The final 2012 presidential debate is now history. President Obama and Governor Romney sparred on foreign policy issues that touched, in part, on Syria, Russia, Iran and China. Yet, much of the debate focused on the economy, notes Senior Fellow Martin Indyk. And in a country so deeply polarized on domestic issues the foreign policy divide between the candidates isn’t that great, he adds.
[The resignation of assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs Wess Mitchell] is surprising news, which seems to have caught everyone off guard. He doesn’t appear to have shared this news with his ambassadors, who were in Washington last week for a global chiefs of mission conference. His deputy is also slated to retire soon, which raises question of near term leadership on European policy at a time of challenges there.
[Wess] Mitchell was a strong supporter of NATO, particularly in Eastern Europe where he will be sorely missed. His departure comes follows the resignation of senior Pentagon officials – Robert Karem and Tom Goffus – working on NATO along with Secretary Mattis. Without this pro-alliance caucus, NATO is now more vulnerable than at any time since the beginning of the Trump administration.