7. Afghanistan and the forgotten exit
Remember the war? Few do. Commanders over there say that thanks to the surge of 30,000 troops that ended in September, they made headway against the insurgency, al Qaeda and "Haqqani network" leaders, held territory from the enemy, while Afghan security forces steadily own more responsibilities nationwide. But the war polled below 7 percent as the most important issue facing the country in this election season. Fully 98 percent of Democrats said that President Obama's plan to end combat and pull troops by 2014 was not fast enough. With little public attention on the war, Obama got NATO in May to commit to his timeline, even if his own White House is waffling. And he flipped his support for the war against Romney, who had no Plan B to offer. D.C. hawks may argue in their echo chamber over the pace of the timeline -- but nobody outside of the Beltway is playing along. Voters just want out.