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Op-Ed

Don’t Assume Iran Is the Greatest Threat

Daniel L. Byman

“I’d actually like to move to Iran,” declared the real winner of last week’s vice presidential debate — moderator Martha Raddatz — “because there’s really no bigger national security [threat] this country is facing.” Both candidates quickly agreed, and of course both President Obama and Governor Romney have highlighted the threat Tehran poses to the United States and the world in general. Only slightly obliquely, Obama even warned that the United States would consider military action to prevent Iran from going nuclear, a commitment Governor Romney shares.

Indeed, concern about Iran is held widely on both sides of the aisle and among the political class — perhaps as close as we come these days to a true bipartisan issue — and it is likely that any future administration will continue to put massive amounts of time and resources into the problem. Iran, and especially its nuclear program, should remain a concern of any future administration, but it is far from the only serious threat to U.S. national security — and perhaps not even near the top of the list. Here are some other countries and dangers that voters should think about as the candidates offer their competing visions of the U.S. role in the world:


Pakistan


North Korea


China


Syria and the Arc of Crisis

The United States


Read the full article at foreignpolicy.com »