations, Iran so on do not want a OWG run by the US and Europe.

Parts of Europe don't want a OWG run by the US and other parts of Europe.

US, and European, power and influence is dwindling rapidly. But they have bombs, big assed bombs.

Russia has oil and gas, and China has bought up a lot of African rescources. And has manufacturing.

In the long run Russia and China win because they have the iron fist in the velvet glove. They allow their partners enough rope to give them the illusion of freedom, but know when to yank the rope and send a message.

US and Europe hoped India would rise as a counterbalance to China, but that fell apart. We did get call centers.

Russia has had their collapse, China has had centuries of collapses.

The US hasn't taken a major hit yet.

And Europe is still stinging from the twentieth century.




The Unabonger's picture

China is amuch more honest partner than Europe or the US when it comes to Africa. 

If China wants to do business, they make you an offer. Sometimes these are awful offers that do little but deplete the African country's resources and make a few government ministers rich BUT if they say no it's no hard feelings and maybe we can do business next time.


If US or Europe wants to do business, they make you an offer. Sometimes these are awful offers that do little but deplete the African country's resources and make a few government ministers rich BUT if they say no it's fuck you commie. We're gonna zap you, depose your government, bomb your women and kids, arm your terrorists and feed your population poison till they beg us to take it easy by fucking them up the ass with a broken bottle. 


Thats the Anglo way. 

Gully Foyle's picture

The Unabonger

If I understand it correctly when China invests in Africa they attach no riders, no green energy,no equality, no unionism so on.

The US and Europe do the opposite.

I'll use this as an example of Africans dissing Europeans



Bono and Bob Geldof increase Africa's problems say charity

AIDS charity boss attacks celebrities' campaigns

The head of an African AIDS charity has slammed campaigns by the likes of Bono and Bob Geldof, including Band Aid, Live Aid and Live 8, claiming that they actually increase problems in Africa.

Jobs Selasie, head of charity African Aid Action, claimed that such campaigns increase corruption and dependency on the continent.

Selasie explained that he believed that the western media had an obsession with political correctness which diverted from what he believes are the real causes of poverty in Africa.

The charity says since the original Band Aid campaign, the number of Africans living on handouts has increased by 500 per cent and African governments who used to rely on only 20 per cent of their annual budget from overseas aid are now dependent on a 70 per cent contribution.

“Aid has failed because campaigners, charities and governments do not have the right plan and excluded African entrepreneurs and grassroots organisations from being part of the solution,” said Selasie.

“You can’t impose change from without,” he continued. “It has to come from within and we won’t end poverty with handouts. Africans need to fight corruption and work hard.

JPM Hater001's picture

"Russia and China are holding up One World Government plans."

Well, at least you got this much right.

LawsofPhysics's picture

Bigger tax cuts and a larger military?!?  How's that work again if you are fiscally conservative?  Who pays for it?  No thanks, bring on the system reset and let's rebuild a new republic.

The soupline is correct.  One party, for the banks and financial houses, by the banks and financial houses.

Wake me when the guillotine is put to use, nothing changes otherwise.

JR's picture

“Barack Obama has done more for the banks and the people who control them than any sitting president in the history of the United States.  So, basically, Barack Obama was used to engineer the bailouts -  depending on how you what to count them, 12 trillion to 27 trillion  -  and the banks have been richly rewarded for doing what they were asked to do which is the fraudulent inducement of America. Barack Obama is here to help the banks, not here to control or stop them. Now the question facing the American population is that that’s how it’s turned out, what do they do?” – Catherine Austin Fitts - Euro Zone - The Centralization Battle Rages On    

hidingfromhelis's picture

You're preaching to the choir with that meme.  Yup, the banksters got a hell of a return on their investment on contributions and lobbying with Obama.  Now, look at Romney's 2012 top contributors and tell us why we can expect any different.

JR's picture

This is an apples-to-oranges comparison.

Obama was Bob Rubin’s president from the beginning; he has never denied the international bankers any significant move. And with this four years of proven performance, you would equate that with what contributors WANT Romney to do, i.e., performance versus contributions?

In short, Obama delivered and now they want Romney to deliver if he wins. But, we do not have Romney delivering yet.

And, by the way, what is at the root of your argument? Do you propose not voting? Third party? Or Romney? Or Obama?  Because the clear implication of your post fits precisely with the strategy of the Obama campaign two days before election!

The only way the financial sector can lose is if Romney wins and he doesn’t support them. With Obama, what more can they get? They’ve have him and if he’s reelected they ain’t gonna lose him.

holdbuysell's picture

To paraphrase Gerald Celente on the presidential election:

Whoever wins, Americans lose.

machineh's picture

Not voting is the best revenge!

JR's picture

Robert Rubin wouldn’t say that.

Perhaps the NY Times said it best: “It is a testament to the star power of former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin among Democrats that as Barack Obama fills out his economic team, a virtual Rubin constellation is taking shape.”

Did Bob Rubin, famous Citi alum, put his seal of approval on this Obama vs. Romney ZH “nutshell”?

After all, Rubin is vitally interested in seeing the president reelected. By breaking Glass-Steagall in the Clinton Administration, he became the creator of the Leviathan Bank, the too-big-to-fail global banking system with tentacles reaching around the world and operated from central control – the Fed.

He and Bernanke have a large investment in Obama.

macholatte's picture

Rubin should be in jail.

Bay of Pigs's picture

JR, dont let the facts get in your way on the partisan bullshit. You conveniently forget the three Republicans who sponsored the bill and pushed it through the House and Senate.

"The House passed its version of the Financial Services Act of 1999 on July 1, 1999, by a bipartisan vote of 343-86 (Republicans 205–16; Democrats 138–69), two months after the Senate had already passed its version of the bill on May 6 by a much-narrower 54–44 vote along basically-partisan lines (53 Republicans and 1 Democrat in favor; 44 Democrats opposed."


Wake up. It's a one party system. Bush and Obama did nothing to address Wall St fraud and corruption the last 12 years, and neither will Mitt Romney.


ArrestBobRubin's picture

Well said BoP.

We're on a global plantation and both "parties" are but slaves to the same Massa.

JR's picture

There’s no doubt that Obama is Rubin’s man. And when Hillary Clinton runs, she’ll be Rubin’s and Goldman's. I am not fighting for Romney; I am fighting to stop Obama and his war on the American culture. The Clintons gave Bob Rubin a position of official power and few international bankers have ever had access to the kind of leverage that Bob Rubin carries, from Social Security legislation to NAFTA to Obama tax policy, leverage that can force congressmen from both parties to toe the line - or else.

And this very Bob Rubin is not campaigning for Romney; he’s campaigning for Obama.

Here’s more on Rubin and Glass-Steagall from NetRootsMass’ Financial Regulation Timeline:

March 1995Less than 2 months after becoming Secretary of the Treasury, Rubin asked Congress to repeal the Glass-Steagall Act and to change the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956.

And the NY Times: White House Is Joining in Efforts To Loosen the Limits on Banking 

“The Clinton Administration plans to call this week for legislation that would allow commercial banks, securities firms and insurance companies to merge, forming giant financial services companies that would offer everything from checking accounts to mutual funds and life insurance, Federal officials say.

“In a speech prepared for delivery in New York on Monday and in Congressional testimony scheduled for Wednesday, Treasury Secretary Robert E. Rubin will urge Congress to repeal the Depression-era Glass-Steagall Act, the officials said. For more than 60 years, the law has forced financial concerns to choose between owning commercial banks or owning securities companies like brokerage firms and investment banks, but not both.

“Mr. Rubin also plans to call for broad changes in the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956, which has effectively barred most financial concerns from owning both commercial banks and insurance companies, said the Federal officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Mr. Rubin’s speech will represent the first time that the Administration has taken a position on eliminating the legal and regulatory barriers among financial industries.

“Regulatory changes in recent years have already allowed commercial banks, like Citibank, to begin selling stocks and mutual funds on a limited basis. But the Glass-Steagall Act still bars Citibank, for example, from merging with a brokerage firm like Merrill Lynch or an investment bank like Goldman, Sachs, which provides corporate investment advice and helps companies issue stock. The Bank Holding Company Act bars Citibank from merging with a big insurance company like Prudential.”

Rubin stayed at Treasury until his retirement in 1999. He was the “greatest secretary of the Treasury since Alexander Hamilton,” according to Clinton. Also in 1999, Rubin joined Citigroup. From wikipedia: Of note, the supermerger between Travelers Group and Citicorp was facilitated by the repeal of the Glass Steagall Act (Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act).

In 1998, it was Rubin who moved to oppose Brooksley Born and derivatives regulation… “where a different approach to derivatives regulation would have helped avert the worst of today’s credit crisis."



Bay of Pigs's picture

Yes, I am well aware of Bob Rubin. 

But you keep dogding the questions on Republicans. Why is that?


JR's picture

When Murray Rothbard was asked why he would rather have Bush win than Clinton, Mr. Rothbard said, Because Bush is not Clinton. And that is a primary reason many people will be voting for Romney, Romney is not Obama. Obama is the known quanity. He has proven what he is; he's a given.

Romney at least has an open mind and is capable of changing his mind; he takes many cautious positions because of an extremely vituperative and predatory media. Obama and the media are one.

Here again are some of the significant differences I see between Romney and Obama, i.e, differences between Republicans and Democrats this election:

Romney says he will work to end the inheritance tax, repeal the alternative minimum tax and retain the Bush-era tax cuts on all incomes. He would work for fewer income tax deductions, primarily on the wealthy, but reduce rates in all categories: 35% down to 28%, 10% down to 8%, etc.

Romney opposes cap & trade legislation, and says he will be less restrictive on energy development: oil drilling, natural gas, coal, and nuclear.  He would work to repeal the health care legislation; would cap federal spending at 20% of GDP.  He opposes the Fed’s current bond buying program and has said he would replace Fed Chairman Bernanke.

Romney would push back stronger against illegal immigration: with the border fence, no benefits for illegal students in college and punishment for employers who hire illegals after a verification program is in place.

On social issues, Romney’s positions differ sharply from Obama’s.  He favors a constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage, opposes civil union benefits if they are the same as marriage benefits, favors repeal of Roe versus Wade, would allow states to ban abortions, and favors a ban federal funds being given to Planned Parenthood.

Bay of Pigs's picture

Yeah, keep clingling to that false paradigm blanket of yours. All it will do is cause you more frustration.

Significant differences? Romney would have almost zero chance of enacting any of that legislation. Why? because the Banksters and lobbyists who own those Congress critters wont let them, thats why.

Good grief man. I have no idea how you cant see it, but I'm done trying to convince you.

StychoKiller's picture

Obamatron made lots of "promises" too...

XitSam's picture

First problem: Romney will need to get things he "says" he wants through Congress unchanged. 

"Romney at least has an open mind..." Second problem: Romney is about as closed-minded as one can get. He is what people see him to be, not what he is.

Third problem: the differences you see make not one bit of difference when the economy crashes.

ArrestBobRubin's picture

In many ways it comes down to the poison that you know Vs. the poison you don't.

Got or know any kids who'll be Netanyahu meat age in the next 4 to 8 years? Want to risk them, their lives, limbs and/or sanity to a guy who Shel Adelson walks on a leash and says Benny Yidfuckyahoo will determine our Middle East policy?

Not me. Over the past 4 years Obama woke us up to his war on White culture. In the next 4 years, we push back bigtime. With our kids here, not dying in Iran.

Easy math. 

JR's picture

Obama’s constituency is against war in Iran; therefore, Obama, if he incites WWIII, will not attack Iran until after the election.

The Mainstream Media that supports Obama also supports Israel and supports war with Iran. You go figure.

The media, Obama’s media, reports every single rocket attack from Palestine, but from the Israeli viewpoint; often minus the explanations that it was in response to Israeli aggression. In short, it supports the genocide of the Palestinian people.

It’s become a puzzle for the world on just why enemies of Israel seem constantly to multiply under US/Israeli foreign policy and how this aggressive small nation armed with military might far beyond all of the resources of the Middle East combined, needs as well the world’s superpower, the United States, to constantly veto the world’s resolutions which might keep Israel in check - or to come to tiny Israel’s aid if one of its many enemies happens to shoot back.

Obama has given Netanyahu his full support - on all issues. American foreign policy is totally a function of Jewish money. Obama is supported by A.I.P.A.C., the Israel Lobby. 78 percent of Jewish voters who exited polls in 2008 said they cast ballots for Obama. “A significant shift from Democrat to Republican among Jewish voters clearly is not in the cards this year,” according to Fox News on October 9.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2012/10/09/why-american-jews-will-stick-with-tradition-on-election-day/#ixzz2BIsCsKrR

Vice President Joe Biden enlightened the world on DC diplomacy and the Obama Administration’s  partnership between lobbyist-bought politicians and Israel, with these words…

"Throughout my career, Israel has not only remained close to my heart but it has been the center of my work as a United States Senator and now as Vice President of the United Stateswere I a Jew, I would be a Zionist… you need not be a Jew to be a Zionist.”

And, yes, Obama is sacrificing the American people for the greater glory of Israel as their nation, once the shining beacon upon the hill, becomes the world’s pariah as fitting its lockstep in war with Israel.

Welcome to the Age of Hell: Entrenching Murder as the American Way by Chris Floyd   

The Washington Post has just laid out, in horrifying, soul-slaughtering detail, the Obama Administration's ongoing effort to expand, entrench and "codify" the practice of murder and terrorism by the United States government. The avowed, deliberate intent of these sinister machinations is to embed the use of death squads and drone terror attacks into the policy apparatus of future administrations, so that the killing of human beings outside all pretense of legal process will go on, year after year after year, even when the Nobel Peace Laureate has left office.

They have even come up with a new euphemism for state murder: "disposition." The new "counterterrorism matrix" is "designed to go beyond existing kill lists, mapping plans for the 'disposition' of suspects beyond the reach of American drones," the Post reports.

In other words, it involves expanding and varying the menu of arbitrary murder, mixing the blunderbuss of drone blasts and night raids with more selective "bullet-in-the-brain," "bomb-in-the-car-engine," "polonium-in-the-pea-soup," and "doping-and-defenestration" approaches. Arbitrary murder by unaccountable elites and their spies, paid for by money taken from ordinary citizens who have no say in and no knowledge of what is being done in their names (and who will be the victims of the inevitable blowback from the state terror and murder campaign): this is now being "codified," officially, formally, as the American way…


riley martini's picture

 Economic warfare has already started on Iran . Economic warfare first and then military warfare just like Iraq. Should be another mssacre .

disabledvet's picture

one correction: "we are at war." i know this is tough for people to understand because nobody in the media really cares about those folks...but hey, facts are facts. Second neither candidate has offered up a change in our security relationships relative to East Asia and Europe. We have defended the entire Continent of Europe going on seven decades now...and with the collapse of the EU it would appear we're supposed to defend them "while they restructure so they can compete with us better" going on 8 decades. Relative to Japan, Korea and Taiwan...we appear to have added Vietnam to the list...thus expanding that area as part of some type of "open sea lanes" thingy. In short "not only do either candidate offered up fundamental changes to the USA's approach to security...they don't even offer up any fundamental differences in rhetoric." How each goes about PAYING for said relationships on the other hand....

macholatte's picture


"...move in tandem with our allies..."



Buckaroo Banzai's picture

Indeed. What fucking allies? Europe is being taken over by Muslims, Russia and China are out maneuvering us everywhere, and Japan is in a state of suspended animation.

Racket's picture

I think defense spending is going up rapidly regardless who wins. Once the election is over the Iran issue is going to ramp up. At the same time, the air force needs the F-35 as soon as possible to replace old fighter jets. More over, the nuclear arsenal needs maintainance and modernization and this will cost billions years to come. 


Obama wants to cut nuclear arsenal so he can reinvest it into the force. Romney and republicans hate the START project due to the fact that nuclear weapons cost huge money and that can hold Russia in check. It's Titanic either way, it's just that both candidates are hitting two different ice bergs.

tickhound's picture

Defense spending... the other guy's food stamps. 

The "stud" version of redistribution... The other side of make-work programs.  Selfishly, I suppose it matters to which corporate GOD sector the money flows.  But either way the loans will go out and "growth" will be manufactured.  Whether its the War on Poverty, War on Terror, War on Drugs, War on Crime...

Debt and deficits as far as the eye can see, bitchez.

TeamDepends's picture

The fact that even 2% would consider voting for Obama means we are circling the drain.  You have been warned.

ArrestBobRubin's picture

The fact that you'd even consider voting for either of these bankster's whore boys is frightening.

Stay home so you can say you didn't contribute to or participate in the flushing of your country and your future. 

TeamDepends's picture

Ha, where did we say we were voting for Romney?  Stay home?  Are you following your own advice?

TeamDepends's picture

Look at all those Reds, must be over the target now.

I am Jobe's picture

Same shit different Bowl. Mittens is listening to Joseph Smith.  Compunds bitchezz.

q99x2's picture

Whoever wins the election--head for the hills.