Tonight’s Questions

Oct 22 2012 @ 11:41am

Bob Schieffer announced the topics for tonight's debate. They are:

* 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 – I
* The Changing Middle East and the New Face of Terrorism – II
* The Rise of China and Tomorrow’s World…

Drezner is disappointed:

Here are the following areas and topics that apparently won't be discussed:

1) The eurozone crisis

2) Latin America

3) Russia

4) Africa

5) Foreign economic policy

6) India

7) North Korea

Now I get that some of these topics won't come up in a foreign policy debate that lasts only 90 minutes. But I'm also thinking that maybe, just maybe, it would be a better foreign policy debate if they actually talked about, you know, SOMETHING OTHER THAN THE MIDDLE EAST!!!!!!

A friend of Fallows has similar objections:

No questions on the Pentagon or defense spending — a clear point of difference between the candidates.

No questions on the criteria for the use of force, whether in Iran or Syria or … Mexico.

No questions on the war powers of the President, either regarding Iran or drones or targeted killings.

No questions on civil-military relations.

Maybe Schieffer will shoehorn some of these issues into his announced topics, or maybe the candidates will broaden their answers. I hope so. Otherwise, this will be a truncated and woefully inadequate one.