Editorial - Don’t forget about foreign policy
Published: Monday, October 22, 2012
Updated: Monday, October 22, 2012 08:10
President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney will face off at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida tonight for the third and final presidential debate of the election season. This debate, which will be moderated by CBS’s "Face the Nation" host Bob Scheiffer, will focus exclusively on foreign policy.
Foreign policy has taken a back seat to domestic issues, most significantly the economy, through much of the campaign. This is illustrated by the fact the candidates only had to answer one question relating to foreign policy through the first two debates. The emphasis on domestic issues is understandable considering the continually struggling economy. But the seeming neglect of foreign policy throughout much of the campaign season is problematic, and it is definitely a positive development that this issue will be discussed at length tonight.
After all, the president is also the commander in chief of our armed forces. Moreover, the United States has been engaged in a number of costly military endeavors all around the globe for more than a decade. In addition to the disastrous war in Iraq, the U.S. continues to fight the longest war in its history in Afghanistan – a war that has cost thousands of innocent lives and hundreds of billions of dollars.
More recently, the U.S. was part of the NATO coalition that toppled Moammar Gadhafi’s government in Libya. The recent instability there, including the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, will certainly be discussed tonight.
Other significant topics that will likely be addressed are the escalating Syrian civil war, Iran’s nuclear ambitions, the containment of North Korea, China’s role on the world stage and the special U.S. relationship with Israel.
As we’ve seen throughout the past decade, our foreign policy can have tremendous implications for all Americans, from the economic costs of expensive military engagements to the human cost of dead servicemen and women.
With only two weeks until Election Day, most of us have already decided who we are voting for. But if you haven’t yet considered the two candidates’ differing approaches to foreign policy, be sure to tune in tonight and give these issues significant thought.
The debate will begin at 9 p.m. tonight and will air on all the major networks. It will also be live streamed by YouTube and ABC News.