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Relative Strength: GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney believes that the United States can only maintain its role as an "indispensable power" in the world by embracing the concept of "peace through strength," said former DOD Comptroller Dov Zakheim who's currently an advisor to Romney's campaign. To underpin this, one needs to increase defense budgets—not cut them—in order to field the necessary manpower and equipment, asserted Zakheim at a Military Reporters and Editors Conference in Washington. D.C., on Oct. 18. In contrast, Michele Flournoy, former Pentagon policy chief and current adviser to President Obama's re-election campaign, said "peace through strength is a great slogan, but it is not a policy." Alliances are important because they allow the United States to be flexible and effective in places ranging from Libya to Afghanistan to the Pacific, she said at the conference's same panel discussion. Our allies are "part of the solution," and it is not "leading from behind" to empower them, said Flournoy.