--Energy policy. The "pain at the pump" is getting worse. The cost of getting to work and lighting, heating and cooling our homes and businesses keeps going up. Can we exploit our own domestic resources with a goal of achieving energy independence, or will we continue to fund our adversaries by sending petrodollars to those who hate us? Must we persist in burning our food as motor fuel? Which man is willing to tell our Canadian allies, "Build the Keystone XL pipeline, ASAP!"
--Iran. The O-Team counts on the United Nations to keep the ayatollahs from acquiring an atomic arsenal. Just eight days after Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that "we will not allow them to develop a nuclear weapon," Israel's Defense Ministry claimed that the O-Team has a new intelligence estimate showing that the Iranians are making "significant and surprising progress toward a military nuclear capability." What would President Romney do differently?
--War on terror. All U.S. and NATO military forces have been withdrawn from Iraq and now are being pulled out of Afghanistan. All combat units are scheduled to be out by 2014. The U.S. has "residual forces" in Kuwait and the Persian Gulf. Syria is in a catastrophic civil war, and Jordan may be the "next Egypt." Is radical Islam still a threat to American citizens and interests? Are "targeted attacks" by drones an appropriate response?
--Missile defense. The O-Team abandoned ballistic missile defense plans in Poland and the Czech Republic to placate Moscow, but the famous "reset button" failed to work with Vladimir Putin. In March, Obama begged Russia's then president, Dmitry Medvedev, for "space" until after the U.S. election. What did he mean by this? What would President Romney do differently? In an era of diminished defense budgets, can we spend scarce dollars on protecting the American people from incoming nuclear warheads? Can we afford not to?
--Narco-terrorism/border protection. Drug-fueled violence threatens the stability of democratic governments in Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala. The O-Team has slow-rolled delivery of counter-narcotics aid to these countries, refused to improve security on our southern border and initiated the infamous Operation Fast and Furious, which allowed firearms to be exported illegally to drug cartels. What would President Romney do differently?
The midsummer madness is almost over. Is it too much to hope that the matters above will rise in importance? Probably.
Oliver North is the host of "War Stories" on Fox News Channel, the founder and honorary chairman of Freedom Alliance, and the author of "American Heroes in Special Operations." To find out more about Oliver North and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
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Oliver North is a nationally syndicated columnist, the host of War Stories on the Fox News Channel, the author of the new novel Heroes Proved and the co-founder of Freedom Alliance, an organization that provides college scholarships to the children of U.S. military personnel killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty. Join Oliver North in Israel by going to www.olivernorthisrael.com.