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RICE, BAKER, SHULTZ & KISSINGER: Romney for recovery

Strong America means peaceful world

- - Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Like the country we have been privileged to serve, we remain fundamentally optimistic about the future. We have endured a financial collapse, a protracted recession, a fiscal crisis that threatens the creditworthiness of the U.S. government, and polarized politics that makes it ever more difficult to govern. Pundits regularly remind us how other great powers, from Rome to Great Britain, all fell into eclipse.

We reject such pessimism. The United States remains the world's most powerful and, above all, the most indispensable country -- diplomatically, militarily, even economically.

American leadership remains critical to global peace and prosperity. No other country has used its resources to accomplish so many positive changes around the world. From the Cold War to the collapse of the Soviet challenge, from Bretton Woods to NAFTA, from NATO to the free-trade agreements with Korea and Colombia, America has promoted democratic values and vindicated our interests in global security.

The stakes are high. International terrorism remains a threat to the safety of each and every one of us. The same is true for the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The dynamics of global power are shifting. The system ushered in by the end of the Cold War ended with the implosion of the Soviet empire. Countries like China, India and Brazil have emerged as shapers of international politics. Together with allies and partners, we need to construct a world of peace, justice and security.

But we cannot be strong militarily, politically or diplomatically unless we are strong economically. These past few years, we have experienced an anemic economic recovery, one that has weakened our influence in the world and shaken the confidence of our friends and allies. We need pro-growth strategies that will renew our ailing economy, just as they did when Ronald Reagan took over in 1980. If the U.S. economy continues to stagnate, then predictions of an American retreat from greatness could come true.

That is why we have endorsed Mitt Romney for president. He has the experience, strategy and temperament to lead a robust economic recovery and rein in the mounting federal debt that threatens our future. And he fully understands that our prosperity at home is inextricably linked to our influence abroad.

Mr. Romney has laid out a strong and mature vision of American leadership during his campaign. It is based on a consistent theme that peace abroad depends on American vitality.

Mr. Romney understands that the world remains a dangerous place. He is a staunch supporter of our alliances around the world. He believes in maintaining our military strength. He is committed to expanding free trade and investment. He will oppose the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. And he knows that no American president should ever be ashamed of espousing the democratic principles upon which our nation was founded.

Most of all, he recognizes that America is at its best when it assumes a leadership role on the world stage. Mr. Romney will devote himself to building an America that remains the hope of the world -- a world of peace, justice and democracy.

Condoleezza Rice was secretary of state under President George W. Bush. James A. Baker was secretary of state under President George H.W. Bush. George P. Shultz was secretary of state under President Reagan. Henry A. Kissinger was secretary of state under Presidents Nixon and Ford.