(CNN) – Mitt Romney will deliver a major speech on foreign policy Monday in Virginia, an aide to the Republican presidential nominee said on Wednesday, as new bloodshed emerged in Syria and fresh questions surfaced about President Barack Obama's administration's handling of the consulate attack in Libya.
The speech, which a source said would take place at the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, comes after weeks in which foreign policy has taken a new role on the campaign trail. Romney has criticized Obama for his dealings with Iran and China, though he has remained largely silent on the lead-up and aftermath of the attack in Libya.
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In an op-ed article last week in the Wall Street Journal, Romney assailed Obama for his handling of events in the Middle East. The piece, which recycled much of what Romney has said on the stump and in interviews, asserted Obama has been weak in promoting American interests as various events unfold in the Middle East, including in Libya, Egypt, Syria and Iran.
Romney has latched onto a comment Obama made during an interview in September calling incidents of unrest in the region "bumps in the road," saying it reflected a dangerous nonchalance toward serious issues of national security.
"These developments are not, as President Obama says, mere 'bumps in the road,'" Romney wrote in the op-ed. "They are major issues that put our security at risk."
Romney wrote Obama had placed the United States "at the mercy of events rather than shaping them."
"We're not moving them in a direction that protects our people or our allies. And that's dangerous," Romney continues. "If the Middle East descends into chaos, if Iran moves toward nuclear breakout, or if Israel's security is compromised, America could be pulled into the maelstrom."
In his article, and in speeches, Romney has not specifically addressed questions about security at the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya, ahead of the September 11 attack, which resulted in the deaths of four Americans, including the ambassador to Libya.
Immediately following the incident, which coincided with a separate protest at the American embassy in Cairo, Romney accused Obama's administration of sending "mixed signals" on American values. He was roundly criticized, including by some Republicans, for crudely injecting politics into a dangerous international situation.
Since his initial statements, new developments have called into question the administration's handling of security the Benghazi consulate, both before and after the attack.
CNN's Rachel Streitfeld, Peter Hamby and Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.