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Let’s Talk Foreign Policy [Election 2012]


Guess what! There are only 11 days until the presidential election and things are definitely getting (if they weren’t already) heated. Two very important things happened this week that you should know about:

1. The Third Presidential Debate

Monday night was the third and final presidential debate on foreign policy. There were many predictions going into this final, crucial debate. These predictions included Mitt Romney doing poorly because, as a former governor and business man, he has very little experience with foreign policy. Obama on the other hand, well, has about four years of dealing with foreign policy issues so it was expected that he would be able to hold his own. Here’s how I was expecting the debate to go:

Romney: You screwed up in Libya and are a bad Commander-in-Chief.

Obama: We got Osama.

While it wasn’t exactly like this, I was pretty close. Much of the debate consisted of Romney saying what Obama has done wrong in the past four years, and Obama pointing out Romney’s inexperience with foreign policy. Like I mentioned last week, both candidates seem most passionate when they talk about the faults of one another. Can we take some time off from arguing and discuss what happened in Libya for a second? That’s what I was hoping to hear more about!

Which brings me to the next important event of this week:

2. Governmental Transparency and the Benghazi Attack

By now you probably know at least the basics of the attack, but here they are if you don’t: On September 11, 2012, a heavily armed group of militants attacked the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Several people were killed, including a U.S. Ambassador.

This attack has not only been making headlines because of the killings, however. This has been a major news headline in recent weeks because it highlights a serious problem with our government’s transparency, how much of the government’s actions we actually see/hear about.

As time goes on, we’re learning more and more about what actually happened during the Benghazi attack. Since Day 1 we have been asking for details about who knew about the attack, how did it escalate so quickly, why was such an attack even possible, etc.

The White House and State Department have been denying that Obama was alerted immediately of the attack, however emails released yesterday say otherwise. Apparently, the White House, including Obama, were notified of the attack two hours after it occurred.

Why is this a big deal for the election, you ask?

In 2008, Obama promised “openness of government.” All this hidden information about the attack in Libya definitely does not support the idea of an open government with transparent actions. This could potentially be bad for Obama because, as voters, we don’t like to see a) non-transparency of government and b) candidates not following through on their promises.

I agree that everything with Libya right now is sensitive and Obama is in a tough situation when it comes to keeping such a big promise of “openness of government,” however I’m curious how this is going to affect the polls in 12 days.

What did you think of the Final Debate? Do you think the emails about the Benghazi Attack will change the polls? Disagree with anything I have to say? Tell me in the comments!

Ashley is a sophomore majoring in International Affairs with a minor in English. Each week, Ashley will be discussing current events involving the upcoming presidential election. Check in every week to find out what’s going on in the election world and read one college girl’s opinion on the issues!

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