Is Anything More Foreign to Americans Than Foreign Policy?

The Reckoning
The Future of American Power
Oct. 22 2012 3:26 AM

Is Anything More Foreign to Americans Than Foreign Policy?

romney blimp
Yes, Romney is counting on hot air over Florida, but Obama could fuel a fleet of these, too.

Photograph by Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

From my column for The National today:

Michael Moran Michael Moran

Michael Moran is an author and geopolitical analyst.

'Be careful what you wish for," my mother used to say, "because someday you may just get it."

And so I have. After years of bemoaning the absence of foreign policy issues in US presidential campaigns, even during the hyperactive unilateralist madness of the George W Bush administration, my mother's words have come to pass. As we wind our way towards the November 6 presidential election, a too-close-to-call race for the most powerful office in the world may well come down to a televised debate on foreign policy.


Of course, the United States faces some of the most serious challenges in its history at the moment, many of them emanating from abroad. The ability to adjust to the realities since the 2008 financial crisis is the paramount foreign policy challenge of the day, challenging Americans to rethink their role in a world where economic power and political influence are shared among many actors.

This requires careful, long-term planning and frank conversations with friends and foes alike on topics as diverse as the future of global finance, the proliferation of nuclear weapons, the use of drones in warfare, the threat of drug-resistant pandemic diseases, the continuing need for leadership in settling territorial disputes in the Middle East, the two Koreas and the South China Sea, and the reform of international institutions that still reflect the status quo of 1945.

I should be ecstatic that a prime-time forum on foreign policy will be watched by millions of Americans.

Yet the prospect of President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney trying to out-duel each other on how the United States should handle the changing world is terrifying.

Read the rest at The National


The World

The Budget Disaster that Sabotaged the WHO’s Response to Ebola

How Movies Like Contagion and Outbreak Distort Our Response to Real Epidemics

PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer

Everything You Should Know About Today’s Eclipse

An Unscientific Ranking of Really, Really Old German Beers


Welcome to 13th Grade!

Some high schools are offering a fifth year. That’s a great idea.


The Actual World

“Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.

Want Kids to Delay Sex? Let Planned Parenthood Teach Them Sex Ed.

Can Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu Pull Off One More Louisiana Miracle?

  News & Politics
Oct. 22 2014 9:42 PM Landslide Landrieu Can the Louisiana Democrat use the powers of incumbency to save herself one more time?
Oct. 23 2014 11:51 AM It Seems No One Is Rich or Happy: I Looked
The Vault
Oct. 23 2014 12:02 PM Delightfully Awkward Studio Action Shots of Players, Used on Early Baseball Cards
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 23 2014 11:33 AM Watch Little Princesses Curse for the Feminist Cause
  Slate Plus
Oct. 23 2014 11:28 AM Slate’s Working Podcast: Episode 2 Transcript Read what David Plotz asked Dr. Meri Kolbrener about her workday.
Brow Beat
Oct. 23 2014 12:01 PM Who Is Constantine, and Should You Watch His New Show?
Oct. 23 2014 11:45 AM The United States of Reddit  How social media is redrawing our borders. 
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Oct. 23 2014 7:30 AM Our Solar System and Galaxy … Seen by an Astronaut
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.