• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Morning Bell: Heritage Experts Analyze Final Presidential Debate

    Last night’s debate between President Obama and Governor Romney was supposed to focus on foreign policy. It turned into a wide-ranging conversation on everything from the Middle East to American teachers.

    Heritage Foundation experts were live blogging analysis throughout the night. Below are some highlights from their reactions. Join us at 10 a.m. ET today for a Google+ hangout with several of our foreign policy experts—you can watch online and submit questions via Twitter using the hashtag #HeritageFan.

    A Heavy Focus on the Middle East

    Both men agreed that the Middle East was changing quickly, but said little about the new face of terrorism. Governor Romney charged that events in Libya, Syria, and Egypt demonstrated that the Obama Administration’s policies were unraveling and leaving the region without adequate American leadership. President Obama defended his policies but spent more time attacking Romney’s policies, which he criticized as “all over the map.”

    Obama repeatedly plugged the killing of Osama bin Laden and ending the war in Iraq. But he said little about how al-Qaeda has regrouped and grown stronger since those events. The withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq, particularly special operations forces, greatly reduced the pressure on al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) and has allowed it to make a comeback. In July, AQI felt strong enough to publicly threaten an attack on the U.S. homeland.

    The al-Qaeda franchise in Yemen also has launched several failed attacks on the homeland. Al-Qaeda also has seized large swaths of northern Mali using some of the weapons that it and its allies seized from Libya after the fall of Muammar Qadhafi. And the September 11 Benghazi terrorist attack, which was perpetrated by al-Qaeda sympathizers, underscored the continuing appeal of al-Qaeda’s extremist ideology.

    Although Osama bin Laden is dead, al-Qaeda clearly is very much alive.

    See A Counterterrorism Strategy for the “Next Wave”

    – James Phillips, Senior Research Fellow for Middle Eastern Affairs

    Cutting the Defense Budget

    During the debate, President Obama asserted that his budget proposal maintains defense at about current levels. This is simply untrue. Here are the numbers from his Office of Management and Budget from this year’s budget request. In fiscal year 2010, defense spending was $721.3 billion in budget authority. Under the President’s proposal, defense spending will fall to $566.3 billion in fiscal year 2014.

    This is a 21 percent reduction in just four years. Further, this does not account for the negative effects of inflation on the defense budget. Finally, the President’s budget proposal does not calculate the impact of automatic defense spending reductions in the Budget Control Act of 2011. These automatic spending cuts to defense will amount to more than $500 billion over nine years. While the House of Representatives has adopted a measure to defer these automatic cuts to defense by applying the necessary spending reductions to areas outside defense, President Obama’s White House threatened a veto in response to this measure.

    President Obama wants the American people to believe that Governor Romney is proposing to increase the defense budget by $2 trillion. He calculates this by assuming that his defense spending reductions already apply, and therefore serve as the basis for comparisons. In reality, Governor Romney is proposing not to let President Obama’s defense budget reduction proposal to take place.

    America’s military is the single most valuable contributor to increasing the likelihood of a peaceful and prosperous world. Large-scale reductions in the defense budget, therefore, put the prospects of a peaceful and prosperous world further out of reach.

    – Baker Spring, F.M. Kirby Research Fellow in National Security Policy

    The Navy and Number of Ships Needed

    President Obama said:

    You mentioned the Navy, for example, and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916. Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our military’s changed. We have these things called aircraft carriers, where planes land on them. We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines.

    While the types of ships of today are different from those prior to World War I, there are certain laws of physics that have not changed. And one of those is that, no matter how much cyber capability or space capability may exist, a ship can still be only in one place at any one time. Thus, whether it is battleships or aircraft carriers, whether it is nuclear-powered submarines or biplanes, each system can only be in one place at any given time. And a shortfall of naval vessels, such as now exists, means that there will be times and places where there will be fewer ships than U.S. Navy analysts and officers deem appropriate and necessary.

    The idea that better cyber capabilities can substitute for physical capabilities constitutes a fundamental misunderstanding of how military forces operate. Of course, it hasn’t been helped by the dismissive attitude assumed by President Obama’s first Secretary of Defense about how the U.S. had excessive numbers of aircraft carriers, as though the proper state of American security is to have parity with potential foes, rather than clear superiority.

    – Dean Cheng, Research Fellow, Asian Studies Center

    Defense Readiness Is Key to America’s Role in the World

    The weakness of America’s economy is hurting America. The added self-inflicted wound of the cuts directed by the sequestration provision of the Budget Control Act will damage the readiness of the nation even further. When America’s allies see the leader of the free world as receding and leading from behind, they worry and pull back from operations that support U.S. interests.

    When both candidates agree that America has a responsibility to lead, the conditions to ensure that leadership must be set and protected. To do that, sequestration must be turned off and the assault on readiness ended. The so-called $2 trillion that Obama says is “not asked for by the generals” is exactly what nearly every expert says America needs to have solid defense (4 percent of GDP). America’s leadership in foreign affairs must be reinvigorated, and we must provide all the tools needed by diplomats and intelligence professionals.

    The argument that the present defense budgetary situation is based on strategy and exactly what the uniformed leaders have asked for is a little disingenuous. The cuts made in the last four years have been dollars-based, with the defense officials like Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta claiming further “cuts will be a disaster.” This must be changed.

    – Steven Bucci, PhD, Senior Research Fellow for Defense and Homeland Security

    Jobs on the Home Front

    Obama talked of turning our attention to home, including bringing our veterans home. But there are no jobs for them at home, with unemployment hovering stubbornly around 8 percent and job creation well below what is needed to grow the economy. Building up our roads and bridges won’t create new jobs. America’s workers need more than the same failed stimulus policies to grow the economy. Rather, the President needs to make sure Taxmageddon does not occur and get control of the budget.

    – Alison Fraser, Director, Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies

    Federal Pay for Education Employees Won’t Create Jobs

    President Obama accused Governor Romney of believing that class size “doesn’t make a difference” and that hiring teachers won’t create jobs.

    Actually, class size, within reasonable bounds, does not impact student achievement. The National Center for Education Statistics, for example, has tracked the national student-teacher ratio over time. Today, nationally, the student-teacher ratio is just 15.2: 1. The student-teacher ratio has declined 29 percent since 1970 and by more than 40 percent since 1950. But despite these declines, academic achievement has seen little to no improvement, graduation rates have been stagnant, and achievement gaps persist.

    Second, spending more taxpayer dollars on federal programs to hire education employees (President Obama proposes $25 billion to do just that) won’t create jobs. It will simply represent another large transfer of wealth from taxpayers to public education employees, half of whom are not teachers.

    While enrollment in America’s public schools has not quite doubled since 1950, staff positions (both instructional and administrative) increased by 377 percent between 1950 and 2010 (a nearly five-fold increase). From 1970 to 2010, enrollment in the nation’s public schools increased just 7.8 percent; over the same time period, education staff increased 84 percent.

    Again, such increases have failed to move the needle on student achievement. The only beneficiaries of new federal programs and spending have been the education unions.

    – Lindsey Burke, Will Skillman Fellow in Education

    The U.S. Place in the World

    The discussion of the U.S.’s place in the world in last night’s debate was unsatisfactory. To the extent that it focused directly on that subject, both Obama and Romney sought to reduce it to a question of defense spending, which the President was eager to cut. That is the wrong approach; much better is to assess what the U.S. needs to carry out its responsibilities and budget accordingly. But both men largely fought shy of presenting any larger vision of the U.S.’s role in the world, and sought to focus their remarks on domestic policy. Governor Romney led off with the U.S. need to defend freedom, promote the principles on which it was founded, and to support its allies, but after that the discussion diverged into job creation, a half-hearted defense by the President of his renewable energy policies, and a lengthy wrangle about education policy.

    It is perfectly fair to argue that the U.S. cannot be strong abroad unless it is strong at home. In fact, this is one of the subjects that we hoped this debate would focus on. But economic strength needs to be coupled to a broader understanding of the U.S.’s vital national interests in the world, to an understanding of the merits and limits of diplomacy, and—ultimately—to a vision, informed by the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, of the purpose and processes of U.S. foreign policy. After Governor Romney’s opening, these vital subjects disappeared from the debate. That reflects, perhaps, the sentiment of both sides that the election will not be won on foreign policy.

    – Ted R. Bromund, PhD, Senior Research Fellow in Anglo-American Relations

    Quick Hits:

    Posted in Education, Energy [slideshow_deploy]

    38 Responses to Morning Bell: Heritage Experts Analyze Final Presidential Debate

    1. S HOWARD says:

      Romney had repeated opportunity to sound the alarm of al-Qaeda's rise and he never did. That's a bit disturbing.

      • Dennis George says:

        It wouldn't have helped. The moderator didn't stop Obama from lying either, like the apology tour stuff when Obama did damn America to our enemies. To "expose" that al queda is now larger than before Bin Laden's death would have set the debate upside down and the Nets sure didn't want that.

    2. Victoria Renn says:

      I thank you for reporting the facts for me. Obama Bin Lyin is power hungry and Romney cleaned his plate. Go Romney.

    3. Bo Perrin says:

      I appreciate the insight this article provides from last night's debate. I do find it very interesting that no one has discussed Obama's statement that we need "nation building" in the US. Really?

    4. MJF in CT says:

      Well the 3 debates are over and nothing has changed since the 1st one. Mr. Obama has no clue about what he is doing nor does he understand that government is not the answer. "Hope & Change" failed – let's move on. Hopefully, the American public will see the same thing and hand Mr. Obama his pink slip.

    5. Lloyd Scallan says:

      Bob Schieffer tried but did not, or could not, help Obama as much as expected. But one prediction that came to pass is Obama lied and distorted, just as expected.

    6. Rich Garrett says:

      The debate as I saw it was already decided. This was a debate to see which personality would come out in the end as a leader. Obama failed in my opinion … constantly barking and accusing … sniping at Romney. This is not what you would expect for a Commander and Chief. Poor Judgement in decision making with no transparency … is not what you want in the WH. On the other hand, Romney showed he could take the attacks and respond without dragging people thru the mud… stern…and forceful, however not confrontational. Romney's response in calulated and direct, Obama could not show that without stepping out of his skin. It boils down to leadership, Obama has none.. cannot get followers to come with him. Romney does and shows willingness to hear all… the opposite of Obama and his Administration and their Agenda. Romney clear winner here.

    7. Brian Meadows says:

      One thing that resonated with me was Romney's comments about the need to be attentive to Pakistan as we phase out of our current role in Afghanistan. I am suprised and disappointed that no one in the media or even conservative commentary (that I have observed) picked up on this. Paraphrasing, he emphasized that much of the terrorist networks have moved into Pakistan. The fact that they have nuclear weapons, makes them a potential danger, indeed, should they destabilize. That scenario would be extremely dangerous for Israel, the Middle East, and the United States. We cannot simply walk away from them. That was perceptive of Gov. Romney and demonstrated his forward thinking on foreign affairs.

      I thought that it was interesting that Obama made absolutely no reply to this and no comment on that aspect. I think there should be more focus on this and more recognition of the statements made by Romney and the corresponding silence from President Obama as well as the media.

    8. GaryMac says:

      Rarely do I trust the "expert analysis" from blogs, or any of the mainstream sights, with a couple of exceptions–one being the Heritage Foundation. Thank you for a thoughtful wrap up of the final debate. In my personal opinion, Mitt Romney sounded as if he were the president, with a solid understanding of our foreign relations, our relationship to Israel, and that a strong America at home is a strong America abroad. He sounds so much more like a leader. Our current president,BHO sounded like a challenger, and amazingly, after four years of being in the white house, having an idealist view of himself and his relationship to other leaders. BHO's strategy is to attack his opponent's ideas, partly because he has nothing in his own record to defend, with the exception of Osama bin Ladin. His callous view of the military budget (not requesting more) is naive. After, the president is the commander in chief of the armed forces. I was impressed that Mr. Romney did not dodge the apology tour of BHO. This is something the mainstreamers go out of their way to either hide or misinterpret.

      Additionally, a comment a bit off the subject of the actual debate. It seems you can judge these presidents and candidates by the people they surround themselves with. Clinton surrounded himself with people like Al Gore, Bruce Babbett, Madeline Albright… etc. GW Bush had some very bright minds in people such as in Dick Cheney, Condi Rice, and Donald Rumsfelt. Obama surrounds himself with only a far left agenda, but Mr. Romney chose Paul Ryan (the only one to come up with a budget in the last four years). I am sure Mr. Romney, as president, will pick quality people for his cabinet.

      Finally, I liked the way Romney portrays himself by saying "When I become president," and not if…
      Thanks, GG

    9. Phil Wilsey says:

      The President has repeatedly said he ended the war in Iraq and brought our troops home. Didn't congress, the media and the public hound then President Bush because he didn't have an exit strategy for Iraq and kept saying it would turn into another Vietnam? By the time President Bush left office he had an exit strategy in place and all President Obama did was not change it.

    10. Gordon J Acker says:

      One jet (you know those things that land and take-off of those aircraft carriers) probably cost more than the the entire defense budget back when horses and etc. were used in 1917.

      • Mark Simmons says:

        …and a car costs more than keeping a whole stable of horses back then. …and the price of a loaf of bread today could feed a battalian back then. …and your standard of living is FAR beyond the average person in 1917 and better than most kings and queens in history. Your statement is worthless!

    11. Edward says:

      I stopped watching after the first two minutes. Romney had the opportunity to knock one out of the park by just telling the truth about the security in Benghazi and the Administration's (President's) cover-up. I grew up with the belief that every Embassy had a Marine Guard. I was appalled to find that Benghazi did not.
      It appeared to me that Romney tried to appease The President. That direction can give Obama a second term. Heaven help us. We must vote for Romney….he is our only hope!

      • Stirling says:

        One would think that, but to an undecided (who would rather have their needs adressed from Romney) that choice would not be seen as a good decision (to them). It shows Romney speaking to the undecided which is who would be swayed by this Debate (not the right or left).

    12. PaulE says:

      Unfortunately, it looks like Romney tried to play to the independents in the last debate and spent most of the time saying he agreed with with what Obama has done on a number of foreign policy issues. His distinction, if you can call it that, is that he said a number of times he would have done x or y sooner and maybe done a few things more aggressively. That election strategy may play well in some polls, but it does nothing to provide a clear contrast to the obvious incompetent and malicious policies of the Obama administration that we've had to endure the last four years.

      If Romney had turned in this type of performance in the first debate, we would all be talking about how big the margin of victory would be for Obama come November 6. Now Romney has to spend what little time is left trying to undo the damage he's done to himself and hope he still has enough positive momentum left to last until election day.

      • Mark Simmons says:

        Paul I think you forgot something. Obama lied. He lied about his record. He lied about what he has done. In large part Romney agreed with what Obama was espousing, because Obama knows what he is doing and intends to do would be instantly rejected by the American people, so he lied. Surely you don't believe the President's contention that he is a staunch ally of Israel? That Israel/U.S. government relations and cooperation have never been better?

        These were the kind of lies coming out of Obama's mouth all night long.

        • PaulE says:

          Mark, of course Obama lied throughout the debate last night. That is what he has been doing to the American people throughout this campaign. For that matter, much of what Obama has said over the last four years has been nothing but lies and obfuscation of the facts.

          The purpose of these debates is to show the 80 percent of the American public who rely solely on 5 minutes or less of nightly news, delivered by a mostly biased media, to form their opinion of the candidates what both these candidates really stand for. Most people don't know Obama is a chronic liar. All they know is what the mainstream media has been spoon feeding them since day one.This is that rare chance for these people to find out, without the media filtering the facts to fit their desired narrative, what the real facts are on a number of issues. That is why it was so vital for Romney to go after Obama very hard. To expose the lies, the incompetence, the cover-ups on so many fronts.

          My point is that Romney should have gone after Obama from the outset on Libya from why the Obama administration thinks it's better to have local, unarmed militia providing security for an ambassador instead of armed marines to picking apart the obvious cover-up that was instituted afterwards to protect Obama. Instead Romney had the opportunity and chose to instead just throw it away. So much of the debate seemed to play out that way. Major foreign policy failures and screw-ups from Israel to Iran to Russia, China and North Korea should have provided Romney with ample opportunities to showcase what a total failure Obama has been. Instead, for some reason, Romney chose not to take advantage of any of them in a substantial way.

          If more people knew the truth, the race wouldn't be a statistical tie at this point. Romney would be ahead by 10 or maybe even 15 points and the election would just be a formality. That's why Romney should have used the opportunity of the debate better than he did last night. He should have hammered Obama on every aspect of his record and, where necessary, actually call Obama out on his lies.

    13. Carole Smith says:

      As a retired teacher with over 37 years of experience, I agree that class size is not the issue that the president seems to believe that it is. I thought his constant references to teachers during the debate was simply playing to the teacher unions, looking for their votes. I also think that the president has no real understanding of how an economy works or what a solid defense of our country entails. I believe the president was petty and non-presidential during the debate, as he has been during the previous ones. On the other hand, I think Romney showed that he understands foreign policy and domestic problems and would be the best choice for president in these dangerous times. I'm glad he brought up the apology tour because that, along with the president's bows when visiting overseas, has bothered me a great deal these past four years. We are the shining beacon for the rest of the world. They do not have to like us, but they definitely need to respect us and our enemies need to fear us. Under President Obama, not so much!

      • Mark Simmons says:

        Carole, you bring up some good points. I would just like to add that it's hard to be coherant when you subscribe to an idology that has never worked, and that most voters would reject, so you are up on a stage saying things you don't believe and are contrary to what you have done, because the things you do believe are unacceptable. Then on top of that he has no practical experience on most of the topics he's addressing. Yes, it is very hard to be coherant under those circumstances.

    14. Bob says:

      Romney goes large, Obama small and petty. It's over. Romney with a minimum 275 but has the potential of 301++

    15. LOU says:

      On the defense budget- from what I understand the United States has military bases all over the world. The countries we support and defend do not pay us for our services. We should get paid by the countries we support and defend to at least offset the cost the tax payers shoulder. We should also get paid for the infrastructure changes and improvements we make in other countries. Look at all the schools and health facilities we are building (and blowing up). I would like to hear why the United States give all this for free and then our politicans say we spend too much on military. Can some one explain?

    16. Diane says:

      I'm wondering how the teacher/student ratio can be 15.2/1. Where do you find class sizes that small. Surely this number reflects the addition of support teachers who meet with students in small groups – not actual class sizes.

      With the increasing number of students whose parents are divorced and are living in one-parent homes, the number of students in each class with emotional needs increases. A single teacher with a class of 36 elementary students (the class size in the school district I teach in) gives ittle opportunity to help meet those emotional needs. A student is emotionally stable usually performs better in school.

    17. Mark Simmons says:

      Most of the media pundits seemed surprised that "Romney agreed with President Obama" so much on foreign policy issues. Well of course he did! Obama spent all night lying about his own foreign policy positions and actions because he knows his real positions would be rejected by the American people. One example is Obama's attempt to create this narrative that he is a strong supporter of Israel and that Israel/U.S. gov't. relations have never been better. It's like he doen't think any of us have lived the last 4 years–much less paid attention.

    18. Mark Simmons says:

      I've taught companies how to innovate for years. You start by first identifying the 3-5 things that would make the most difference in what you are trying to accomplish and you innovate to accomplish those goals. In the case of education reform, class size wouldn't even make the first page of things that impact student achievement the most. If you innovate or solve a problem that is the 15th most important factor in what you are trying to accomplish, guess what? It solves nothing and won't even move the needle.

      Even without being education experts, we all know that the teacher, the curriculum and an evironment conducive to learning are far more important than most of this nonsense politicians and teacher's unions espouse.

    19. Carol, AZ says:

      NO surprise America:
      The arrogance persona , snarly rebuttal, lack of substance from POTUS with predictable rant, was palpable to most of America.
      What shocks me now is the continued press corps, tripping over their tongues referring to, " glove off" tactics for the debate, as if we should all expect a third world wrestling match.
      We've lower our standard to such a degree over four-year we've don't even realize what we have before us.
      The Mitt I saw was measured, controlled, factual on topic, on all issues facing our world on foreign policy. His answers, in the time alloted, very thorough.
      He didn't contrived for the camera, and didn't attack his opponent as the press corps demanded for the final show down, and his replies never sleazy or cheap.
      HOW pathetic to think this would solve anything.
      Right now, in front of all of us, is a brilliant decent man, that is willing to lead us out this quagmire. He's willing to do the work, restore our Republic, our economy, our budget defaults, utilize diplomatic d`etente , protect our military, work with the fractured Democratic party .
      What we witnessed was leadership .

    20. Louis G. Bosco says:

      Romney was precise and concise showing a commanding presence. Presidential. Obama was imprecise.At times sounded plebian.Rudely interrupting. Not presidential.

    21. wes says:

      With your pundits having said their say, what is your conclusion on who won the debate or showed they have an understanding of what is really going on in today's world? It would get better by telling everyone that America has done a good job of heping the world rather than saying we have been bad … and it won't get any better by bowing to anyone and everybocy. Stand up and play the game with strength.

    22. steve h says:

      Gov. Romney seemed a bit outclassed and misinformed. He actually said Syria is Iran's path to the sea. Syria and Iran are some of the more important countries to understand and deal with in the middle east and he doesn't even know where they are located? As much as Gov. Romney kicked President Obama's butt in the 1st debate, Obama did the same to Romney is his one. Totally outclassed and potentially cost him the election.

      • Clearhead says:

        The debate will be re-aired tonight on two media outlets. You might want to watch one of them. It seems as if you missed the one last night. I don't know where you heard about the 'outclassed' myth, but whoever told you about it apparently did not know what the debate was about. "Outclassed"? Yes, if it was a contest to determine which participant demonstrated the least amount of 'class', then yes — obama won, hands down. (And 'class' down, as well).

      • Carol, AZ says:

        Iran's land mass is larger than both Syria and Iraq.
        Syria has direct access to the Mediterranean Sea.
        Iran does not.
        Iran is positioned on the Caspian Sea and the Persian Gulf.
        If Iran is empowered with nuclear capability, the fear is, they will use this capability to push through Iraq to Syria . "Syria is Iran's path to the sea."
        Yes, we do need to understand how to deal with the Middle East,
        This re.point was not a not a mis-quote
        Mitt was very clear on his understanding of this threat and described it accurately.

    23. Linda Kenney says:

      Obama came across mean spirited and cockey, with no cogent vision of what he will do in the area in the next four years. His mockery of Romney on the Navy warship comment was, not only specious, but adolescent sounding. It is my opinion Romney won the debate on facts and vision, as well as presenting as much more Presidential than Obama.

      • I agree with you!! Romney and Ryan are the next President and VP i WILL VOTE IN. They will get us out of the mess we are in. Get the country back to work off of welfare and make part of welfare and food stamps. I have a land lady who has apartments in the inner city of Milwaukee who don't have the money too pay the rent but have 3 cell phones,and rental assistance and air conditioning. The phones are all from Obama. Things have to change.

    24. Mike Martin says:

      There may be fewer horses, as they have been replaced by mechanized equipment from jeeps to helicopters. However there are NOT fewer bayonets! The bayonet is part of the basic issue along with a rifle or carbine for every combat branch soldier, marine, sailor, or airman. Hussein is not only full of caca, but is woefully ignorant as a CIC. The most feared command any combat soldier can hear is "FIX BAYONETS!".

    25. Stirling says:

      The Adult in the room (Romney) explaining to the Child in the room (Obama) is always priceless to see and hear.. Romney showed again why leaders need only to speak the truth (without bias) and the people have enough common sense to decide for themselves. I look forward to having a pro-American president after the election, a breath of fresh air will be good for all of America.

    26. Jeanne Stotler says:

      Obama was disrespectful, constantly interrupting and was very demeaning. Romney showed respect and was dead right in calling Obama’s actions, about saying the debate was not about what Romney said, but abut how they could turn our economy and security around. Romney acted like a President and showed Obama respect.We still need a good economy, that will also increase our strength in the world. Obama has made us weak, watch “2016, Obama’s America” he wants us weak, and this movie explains WHY.

    27. John Obradovich says:

      Excellent account of the whole affair. Great analysis. I may comment further after I have time to read it all more closely. Initial quick scan/read, is already a pleasure.

      Keep up the good work.

    28. Leith Wood says:

      Mitt Romney did exactly what he should have done in the last debate and did it beautifully. A winner.

    29. Wayne, La. says:

      The only thing that I found disappointing in the debate on the middle east is that both Gov. Romney and President Obama agreed on the perception of equal opportunity for women and men. This sounds like both men are instigating trouble. The cultural sensitivities in the Middle Eastern countries are resistant to this approach. Islam and sharia law seem to impose some restrictions to this possible outcome. It would have been suitable if both men had considered a more private and cooperative approach with the people of the region. Terrorism is a fear reaction to a foe that intends to dominate or forcibly change a cultural norm. The change should come from the people themselves and not an outside Government.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.