Numerous Global Security Challenges Await Next President

    Luis Ramirez
    With much of the Middle East in turmoil, the possibility of a war over Iran’s nuclear program, and a growing al-Qaida threat in Africa, the global security challenges facing the U.S. president in the next four years are huge. President Barack Obama and his challenger, Mitt Romney, are presenting different approaches in the final days before Americans go to the polls.

    For Obama, there have been security triumphs.

    "We ended the war in Iraq, refocused our attention on those who actually killed us on 9/11. And as a consequence, al Qaida's core leadership has been decimated,” said Obama.

    But scenes of continuing violence in Iraq, in Syria, and in Libya - where a militant attack on the U.S. consulate at Benghazi that killed four Americans including the U.S. ambassador - are reminders the region may be just as unstable as before.

    Republican candidate Mitt Romney points to what he says is an Obama foreign policy that is unraveling and threatening the safety and security of Americans.

    “I congratulate him on taking out Osama bin Laden and going after the leadership in al-Qaida. But we can’t kill our way out of this mess,” said Romney.

    Romney calls for a strong military as a deterrent and is critical of Obama’s plan, which calls for downsizing navy ships, cutting the number of ground troops, and making the military more reliant on special forces, covert operations, and unmanned aerial vehicles.

    Under Obama, the number of killings of militants by drone strikes has increased substantially, and his administration has focused on training and equipping the militaries of other nations to carry out operations, rather than sending in U.S. troops
    .
    “We're now able to transition out of Afghanistan in a responsible way, making sure that Afghans take responsibility for their own security. And that allows us also to rebuild alliances and make friends around the world to combat future threats,” said Obama.

    Romney - like Obama - has shied away from committing the U.S. to direct involvement in another war.

    “The candidates do talk a great deal, but they don’t necessarily have huge differences between them because both men are aware the American public is tired of major overseas interventions,” said Michael O’Hanlon, a security analyst at the Brookings Institution in Washington.

    In addition to using a strong military to deter aggression from states like Iran and fight the rise of radical Islam, Romney proposes using foreign aid to pressure Egypt to promote democracy and maintain peace with Israel, and says he wants to help the Syrian opposition.  He calls for economic development, promoting education, gender equality, and rule of law in countries that are seeing a militants surge.

    “We're going to have to put in place a very comprehensive and robust strategy to help the world of Islam and other parts of the world reject this radical violent extremism which is - it's certainly not on the run. It's certainly not hiding. This is a group that is now involved in 10 or 12 countries,” said Romney.

    Among the countries where al-Qaida affiliates are expanding their bases is the West African nation of Mali. Although the candidates mentioned Mali in the final debate, analysts do not see either Obama or Romney having much of an Africa agenda.

    “On Africa, we have to say that Romney and Obama have both avoided the subject. So, of the various topics one might discuss, in a sense that’s unfortunately the simplest because there really hasn’t been any discussion,” said O'Hanlon.

    The issue of security in Europe has not been a major topic in this presidential campaign. The two men want members of the NATO alliance to start contributing more manpower and equipment that the U.S. has shouldered traditionally. They differ on a missile defense strategy toward Russia - with Obama favoring a more flexible policy toward Moscow.  

    Regardless of who wins the election, the next four years will present as many, if not more, challenges for the president of the United States.
    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Jaddy Baddy from: NY
    November 07, 2012 8:22 PM
    When I went to vote, on 11/06/2012, in Rochester, NY,
    election officials didn't ask for id and didn't even look
    when I offered mine. If they ain't checkin' voter ids,
    all I have to do to vote two, three or a hundred times,
    is to find somebody sick, in a hospital, in the military
    overseas, recently deceased or away from home for any
    reason, and go to their polling place and sign their name
    and vote in their place and nobody knows, or, at least
    in NY, apparently, cares. I can then roam from one
    precinct to another, town to town, even state by state,
    voting under one assumed name after another.

    What means did election officials employ to find out who
    voted early, or absentee, to prevent them, or someone
    posing as them, from voting, again? What means do they
    have to find out who voted by email in New Jersey, and to
    keep them from voting again, in person? We can delay the
    outcome of an election until those affected by disaster
    can legally get to a polling place, or take the polling
    places to them. We can ensure that those ballots are cast
    fairly and honestly. we can delay the count until all
    have had a chance to vote fairly. we have until January
    20, 2013 to get it right. Only the need for instant
    gratification demands that we know the result NOW, and
    instant gratification ain't reason enough for a bastard
    election.

    With no assurance of a fair and honest election, there
    is no such thing as a fair, honestly elected, legitimate
    government, and Nobody can give Anybody Any assurance
    that this was Anything close to a fair and honest
    election, If your elections are a fraud, your elected
    government is a fraud and your country is a fraud.
    Election officials decided who they wanted to win, and
    Chicagoed the returns, accordingly. Barack Obama, Joe
    Biden and Louise Slaughter, et al, are nothing
    more than the tin horn Bashir Assads of the Syrian States
    of America, run by an illegitimate, bastard government.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolatei
    X
    July 29, 2016 4:02 PM
    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolate

    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory

    Two years after starting to produce electric cars, U.S. car maker Tesla Motors has opened the first part of its huge battery manufacturing plant, which will eventually cover more than a square kilometer. Situated close to Reno, Nevada, the so-called Gigafactory will eventually produce more lithium-ion batteries than were made worldwide in 2013. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Polio-affected Afghan Student Fulfilling Her Dreams in America

    Afghanistan is one of only two countries in the world where children still get infected by polio. The other is Pakistan. Mahbooba Akhtarzada who is from Afghanistan, was disabled by polio, but has managed to overcome the obstacles caused by this crippling disease. VOA's Zheela Nasari caught up with Akhtarzada and brings us this report narrated by Bronwyn Benito.
    Video

    Video Hillary Clinton Promises to Build a 'Better Tomorrow'

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged voters Thursday not to give in to the politics of fear. She vowed to unite the country and move it forward if elected in November. Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination at its national convention in Philadelphia. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more.
    Video

    Video Trump Tones Down Praise for Russia

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is toning down his compliments for Russia and Vladimir Putin as such rhetoric got him in trouble recently. After calling on Russia to find 30.000 missing emails from rival Hillary Clinton, Trump told reporters he doesn't know Putin and never called him a great leader, just one who's better than President Barack Obama. Putin has welcomed Trump's overtures, but, as Zlatica Hoke reports, ordinary Russians say they are not putting much faith in Trump.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora