Essays on American politics and foreign policy
By Donald E. Nuechterlein
Donald Nuechterlein is a political scientist
and writer who resides near Charlottesville, Virginia. He is the
author of numerous books on American politics and foreign policy,
- Defiant Superpower: The New American Hegemony, 2005
- America Recommitted: A Superpower Assesses its Role in a Turbulent World, 2000
- A Cold War Odyssey, 1997
IMPACT OF PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN ON FOREIGN POLICY
Westminster-Canterbury Forum on Foreign Policy, Moderator: Don Nuechterlein
This presidential election is unique among post-World War II contests:
- Trump (70) and Clinton (68) are the oldest candidates to compete, and their health is now an issue.
- Both candidates have disapproval ratings of over 50 percent.
- The first candidate (Trump) who is ignored by party leaders for his "hostile takeover" of their party.
- Neither candidate has served in the Armed Forces.
- One of the candidates (Trump) has never held a public office.
- First female candidate to be nominated for president.
- Few previous elections have found both parties so divided.
What are Trump's stated views on foreign/national security policy?
- Greatly expand military forces, estimated cost of $90 billion.
- Defeat ISIS in his first months in office, but can't divulge plans.
- Deport millions of undocumented residents target lawbreakers.
- Close U.S. border to all Muslims.
- Build high wall on Mexican border and make Mexico pay.
- Cancel trade agreements (NAFTA) and reject new ones (TPP).
- Work out deals with Russia's Putin to settle regional problems, but no mention of Ukraine.
- Make allies pay more for US protection and military bases, especially Japan, South Korea, and Germany.
- Replace most generals and admirals who are now serving Obama.
Clinton's stated views on foreign and national security policy
- Maintain Obama's international policies and NATO alliance.
- Be cautious about concluding new trade agreements (TPP).
- Be tougher with Russia on Ukraine and in Syria.
- Continue military aid to Iraqi and Syrian fighters against ISIS, but "no boots on ground" (no combat troops).
- Give priority to working with friendly countries to achieve foreign policy objectives.
- Support Asian efforts to restrain China's ambitions, and contain North Korea's nuclear ambitions.
Reactions abroad to U.S. election campaign
- Most Europeans are astonished that Trump could be president.
- When Vladimir Putin says "kind words" about Trump, he says he will reciprocate, and praises Putin for being a "strong leader".
- Mexico's president once voiced critical comments on Trump, but now finds he may cancel NAFTA, vital for his economy.
- Other governments are cautious on how they would deal with a Trump presidency.
Questions for discussion
- What accounts for Donald Trump's continuing strong poll numbers?
- How much would foreign policy change in a Trump presidency if mainline Republicans control Congress?
- What should the next president do about Syria, and N. Korea?
Many voters face a large dilemma this year in selecting a president because both candidates have high negative approval ratings in opinion polls. Neither inspires confidence among large segments of the electorate. On foreign and national security policy, however, voters have a clear choice: one candidate (Donald Trump) advocates radical change in U.S. foreign and military policy; the other (Hillary Clinton) will continue, with some modification, the internationalist policies followed by Republican and Democratic presidents over the last half century. The outcome on November 8 will be crucial in determining whether America changes course, or continues to be a dependable ally and supporter of international stability.
File last modified on Sunday, 18-SEP-2016 10:42 AM EST