Debate Preview: 6 warnings on U.S. foreign policy

???We are, I suspect, ready for effective leadership from the next President. We know by now that we have to be both a ???superpower??? to survive, and ???the last best hope on earth,??? to prevail. The whole moral and intellectual climate of the country may change overnight, if only we get soon a President who takes a big view of this function, and who takes pride rather than fright from the challenges that lie ahead???a president who demands much of us.???

This quote easily resonates through the five essays we have commissioned for our Special Focus issue on Defense & National Security. The remarks are from Peter Drucker, known as the father of modern management, as he wrote in the late 1960s about governing in a collection of essays, “Men, Ideas & Politics,” published as a book in 1971.

Today, former U.S. Ambassador John Bolton writes of the President Obama???s failure to articulate the threats and challenges America faces overseas, and thus fails at a basic task of the presidency, to define the relevant issues of the day, raise potential solutions and bring a broad understanding to those concerns.

Sen. Rand Paul brings up a very specific concern???a call for U.S. support of a Pakistani who helped bring down Osama bin Laden, to his own personal peril???to make a larger point about foreign aid.

Human Events reporter Hope Hodge reveals in an exclusive interview that the U.S. nuclear missile program is facing both a crisis of funding and political philosophy as its leaders fear it will be sacrificed under the budget axe, justified by an inclination toward zeroing-out nuclear weapons.

And, as the world worries about America???s position regarding Israel in particular, and the Middle East in general, the defense industry and its workers worry about having enough funding to be effective.

As Bolton puts it, ???It is not our strength that is provocative, but our weakness, which our adversaries worldwide interpret to mean it is safe to challenge us.???

America needs to lead from the front
by John Bolton
Former U.S. Ambassador John Bolton writes: ???President Obama believes that American strength is provocative, that we are too much in the world, and that a U.S. recessional is necessary and appropriate. This is exactly opposite of what we need.???

Dr. Shakil Afridi helped U.S. find bin Laden, he should be freed from jail
by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.)
Sen. Rand Paul wants suspend aid to Pakistan, where Dr. Afridi is in jail, as well as to Libya and Egypt. His bill failed in September, but the crusade continues and enjoys popular support. 

Inside America’s Missile Crisis
by Hope Hodge
America???s missile defenses are facing a crisis of funding and political philosophy as automatic budget cuts near and the administration presses a naïve, Warren Harding worldview of ???fewer weapons, fewer wars.??? 

Israel worries that America has lost it’s Middle East understanding
by Emanuele Ottolenghi
The U.S.-Israel relationship is still strong, but as America???s ability to confront, let alone understand, regional changes diminishes, Jerusalem might conclude that hedging its bets, in policy terms, might better preserve its long-term interests.

Arab Spring descends into Islamist winter
by James Phillips
The transformation is likely to weaken U.S. national security by reducing Egyptian strategic cooperation on Middle East issues and reducing counter-terrorism cooperation against al-Qaeda. 

 It???s like a hurricane on the way: Automatic defense cuts loom Jan. 2
by Marion C. Blakey
If all the defense reductions related to sequestration go forward, America???s security and economy will suffer as modernization programs slow or are curtailed and hundreds of suppliers are forced to cut payroll or close.