Heritage Foundation’s five questions for today’s foreign policy debate between Romney and Obama

Heritage Foundation 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 theU.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 theU.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?

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