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Day when the president and governor -- square off.
For their third and final debate the focus will be on foreign policy and there's no shortage -- national security challenges.
Facing the next commander in chief.
The hot spots simmering right now spanned the globe they include the fallout from the terrorist attack in Benghazi Libya.
The ongoing showdown over Iran's nuclear program the crisis in Syria was -- write -- to spread to other countries in the Middle East.
And the winding down of the war in Afghanistan for US troops.
All this as a poll shows governor Romney closing the gap of -- -- on who can best handle.
Foreign policy take a look at this the president believes governor Romney still.
But I only four points 47 to 43%.
This marks a dramatic change from last month and when the president enjoyed F fifteen point lead 53.
I to 48%.
Not 40% to 38% there in your screen.
-- over the next president have to do our next guest knows a thing or two about foreign policy as he is advise.
I six secretaries of state.
-- bipartisan at that including Madeleine Albright and Colin Powell.
Aaron David Miller joins us now he's the vice president of the Woodrow Wilson Center -- nice to have you back in the program.
Pleasure to be here again so we know the topic we don't of the questions what do you think is the single biggest issue.
That the American people need to hear about.
-- the organizing principle of any nation's foreign policy is to protect the homeland he can't protect the homeland you don't need a foreign policy so that has to be.
-- fundamental and primary concern protect the security the content in the United States.
And -- diplomatic facilities and our and our personnel abroad now clearly what happened and being -- Has opened up some vulnerabilities for the administration both in terms of what they knew -- -- or not they underestimated the challenge -- and of course -- -- very muddled and mixed message so I think that's a critically important issue.
Wolf one important thing haphazardly made clear though and -- -- it's the point of departure for everything in my judgment.
You know I work for democratic and Republican secretaries of state I voted for Democrats and Republicans.
The dividing line -- for these issues particularly on national security shouldn't be between left or right liberal or conservative Democrat or Republican.
It ought to be between dumb.
And which side of the line.
Does an American president conducting foreign policy -- -- cruel and unforgiving world wanna beyond so do I ever go to either candidate -- on one side of that or the other well I think I think on certain issues and well governor Romney uses a counter factual presidency we we really don't know.
Exactly how he would cope with the challenges but I I would have three unsolicited pieces of advice.
Number one fix our broken house that's the essence of our political and diplomatic power abroad.
He's our economy.
And wean ourselves away from dependence on -- hydrocarbons -- Arab oil number two pick your spots carefully.
We don't control the world we've got crises and Syria and Iran we're going to be have to be very careful.
-- and discipline -- -- when we choose to project our power.
And down I think the final point is.
American leadership is absolutely critical.
In today's world everybody says no.
Without cost or consequence Karzai Maliki Netanyahu the Palestinians the saudis.
Putin has made a yacht.
A professional hobby out of so the notion being taken seriously by the United States is critical but that means being Smart.
And being very practical in the way we projector -- Down to pick up on those last two points that you mentioned we've done several segments.
I you -- -- about different parts of the world and we've certainly covered so many over the last couple months some of which you just mentioned.
And often I find -- reporting on foreign policy that is a really a boomerang segment.
It's less about how we feel about that part of the world.
-- more about how we feel as a country and our mission in our duty.
As the United States of America what do you think about that sense of identity right now and how that might or might not be affecting the foreign policy in some of the regions that you just mentioned well.
I think the broader absence of a cohesive sense of national identity.
Goes beyond foreign policy policy.
The sense of ownership.
That we all belong to a common enterprise.
And that we -- generally we don't all have to agree on the narrative.
But there has to being greedy instead we do agree -- Anna Anna and I think the absence of a semblance of national identity it is extremely -- important here because.
Most people most in this country somehow don't feel.
Intimately connected to -- no national service we have a volunteer volunteer army military the politicians and the military would prefer it that way.
Some sense of national service some sort of program is absolutely.
But but I think he -- even broader than that.
We have to figure out the right balance.
Because the world has changed.
And it's no longer as appropriate as it was in the past to the projection of American military power and after all Jenna were coming off.
The two longest wars in American history.
And the risk to reward ratio in both of those wars Iraq and Afghanistan.
Has cost the United States.
In terms of thousands killed tens of thousands wounded.
Trillions expended and the loss of American credibility so what's the alternative to offer -- didn't -- tonight.
-- the -- -- is to maintain that option for example we have a problem with Iran which could be the most important foreign policy challenge.
And crisis that either democratic or Republican president -- three administrations has have basically made it clear including the current administration.
That they will not allow Iran to acquire.
A nuclear weapon.
If the writings do in fact -- such -- -- forget the capacity the weapon itself.
Then our credibility.
Will be undermined and shattered that is a -- issue.
North Korea can wait pockets Don can -- the Arab Israeli conflict is important that -- is can wait.
-- -- is going to be a critical test.
Of American credibility and success.
Or failure and in a region that's divided between migraine headaches and root canals.
This is the biggest challenge in my judgment.
That the next president will confront.
Well we look forward your thoughts post debate and it's a good reminder Aaron and even in -- said this season there are bigger issues confronting whoever is elected.
We look for to have -- back thank you so much -- and a British.
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