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SAUL LOEB / AFP / GettyImages

Mitt Romney at the USS Wisconsin in Norfolk, Va., Aug. 11.

Jim Kitfield, the intrepid military correspondent at National Journal for many years, turns his eyes on Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, for a keen but nuanced look at his national-security chops. The article, which appears in the latest issue of The National Interest, notes:

Given his limited foreign-policy experience and counterpuncher’s strategy of defining himself primarily as what his opponent is not, it’s difficult to know just what Romney’s worldview is…Yet as a candidate courting his party’s conservative base, Romney has issued foreign-policy pronouncements with a harder line. He says his administration would align closely with Israel, view Russia as the United States’ primary geostrategic foe and label China as a currency manipulator. The population of terrorist suspects at the Guantánamo Bay military prison might double, and “enhanced interrogation techniques” such as waterboarding could return to the counterterrorism toolbox. A Romney administration purportedly would increase defense spending and bolster rather than shrink the size of the U.S. military. There would be no diplomacy with Iran, which would be enjoined to abandon its nuclear-weapons ambitions or else. U.S. military forces would remain in Afghanistan until the Taliban is defeated decisively.

Full thing here.