1. America’s role in the world
a. Focus on the strong support of our Pacific allies to counter expansionist China after years of disregard from Bush administration.
b. While much of the world is adopting protectionist trade policies, under an Obama administration, the U.S. has signed free-trade agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea.
c. Nuclear responsibility. In 2010 he signed a new START treaty with Russia further reducing nuclear weapon stockpiles. It is America’s role to reduce the threat of global conflict and that means modeling the way for others to follow.
d. Once again the role of America has been re-established as the world’s leader of stopping tyranny and fighting for freedom. After eight years of misguided ‘with us or against us foreign policy’, the U.S. is once again collaborating with our allies. Collaborations that have had crippling effects on Iran, allowed elections to take place in Egypt, and the overthrow of Gadhafi.
2. Our longest war — Afghanistan and Pakistan
a. The president must acknowledge the performance and sacrifices of our brave men and women serving in Afghanistan and those that served in Iraq and in other regions of the world to protect liberty.
b. You have kept us safe for four years. While others previously and wrongfully liked to make that claim, the Obama administration has indeed kept America safe.
c. Remind the nation that you honored your commitment to wind down operations in Iraq and bring home our troops and you will do the same in Afghanistan. Our time for nation building abroad needs to be replaced by nation building at home.
d. The counter-terrorism campaign in the regions has been devastatingly effective in decimating and decapitating al-Qaeda.
e. We can exit Afghanistan according to plan as a result of the work done to train the Afghan National Army, which is already taking the lead in battling the Taliban in the eastern provinces. If you remember Governor Romney’s running mate told the nation, in an utter disregard to our troops, during the Vice presidential debate that we should commit American soldiers un lieu of Afghan forces.
3. Red lines — Israel and Iran
a. Be clear, our policy is quite simple: we will not allow Iran to develop a nuclear weapon.
b. In the meantime the internationally backed sanctions against Iran have crippled its economy. Its currency is falling on a daily basis, it’s ships cannot get insurance, and it’s central bank has been cut off from the international banking community. It’s oil production is at its lowest point since the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980’s. And now Iran’s natural gas industry has also been shut down due to new European sanctions.
c. As far as Israel’s defense, make no mistake about it: my words have been backed by my deeds. My administration has provided defensive weapon systems such as the Iron Dome system as well as other support.
4. The changing Middle East and the new face of terrorism — I
a. The Middle East is the most complex and volatile region in the world and while my opponent likes to make bold statements, a true leader doesn’t act so rash.
b. The key is collaboration with the UN, NATO, and the Arab League as was the case in Libya.
c. We have agreement with the rest of the security council that Basher al-Assad must step down but it must be done in an orderly fashion. We cannot allow a civil war to envelop Syria that pits Shia versus Sunni, Islamist versus Secularist and so forth. If a civil war precipitates it will likely draw in Lebanon, Turkey, Iran, and the gulf states.
d. As for battling terrorism, the key is intelligence gathering and working with our allies to identify risks before they become threats. It is this process that has led to the successful campaigns against al-Qaeda and its affiliates.
e. What we cannot do is go backwards to the Bush administration policies that weakened our position in the region and gave rise to the very forces that threaten us today. And this is exactly where we will end up under a Romney administration. My opponent ‘s foreign policy team is comprised of Bush administration officials who led us into Iraq.
5. The rise of China and tomorrow’s world
a. Governor Romney likes to talk to tough about China which is quite outlandish considering how much he loves investing there. No talking tough and empty threats are not what we need, we need the type of action that my administration has taken including successful challenges in the WTO to protect American jobs and American industries.
b. China is not our enemy but they are our competitor and a threat to our economic success. It is important that we curb China’s imperialistic ambitions but avoid a messy debilitating mutually assured self-destructing trade war. We can be tough without the rhetoric as Obama has demonstrated.
c. Tomorrow’s world will continue to be volatile as developing and emerging nations mature and the demand for natural resources and food grows. It will be incumbent upon the US to maintain its position as a fair pro-democracy champion balancing our own national interests with defending liberty and freedom for all people.
In the end, the president has a lot to tout during the debate and as long as he is prepared for the Libya, Iran, and China attacked from Romney he will be just fine. And don’t forget to attack your opponent’s lack of experience and false bravado.