Monday, October 22, 2012

Five Other Foreign Policy Questions for Barack Obama

Obama & Medvedev
Barack Obama with Russian President Dmitri Medvedev
Photo source: AP

Tonight’s final 2012 presidential debate is dedicated to foreign policy. Given that there are only so many times Romney can ask the president what he knew about Benghazi and when did he know it, here are five other questions I’d like to hear:

1. Mr. President, prior to committing US air power to the overthrow of Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi, you obtained authorization from the United Nations Security Council, but not the United States Congress. Was this the right thing to do, and did it violate the War Powers Act?

2. The Arab Spring has brought the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamad Morsi to the Egyptian presidency, a man who is on record supporting the use of force against Israel and warning Coptic Christians they “need to know that conquest is coming, and Egypt will be Islamic, and that they must pay the jizya or emigrate.” In view of these statements, did you make a mistake in demanding the ouster of Morsi’s predecessor, Hosni Mubarak?

3. In 2007 you said, “I will make an absolute commitment that we will do everything we need to do to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.” In light of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s August report that Iran has accelerated its uranium enrichment activities, can you say that this commitment has been kept?

4. In his debate with Rep. Ryan, the vice president affirmed the administration’s promise to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan by 2014. Is that deadline realistic in view of the continuing violence in that country?

5. In March, you told Russian President Medvedev that you would have more “flexibility” regarding missile defense after the election. What did you mean by that and what do you plan to do after the election that you aren’t doing now?

Michael Isenberg is the author of Full Asylum, a novel about politics, freedom, and hospital gowns. Join him on Twitter for live tweets of tonight’s debate.

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