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This page contains all of the posts and discussion on MemeStreams referencing the following web page: Stratfor Presidential Debate Foreign Policy Series. You can find discussions on MemeStreams as you surf the web, even if you aren't a MemeStreams member, using the Threads Bookmarklet.

Stratfor Presidential Debate Foreign Policy Series
by Rattle at 4:41 pm EDT, Sep 25, 2008

StratFor is running a free series of article running up to the presidential debate taking place on Friday (after McCain finishes his nap).

We have no wish to advise you how to vote. That’s your decision. What we want to do is try to describe what the world will look like to the new president and consider how each candidate is likely to respond to the world. In trying to consider whether to vote for John McCain or Barack Obama, it is obviously necessary to consider their stands on foreign policy issues. But we have to be cautious about campaign assertions. Kennedy claimed that the Soviets had achieved superiority in missiles over the United States, knowing full well that there was no missile gap. Johnson attacked Barry Goldwater for wanting to escalate the war in Vietnam at the same time he was planning an escalation. Nixon won the 1968 presidential election by claiming that he had a secret plan to end the war in Vietnam. What a candidate says is not always an indicator of what the candidate is thinking.

In order to try to draw this presidential campaign into some degree of focus on foreign policy, we will proceed in three steps. First, we will try to outline the foreign policy issues that we think will confront the new president, with the understanding that history might well throw in a surprise. Second, we will sketch the traditions and positions of both Obama and McCain to try to predict how they would respond to these events. Finally, after the foreign policy debate is over, we will try to analyze what they actually said within the framework we created.

The first part lays out the issues facing the next president:

* The Post 9/11 World
* A Stabilized Iraq and the U.S. Troop Dilemma
* The Nuclear Chip and a Stable U.S.-Iranian Understanding
* Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Taliban
* The Russian Resurgence
* European Disunity and Military Weakness
* Israel, Turkey, China, and Latin America
* The U.S. Defense Budget

Part two focuses on Obama.

Part three focuses on McCain.

These were the questions they suggested posing to the canidates:

1. If the United States removes its forces from Iraq slowly as both of you advocate, where will the troops come from to deal with Afghanistan and protect allies in the former Soviet Union?
2. The Russians sent 120,000 troops to Afghanistan and failed to pacify the country. How many troops do you think are necessary?
3. Do you believe al Qaeda prime is still active and worth pursuing?
4. Do you believe the Iranians are capable of producing a deliverable nuclear weapon during your term in office?
5. How do you plan to persuade the Pakistani government to go after the Taliban, and what support can you provide them if they do?
6. Do you believe the United States should station troops in the Baltic states, in Ukraine and Georgia as well as in other friendly countries to protect them from Russia?
7. Do you feel that NATO remains a viable alliance, and are the Europeans carrying enough of the burden?
8. Do you believe that Mexico represents a national security issue for the United States?
9. Do you believe that China represents a strategic challenge to the United States?
10. Do you feel that there has been tension between the United States and Israel over the Georgia issue?

RE: Stratfor Presidential Debate Foreign Policy Series
by Decius at 4:59 pm EDT, Sep 25, 2008

Rattle wrote:
StratFor is running a free series of article running up to the presidential debate taking place on Friday (after McCain finishes his nap).

Thanks for posting this. I've only just scanned it so correct me if I'm wrong, but the exec summary seems to be that either President would end up with a similar foreign policy because of the constraints that exist on US action, and any difference would be more a product of differences in cunning than philosophy. I checked, and the phrase "Machiavellian virtue" turns up only 582 results on Google. If this is really what you want from a President I must say that I am more convinced than ever that the system of checks and balances are at the heart of our freedom. Frankly, I think the Bush/Cheney team had that in spades, and I think our present candidates are a reaction to that.

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