Even though it's an election year, one vital issue has been all but ignored: "The United States is waging war in at least five countries simultaneously: Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya, and Somalia," writes Damon Linker at the Week. Blame for the silence goes all around. Republicans want to avoid talking about it because it ruins their narrative that President Obama is a spineless leader when in reality he's governed as more of a hawk than a dove. Democrats don't want to call attention to so much military meddling, especially since the goals and results "are so consistently muddled." Plus, it shows them following George W. Bush's vision. Congress is content to stay mum as well, because the less it says, the less it will be held accountable when things go awry.
The presidential debates focused on some aspects of foreign policy. "But our role in 'advising' the Iraqi army 'a few miles behind the front lines' as it works to take back territory from ISIS? Our 'secret war' against Shabab militants in Somalia? Our support for Saudi Arabia's bloody assault on Houthi rebels in Yemen? Our air strikes pounding positions in and around the city of Sirte on the Libyan coast?" On those issues, silence. Linker reserves a final amount of scorn for the media. Journalists are supposed to be the ones keeping important discussions on track, but "when everybody else decided it was a good idea to forestall a public debate about enormously important and complicated policy questions, the press decided to go along and let it happen." Click for the full column.