Republican Debate Light on National Security Discussion

Posted August 10, 2015 at 5:00am

Defense One looks at the portions of last week’s Republican presidential primary debate that focused on foreign policy and national security.  

“Overall, discussions of foreign policy and national security occupied less than one-third of the two-hour debate. Only half of the candidates spent more than two minutes talking about foreign policy and the military…despite polls that indicate these issues, along with terrorism and other threats, are the most important for Republican voters. The top two in the polls — Donald Trump and Jeb Bush — hardly mentioned it relative to their speaking time.”  

“The candidates made no mention of Africa, where terrorist groups are seeking a foothold, and gave barely a breath to China, cybersecurity, or veterans issues. They seemed most comfortable flatly rejecting the Iran deal, which many used to display their national security credentials — or deflect attention from them… One of the only points of extended contention was between Paul and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. The New Jersey governor excoriated Paul for speaking out against the spread of government surveillance since 9/11.”