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  • Morning Bell: 5 Crucial Questions for the Presidential Foreign Policy Debate

    Tonight’s final presidential debate will focus solely on foreign policy. Moderator Bob Schieffer announced that the topics will be: “America’s Role in the World,” “Our Longest War—Afghanistan and Pakistan,” “Red Lines—Israel and Iran,” “The Changing Middle East and the New Face of Terrorism,” and “The Rise of China and Tomorrow’s World.” Heritage’s foreign policy experts have written a series of tipsheets for prepping on each of these issues, featured on our Debate 2012 page and linked below.

    Join us tonight at 9 p.m. ET to watch the debate live on the Debate 2012 page. In addition to the live stream, our experts will be live blogging, and you can join in the conversation on Twitter.

    Our experts have submitted five questions they consider vital to the foreign policy debate:

    1. Given that the Taliban movement still poses a threat to the futures of both Afghanistan and Pakistan, how do you plan to ensure stability in the region and prevent either country from serving as a base for international terrorists intent on attacking the U.S.?
    2. Over the last several years, the Chinese have become increasingly aggressive in pressing territorial claims against their neighbors, threatening to upend peace, security, and the free flow of commerce in the region. What policies will your Administration undertake in the first year to make clear to this new Chinese leadership that the U.S. will remain committed to its friends and treaty allies in the western Pacific?
    3. The U.S. is not the world’s policeman, but it is a leader in world affairs. Can we maintain our influence and protect our vital national interests around the world (such as the “pivot to Asia” that the Administration has announced) if defense cuts continue? Do these cuts encourage adversaries and extremists (as in Libya) to test U.S. resolve?
    4. In the months since Osama bin Laden was killed, al-Qaeda franchises in Iraq, Yemen, Syria, and North Africa have grown stronger and continue to pose a significant threat to Americans. Yet the U.S. appears to be stuck in a “whack-a-mole” tape loop. How should U.S. counterterrorism policy be changed to effectively counter this evolving threat?
    5. Although sanctions have been ratcheted up against Iran, a new study by the Congressional Research Service has concluded that sanctions have not succeeded in accomplishing their principal objective “to compel Iran to verifiably confine its nuclear program to purely peaceful uses.” Tehran has accelerated its enrichment of uranium and is closer than ever to a nuclear weapon. Can sanctions alone stop these trends? What else should the U.S. do to end Iran’s nuclear defiance?

    MORE:

    Debate Prep: The Right Answers on China by Dean Cheng and Derek Scissors, PhD

    Debate Prep: The Changing Middle East and the New Face of Terrorism by Morgan Lorraine Roach and James Phillips

    Debate Prep: Red Lines for Israel and Iran by James Phillips

    Debate Prep: Our Longest War—Afghanistan and Pakistan by Lisa Curtis

    The Obama Doctrine: A Failed Policy Leaving America Weaker in a Dangerous World by Luke Coffey

    3 Questionable Foreign Policy Statements in the Second Presidential Debate by Steven Bucci

    Quick Hits:

    • Russian President Vladimir Putin led the largest Russian nuclear weapons tests since 1991 over the weekend.
    • After President Obama said that women “rely” on Planned Parenthood for mammograms, a pro-life group encouraged women to call Planned Parenthood to try to make an appointment for a mammogram — to call attention to the fact that the organization does not provide the service.
    • Today on Istook Live!, James Jay Carafano, director of Heritage’s Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studies, will discuss tonight’s foreign policy debate. Tune in to Istook Live! online today from 9 a.m.-noon ET.
    • Refer a friend to the Morning Bell and you can be entered to win an iPhone 5! Enter to win here.
    • Join us to watch the debate tonight on our Debate 2012 page. We’ll have the live stream of the debate, Heritage experts live blogging, and live tweeting.
    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    9 Responses to Morning Bell: 5 Crucial Questions for the Presidential Foreign Policy Debate

    1. Darrell Russell says:

      It is very difficult to analyze President Obama's foreign policies. One of the allies that the Us has supported for decades are know being snubbed and put at the back of the bus. The one cold war advisory that would nothing more than take over the United States as an annex to their southern border.
      This President is bowing to the Saudi King, willing to talk to Iran without preconditions and sympathetic to the muslim community. It seems clear that he feels that America has been too powerful and it is time that she be brought down to level the playing field to smaller weaker nations.
      We cannot stand four more years of this presidency.

    2. David Putnam says:

      Your suggestions are waaay to wonky for tonight. Failure should be the relentless attack, and Obama's shameless, purely political responses to Osama's death and the debacle in Libya should be emphasized. Obama was n't even curious to know from his experts what actually transpired in Libya, then rather than saying to the world, "we don't know all the facts yet," he lied about the stupid video, then went to a fund-raiser. You're asking for a conversation about wildly complex issues.

    3. toledofan says:

      Our foriegn policy is a debacle and as long as the moderators are biased towards Obama, no real serious discussion will take place. I suspect this debate will be as contentious as the las t one and will be a remake of the past debate, Obama interrupting, being rude, and calling Romney a liar. I suspect Romney will do well because the facts are on his side. One thing is for sure, based on the facts, Obama doesn't have a leg to stand on and our friends in Israel are hoping America gains her strength and finds her way.

    4. Lloyd Scallan says:

      Two things certain in tonight's debate. Bob Schieffer already has the question given to him by the White House to protect Obama. Second, Obama will lie and distort.

    5. Wayne Peterkin says:

      All good questions. I have two more of my own. First, can you (Obama) name the nations in the world where the US has greater influence and more respect than we did in 2007? Two, why did the administration feel it had to lie to the American people over the Benghazi attack days after they knew what happened and continue to shift stories even now?

    6. Jim Uberti says:

      One thing to watch for: Obama's "canned" responses to Schieffer's questions. Call me paranoid, but I believe that the Obama committee is being tipped off for every debate.
      Candy Crowley "just happened" to have the transcript of the Rose Garden speech. The fact that she supported Obama before walking it back next day was just part of the strategy.
      Another ting to watch for: The position of the Bengazi mess. Will he lead off with it?? I doubt it. You might even see them "run out of time" before he can get to it.
      Just sayin…………..

    7. Kathy Nichtern says:

      I have been wondering how Candy Crawley happened to have the document available when Obama asked her to get the document about his comments in the rose garden in the second presidential debate. Was this collusion?

    8. will says:

      6. Please discuss how any potential enemy is a bigger threat to us than us.

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