World not safe, needs US military – Romney

Mitt Romney (L), U.S. Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts governor, applauds a World War II veteran during a memorial day ceremony held at the Veterans Museum & Memorial Center in San Diego, California May 28, 2012 (Reuters/Denis Poroy)
The world is a dangerous place and needs a dominant US army to keep it in check, presidential candidate Mitt Romney has decreed. If elected, he promised to maintain military might with “no comparable power anywhere in the world.”

The Republican candidate addressed a 5,000-strong San Diego crowd at a Memorial Day event to honor those who died serving in the US military.

He warned Americans of the perils of a shrinking military, citing the growing threats of Iran, Pakistan, China and Russia.

"I wish I could tell you that the world is a safe place. It's not," Romney said to the gathered crowd.

Although he did not refer to his electoral rival by name, Romney’s policies contradicted those planned by President Obama.

The Obama administration intends to scale down the US military and withdraw troops from Afghanistan by 2014.

"We have two courses we can follow: One is to follow the pathway of Europe. To shrink our military smaller and smaller to pay for our social needs. And they of course rely on the strength of America and they hope for the best,”
said Romney.

He added that America should maintain its dominance as the strongest military in the world so that the nation could not only win wars, but also prevent them.

Romney was later joined by US Senator John McCain who praised the republican candidate, lauding him as "fully qualified to be commander in chief."

"He believes in American exceptionalism,"
McCain said. "He believes the 21st century will also be an American century."

Romney’s pro-military sentiment was received with cheers and applause by the war veterans who had gathered for Memorial Day. San Diego is home to the US Navy’s Pacific Fleet and boasts the largest such military community on the US’s West coast.

Romney has consistently criticized the Obama administration’s military policy, targeting planned budget cuts and the president policy to the crisis in Syria. The presidential hopeful said the US’s current strategy to the conflict only gives embattled Syrian President Bashar al Assad more time to crackdown on protestors.

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War vets give Romney the edge

US polling organization Gallup published a survey on Memorial Day showing that veterans (around 13 per cent of the US population) support Mitt Romney in the presidential race.

According to the poll Mitt Romney currently enjoys a lead of 58 per cent against Barack Obama’s 34 per cent.

Polls show that out of all registered voters, Obama and Romney are currently tied at 46 per cent, but the veteran vote could give the Republican candidate the edge in the presidential race.

November’s presidential elections will be the first since World War II without a war veteran in the running as a major candidate.