FP: What else would you like to put to the presidential candidates?
MR: There has to be more about our veterans returning home and how we take care of them. About the mental health issues and the transition issues they will face. And really about helping the country stay engaged in that war. I find it really frustrating. There's been a lot of talk about Afghanistan in the last few months, but over the last couple years there just wasn't anything beyond "Yeah, we're leaving or we're sending in more troops, but we'll pull them out soon." I just think we can't forget about that war -- because we're still at war.
China will also definitely come up on Monday. If you go through the list of the most pressing threats in the world today, and then look at China, you'd then ask: "Wait, so why are we pivoting to China?" Does this challenge China in a way we don't want to challenge them? Does it end up in a more confrontational mode because of the build-up in Asia? Would the candidates say that there is a real China threat?
FP: What about the conversation on Middle East policy?
MR: I think there needs to be more questions on the support of democracy around the world. Do we support democracy in Saudi Arabia, in Bahrain? How far are they willing to go with the Arab Spring question? How far do we press our allies on democracy?
Also, there's the question of Syria intervention: Would they ever put boots on the ground? You look at these horrendous stories about a young boy being tortured and then you go back to the president's speech about Libya arguing for intervention, and I'd ask: "So what's different in Syria?"
Look, human rights is a really tricky problem. Probably every candidate in the world, once they get into office, says: "Woah, this is a lot more complicated than I thought it would be."
FP: What would you ask about Russia?
MR: I think in some ways the best way to get at this is to go in backwards. To ask: "So what would the consequences be if the president didn't push through the missile reductions with Russia?" I mean, do we want Russia as an enemy again?
You know, here's another great question: World War II is a long time ago, do we really need as many troops as we have in Europe? I asked the vice presidential candidates, but don't think I really got an answer to this question: "What national security interests really justify a really large increase in the defense budget?"
FP: I think we're over our two minutes. Final question: Do you think the American public really cares all that much about foreign policy?
MR: I don't think they care as much as they should -- and I wish they did. It's one of the things I thought very much about at the vice president debate. I didn't want my questions to be in the weeds. I wanted it to be something that people could understand and relate to. I mean Iran, for one, is an enormous issue. What I wish people would realize is that all of these foreign policy decisions really affect us at home -- in our lives, in our pocketbooks. What the president and vice-president decide on these issues affect all of us, every single day.