The US is still embroiled in Middle Eastern wars – so why were they absent from the presidential debates?

Joe Biden and Donald Trump sparred over Russian and Chinese interference, but ignored countries like Turkey, Qatar and Israel, which use surrogates and cash to shape policy, writes Borzou Daragahi

1 day ago

Among the issues debated by Trump and Biden were racism, Covid and the climate crisis

During two debates and two separate town halls, the candidates for the United States presidency have discussed the coronavirus pandemic, the US economy and immigration policy.

But other than a few mentions of relations with foreign autocrats and each other’s real and imagined foreign business interests, there was minimal substantive discussion between Joe Biden and Donald Trump about the broader Middle East, which not only continues to be a hotspot, but is growing ever more complicated and messy.

While there was some discussion about how to respond to the rising challenge of China, there was no mention of the rise of Turkey’s ambitions, the crisis developing in the eastern Mediterranean and the ongoing war in Libya.

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