Sunday shows take foreign policy turn

After spending months atop the headlines, healthcare reform will take a back seat to two weighty foreign policy matters on this Sunday’s talk shows.

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, former President Bill ClintonBill ClintonRace still matters in presidential pardons Poll: Trump's pre-inauguration approval rating half as high as Obama's Poll: Obama leaves office with 58 percent favorability MORE, and several top lawmakers will discuss Iran’s newly revealed nuclear facility and Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s leaked report warning America’s mission in Afghanistan will fail if more troops are not sent.

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Gates has double duty this weekend, appearing on ABC’s “This Week” and CNN’s “State of the Union” to discuss how the administration will continue to handle the discovery of a previously undisclosed nuclear enrichment site in Iran.

President Barack ObamaBarack ObamaTrump transition on Africa: Asking the wrong questions Trump puts pressure on GOP Congress Lindsay Lohan may have made her worst life choice yet MORE, appearing at the G-20 summit on Friday with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, called on Iran to dismantle the underground program and prove to the world it will comply with international law.

Gates will also offer a glimpse at the Obama administration’s Afghan strategic review. The president has yet to decide whether or not to send more troops to the war-torn nation, opting to re-tool the military’s overall strategy there before making a determination on troop levels.

Obama told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos last week that he will assess the conflict and see “if by sending young men and women into harm's way, we are defeating al-Qaeda.”

“[If] that can be shown to a skeptical audience, namely me… we will do what's required to keep the American people safe,” he added.

Secretary of State Clinton is expected to discuss similar issues during her appearance on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” Over on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” her husband and former President Clinton will answer questions on Afghanistan, the economy, and health reform.

In an excerpt of his pre-taped interview released by NBC, Clinton said that news of the Iranian nuclear facilities was a “healthy” step in the process of preventing the country from acquiring nuclear weapons.

A number of key senators are set to opine on the best course of action in Afghanistan.

Sen. John McCainJohn McCainOvernight Cybersecurity: Obama commutes Chelsea Manning's sentence | A malware mystery Overnight Defense: Obama commutes Manning's sentence | Boeing sees 'progress' on Air Force One costs | McCain's 0B defense budget McCain: Leak of Trump dossier ‘totally wrong’ MORE (R-Ariz.), the Senate Armed Services Committee’s ranking member, will talk to Stephanopoulos on “This Week.” The 2008 GOP presidential nominee is pressing Obama to send additional forces to aid allied troops already stationed there.

McCain’s Senate ally Lindsey GrahamLindsey GrahamGraham, Cruz proposal to defund the U.N. is misguided 9 GOP senators Trump must watch out for UN leader willing to meet lawmakers amid push to cut funding MORE (R-S.C.) will sit down with Bob Schieffer on “Face the Nation.” Graham is also a member of the Armed Services Committee.

On "Fox News Sunday," Senate Select Intelligence Committee members Dianne FeinsteinDianne FeinsteinFeinstein to hold campaign fundraisers, a hint she'll run again Feinstein: Russia's interference affected outcome of election 'Future of America' at stake with hacking, Feinstein says MORE (D-Calif.) and Kit Bond (R-Mo.) will talk Afghanistan and will most likely be asked about Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) and Senate Armed Services and Foreign Relations Committee member Jim Webb (D-Va.) will join David Gregory on NBC to give their thoughts on how the president should alter the military’s Afghan plan. Look for Gregory to ask the duo how the president should proceed with Iran.

Though Iran and Afghanistan will take up most of the airtime this Sunday, healthcare will gets its due on “State of the Union.” Sens. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) and Bob CorkerBob CorkerSchumer puts GOP on notice over ObamaCare repeal Will Rubio vote for Tillerson? Senators wrestle with whether to back Tillerson MORE (R-Tenn.) will debate Senate Finance Committee chairman Max BaucusMax BaucusFive reasons why Tillerson is likely to get through Business groups express support for Branstad nomination The mysterious sealed opioid report fuels speculation MORE’ (D-Mont.) reform plan that started its markup this week. 

Candidates running in New York and Virginia’s high-stakes gubernatorial races also will appear on two Sunday shows.

“Meet the Press” will host New York Gov. David Paterson (D), an incumbent facing a tough re-election battle that became even harder after reports that Obama requested he step aside from the race.

Bob McDonnell (R-Va.) will talk to Fox News’ Chris Wallace about his campaign in a former “red state” that has trended Democratic in recent years.