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ASP Election Video Series: Asymmetric Operations

ASP Election Video Series: Asymmetric Operations

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ASP Fellow Joshua Foust sat down to discuss pressing security issues that are relevant to the election this November. He offers his thoughts on a range of important subjects that are critical to America’s national security – the war in Afghanistan, the rise of drone warfare, the European debt crisis, NATO, and Yemen.

What struck Joshua the most was how little the candidates are discussing these topics. From the interview:

“The candidates aren’t really saying all that much about foreign policy. They’ve both decided to focus their campaign rhetoric on the economy and foreign policy has unfortunately taken a back seat to that… both campaigns are pretty short on the policies they’d like to enact.”

Moreover, the little bit the two campaigns talk about foreign policy, they agree far more than they disagree:

“I found it really remarkable: usually there’s at least some difference between the two campaigns about the choices, and about the policies they’re going to enact. But when we look at the major foreign crises facing the United States, especially the war in Afghanistan, there’s just not a lot of daylight between the two campaigns and I think that’s partly why there hasn’t been very much debate about it.”

That doesn’t mean these issues are unimportant, however. Joshua continues:

“President Obama can claim a great deal of success in removing senior Al Qaeda figures from the field of battle. Where he can’t claims success is in removing Al Qaeda as a brand or concept in many unstable countries around the world. This is where Romney thinks he can make some headway, although, again his lack of specificity on what he wants to do is a barrier to really compare the two plans.”

But Al Qaeda isn’t the only challenge facing the country:

“We need to pay close attention to eastern Africa. There is a growing amount of consolidation and insecurity in Somalia… What’s going on in southern Yemen is also a great concern. Both the Yemeni government and the United States through special forces raids and drone has engaged in a tremendous amount of violence over the last few months…  Looking more abroad there are issues such as the financial crisis going on in Europe that could have a catastrophic effect if they unravel the Euro.”

Joshua emphasized that we really don’t fully understand what will happen as these crises unfold and that requires public debate and discussion about how best to handle them.

See the whole interview here: