As the GOP 2012 presidential campaign evolves, foreign policy issues will become more and more relevant, particularly as pro-Israel candidates debate Palestine’s venture for membership into the United Nations. Although domestic issues will continue to play a central role in the debate — largely due to the economy’s prolonged comatose state — Palestinian leaders’ request for U.N. membership serves a new recipe for the GOP campaign plate.

Ron PaulRep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) schooled former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Penn.) and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) on foreign policy issues in the August 11 GOP presidential debate in Ames, Iowa.

Item: The Associated Press reported on July 15 on the UN’s proposed Arms Trade Treaty to regulate weapons worldwide: The French Ambassador, Eric Danon, “said the treaty aims to regulate the legal trade of conventional weapons for the first time by requiring countries to track arms exports and imports and help fight the illicit weapons trade. Countries are debating whether the treaty should also track bullets and other ammunition.”

globeMost Americans are aware that U.S. forces are involved in missions in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya. Those who pay closer attention to the news may know that American troops are also active in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia. But according to Nick Turse of TomDispatch.com, those six nations comprise only five percent of the total number of countries in which the Department of Defense is conducting operations. “A secret force within the U.S. military,” says Turse, “is undertaking operations in a majority of the world’s countries” — at a rate of 70 such operations per day.

flag half staffWhile much of the nation's news for the past several weeks has been focused on the national debt, the killing of 30 U.S. and seven Afghan troops, along with an interpreter on Saturday reminded Americans of a debt to fighting forces that cannot be repaid. The shooting down of a Chinook transport helicopter by the Taliban insurgents, killing all on board, was another grim reminder that the cost of war cannot adequately be measured in trillions of dollars.