The Washington Times - October 7, 2008, 11:35PM

The question was, how can America act as a peacemaker?

During Tuesday’s debate, both candidates traded jabs on the military force in Iraq, an incursion into Pakistan, how to handle the threat posed by Iran, and developments in Afghanistan.

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Sen. John McCain said “we don’t have the time for on-the-job training” referring to his opponent on foreign policy.

Sen. Barack Obama replied: “I don’t understand how we can invade a country that had nothing to do with 9/11.”

In terms of each of the candidates’ doctrines, McCain said his opponent, setting a date for withdrawal in Iraq, would cause a defeat. He said that he would bring troops home with “honor and victory.”

U.S. ‘invasion’ of Pakistan:

Obama said he wants to pull troops out of Iraq and increase security in Afghanistan. He said there’s also a need to change policies with Pakistan and to stop Pakistan’s “peace treaties” that go on with the Taliban.

Meanwhile, McCain referred to former president Teddy Roosevelt’s famous phrase “talk softly and carry a big stick.”

“We need to help the Pakistani government go into Wazirstan” not “threatening to attack them” but working with them and where necessary to use force but talk softly but carry a big stick, he said.

The candidates did not elaborate on how they would use the power of diplomacy on countries that impose  security threats.

“Nobody said we are going to have an invasion of Pakistan,” Obama said.

“If Pakistan is unable to hunt down Bin Laden and take him out” then we should invade, Obama said.

It seems to appear one place to find information on how to solve differences in with U.S. and Pakistan is a report issued from the United States Institute of Peace on Oct. 2:

http://www.usip.org/pubs/ppwg_report.html

After the debate, many in the crowd at Hawk n’ Dove didn’t know what to say in terms of any fundamental differences in foreign policy when the candidates spoke.

However, the younger audience said Obama had better solutions and many agreed that the next president should have “direct talks” with the Iranian president on nuclear arms and not follow what the Bush adminstration has been doing the last eight years. 

- Kimberly Kweder, online editor, The Washington Times.