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November 22, 2011

What Was Left Unsaid
Posted by Jacob Stokes

Tonight’s GOP debate contained much blog fodder, but the most interesting aspect of the discussion was the topics that weren’t covered:

China, Asian security. There were passing mentions of China in the context of trade, debt and Rick Perry’s repeated assertion that China’s communists were headed to the “ash heap of history.” But there were no comments about the importance of Asia more generally in American grand strategy. This is an egregious oversight in the wake of President Obama’s trip there this month, where he announced a new basing agreement with Australia, rolled out a big new trade initiative and chastised China for aggression in the South China Sea and for holding down the value of its currency. The “pivot” to Asia is a quiet but steady and central component of the administration’s national security strategy. Especially given the field’s concern about our allies, this should be front and center. No real engagement on the wisdom of such a "pivot" from the candidates.

Iraq. Although the question about the Middle East was left until the end, it’s pretty clear why the candidates didn’t bring it up or really bite once the question was asked: Seventy-seven percent of Americans support bringing the troops home and the administration was fulfilling the terms of a Bush-era security agreement. Not a lot of room to run there, at least politically.

Arab Spring. The field is split on whether the Arab Spring is a good thing and should be supported, but they didn’t engage any questions on the subject, despite a live feed from Tahrir Square. They should have asked Gingrich about his "anti-Christian Spring" comments directly.

European Financial crisis. The connection between the economy and national security was widely asserted tonight, so it’s a shame nobody discussed the European financial crisis. Here again, not surprising though. Dan Drezner has shown why talk of the euro crisis would end up with allies trying to scrape bus treads off their backs.

Russia. It’s actually rather surprising that this wasn’t talked about, given recent moves by Vladimir Putin to reassert formal power in that country. That said, in general, the reset has been smart policy -- not that such concerns have really mattered in these debates.

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Comments

Also not mentioned: how to handle the DPRK's nuclear program; how to prevent nuclear terrorism; how to deal with bioterrorism threat ...

nice job keep it up !!!

European Financial crisis are a big problem.

Thanks for making my morning a little bit better with this great article!!

Thank you so much!

アジア杯の上の惨敗は私達を中国のサッカーの立ち後れることがはっきり見えさせて、日本のサッカーはすでにみごとに世界に向かいました。アナイキ スニーカージア杯の(以)後で、pumaは日の本文で霊感の2足のサッカーシューズに変わることを出しました――PWR-C1.10 TokyoとV1.10 Kanji。PWR-C1.10 Tokyoは東京街頭の文化を霊感にニューバランス h710して、下手な字を書く方法は日本語の“東京”の印を白色の靴の表面の上にあります。V1.10 Kanjiの中Kanjiは日本語の“漢字”の意味です。設計者は漢スニーカー字の“高速”の印を靴の表面の上で、際立っているV1.10のスピードは思います。哀れみを誘うのは中国の文化の代表の漢字にするのが意外にも日本の文化の元素にして今回の付けてはいナイキ ジョーダンけない設計の霊感の出所になったのなのです。見たところサッカーシューズの領域にもっと多い発言権を持ちたくて、中国のサッカーの後れているレベルは最大の妨害です。

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A liar is not believed when he speaks the truth.e

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