Which country was mentioned most at the foreign-policy debate?

Answer: Iran.

For evidence that the United States is still disproportionately focused on the Middle East despite all the talk about the pivot (or should I say "strategic rebalancing?") toward the Asia-Pacific region, look no further than the country mentions at tonight's foreign-policy debate:

  • Iran: 47
  • China: 35
  • Israel: 34
  • Afghanistan: 29 
  • Syria: 28
  • Pakistan: 25 
  • Iraq: 22
  • Libya: 12
  • Egypt: 11
  • Russia: 10
  • Mali: 4
  • Turkey: 3
  • Great Britain/United Kingdom:
  • Greece:
  • Lebanon: 2
  • Saudi Arabia: 2
  • Cuba: 1  
  • France:
  • North Korea:
  • Qatar: 1
  • Somalia: 1
  • Yemen: 1

The surprise of the night? Romney's four references to Mali (in the context of al Qaeda's resurgence), a country he hasn't mentioned in his major foreign-policy addresses or even in his campaign website's Africa section. The Republican candidate clearly studied up on al Qaeda's new franchises

Update: Thanks to our readers for spotting a few other country mentions. The candidates and moderator also referenced Japan, Poland, and Tunisia -- one time each. 



Congratulations, Dan Drezner

Before we shift into full debate more here, we just wanted to offer our congratulations to fellow FP blogger Daniel Drezner, whose eponymous blog was just named as one of the 25 best on the whole Internets by Time

Drezner recently celebrated the 10-year anniversary of his blog and it was an honor when he moved over to our site to be part of the original lineup of blogs launched in 2009. The blog is a mandatory daily read and we're thrilled it's getting the recognition it deserves.

(Above: Reaction from loyal Drezner readers.)