When you listen to the GOP talk foreign policy today, you get the idea that they're just flailing around. They don't have a coherent set of foreign policy views, everything they say is just in the prism of trying to gain some short term advantage over President Obama.
So we hear about Obama leaving the U.S. with a "smaller footprint in the world" and that the U.s. is now "leading from behind." In truth Obama's strong showing on foreign policy has left them with little more than quibbling. In the last debate about foreign policy, all Romney had was a kind of me too rope a dope. Like the auto bailout he would have done everything as the President did in taking out Bin Laden, hunting al Qeada and helping the Libyan rebels only somehow, better.
To the extent that a "smaller footprint" means anything it means the GOP is upset we're not in so many wars. One criticism it levelled against Obama was for his overall handling of the Arab Spring. It's not clear what he did wrong exactly, but clearly he made some deep philosophical mistake somewhere.
We hear criticism of "turning against our ally, Mubarak." Sometimes the emphasis shifts if you point out that Mubarak was after all a dictator. Then the argument is not so much that Obama abandoned Mubarak but that he did so after supporting him previously. The party of Mitt Romney is outraged at such flipfloppimg. The problem isn't turning against Mubarak but at one time supporting him and then refusing to support him anymore. In the end, what all this sweeps under the rug is that it's after all up to the Egyption people, not us, who they want to lead them. Should Obama have tried to keep Mubarak in power indefinitely at the barrel of a gun?
Today's events with the Gaza ceasefire again put the lie to these complaints. It was worried if under the new President Morisi Egypt would remain the peacebroker it has been since Jimmy Carter. With Egypt's big role in keeping the peace today there is now much more reason for optimism. Today Obama spoke to Morisi personally, thanking for what he had done to help achieve a ceasefire:
"President Obama spoke to President Morsi today. The President thanked President Morsi for his efforts to achieve a sustainable ceasefire and for his personal leadership in negotiating a ceasefire proposal. President Morsi expressed appreciation for President Obama’s efforts in this regard. "
"President Obama and President Morsi agreed on the importance of working toward a more durable solution to the situation in Gaza."
"President Obama reaffirmed the close partnership between the United States and Egypt, and welcomed President Morsi's commitment to regional security."
So despite the criticism of how the Arab Spring unfolded-with the implication that Obama should somehow of altered we see Egypt today at least filling the same role is has for over 30 years in being a bulwark for security.