One thing that I can tell from the foreign policy debate is that it's really hard to get these two candidates to talk about foreign policy. Obama won largely the debate against Romney, but this doesn’t mean his speech was more meaningful to people that are concerned by U.S. policies. Still, Obama led well the attack on Romney and did not miss the occasion to stress on his past politics in the Middle East and new ones as well.
Generally speaking, if the U.S. elections were only tied to foreign policy, Obama will undisputedly make a better president than Romney. Romney has a clear stance to support shipping weapons to Syria, support a new devastating attack against Iran. He is an absolute ally to Israel and is likely less supportive of Palestinian self-determination rights. These positions will never drive any support from people in the MENA to U.S. policies and that’s what the U.S. need now instead of rallying dictators. Scaring those people with an increasing military budget won’t mend any relations either. Obama will do a far better job. Many approve of him already and trust his policies of getting out the region.
Romney has to fight its amnesia on this debate for the third time, denying previous statement of his. Generally, he avoided attack throughout the debate but kept drifting the debate to the economy.
Monday's debate was not a stellar for both candidates. As someone who might be affected by these same very policies and corporations between U.S. and MENA, I was particularly unimpressed. It is the same talk that we have heard since years now and both candidates chew on the drones’ question. The drones are one of the main reasons that are creating more tension and conflict in countries like Yemen and Afghanistan where innocent civilians die in double-digit numbers.
Both candidates missed to direct their policies to the people of the Middle East, Pakistan and Afghanistan who directly affected by U.S. foreign policies. Giving in more money from poor Americans to rich elitist rulers in foreign countries won’t help much the situation. Giving however more money from richer Americans to poorer people in the conflict region can help these people build a more solid infrastructure, have an education, better economic lives and reject violence against ally nations.
For real-time analysis and full coverage of the debate, see here.