2008: What was left out

Is it possible that the biggest challenges that a McCain or Obama administration will face will not have anything to do with the global financial crisis, Iraq, or terrorism? It’s hard to imagine such a scenario now, but elections are often a pretty poor predictor of the major issues that those elected will face. In ...

By , a former associate editor at Foreign Policy.

Is it possible that the biggest challenges that a McCain or Obama administration will face will not have anything to do with the global financial crisis, Iraq, or terrorism?

It's hard to imagine such a scenario now, but elections are often a pretty poor predictor of the major issues that those elected will face. In all of George W. Bush and Al Gore's 2000 debates, for instance, al Qaeda, Afghanistan and Pakistan were never mentioned and Iraq came up only in passing. The major economic issue was not how to prevent catastrophe, but how to spend a budget surplus.

In this week's List, we look beyond the front pages and try to anticipate some of the major issues that were rarely, if ever, discussed during this election, but might nonetheless be among the next president's major foreign policy challenges.

Is it possible that the biggest challenges that a McCain or Obama administration will face will not have anything to do with the global financial crisis, Iraq, or terrorism?

It’s hard to imagine such a scenario now, but elections are often a pretty poor predictor of the major issues that those elected will face. In all of George W. Bush and Al Gore’s 2000 debates, for instance, al Qaeda, Afghanistan and Pakistan were never mentioned and Iraq came up only in passing. The major economic issue was not how to prevent catastrophe, but how to spend a budget surplus.

In this week’s List, we look beyond the front pages and try to anticipate some of the major issues that were rarely, if ever, discussed during this election, but might nonetheless be among the next president’s major foreign policy challenges.

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @joshuakeating

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