Voting Blind

John McCain and Barack Obama are busily offering foreign-policy platitudes on the campaign trail, mostly about spreading freedom, working with allies and hunting down terrorists. But what exactly would they do if elected? Digging ourselves out of

Issue: Sept-Oct 2008

WE MAY be facing one of the most important foreign-policy elections in recent history. America is not only at war in Iraq and Afghanistan, but threatened by short-, medium- and long-term challenges ranging from terrorist attacks to energy security, Iranian nuclear weapons, Russia's resurgence and China's rise.

On top of this is the frightening prospect that, as the war between Russia and Georgia recently demonstrated, it may take only one event to meld all of these problems into an immediate and devastating perfect storm. Just imagine a U.S. or Israeli strike on Iran. The potential consequences: Iranian retaliation against U.S. forces and American allies in the region, a new global Islamist terror backlash against the United States, skyrocketing energy prices, a collapse of the dollar that accelerates as China shifts its reserves to more stable currencies and an angry Moscow deciding that it is the right time to teach Georgia another lesson by force.

You must be a subscriber of The National Interest to access this article. If you are already a subscriber, please activate your online access. Not a subscriber? Become a subscriber today!