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Which country was mentioned most at the foreign-policy debate?

Which country was mentioned most at the foreign-policy debate?

Answer: Iran.

For evidence that the United States is still disproportionately focused on the Middle East despite all the talk about the pivot (or should I say "strategic rebalancing?") toward the Asia-Pacific region, look no further than the country mentions at tonight’s foreign-policy debate:

  • Iran: 47
  • China: 35
  • Israel: 34
  • Afghanistan: 29 
  • Syria: 28
  • Pakistan: 25 
  • Iraq: 22
  • Libya: 12
  • Egypt: 11
  • Russia: 10
  • Mali: 4
  • Turkey: 3
  • Great Britain/United Kingdom:
  • Greece:
  • Lebanon: 2
  • Saudi Arabia: 2
  • Cuba: 1  
  • France:
  • North Korea:
  • Qatar: 1
  • Somalia: 1
  • Yemen: 1

The surprise of the night? Romney’s four references to Mali (in the context of al Qaeda’s resurgence), a country he hasn’t mentioned in his major foreign-policy addresses or even in his campaign website’s Africa section. The Republican candidate clearly studied up on al Qaeda’s new franchises

Update: Thanks to our readers for spotting a few other country mentions. The candidates and moderator also referenced Japan, Poland, and Tunisia — one time each.