Foreign affairs have been overlooked in the 2020 campaign

By Michael P. Riccards

Less than a week before the presidential election, there has been almost no conversation about foreign affairs. The United States is supposed to be a superpower, the leader of the free world, and the anchor of the western alliance, and we are totally subsumed in domestic problems and of course the virus.

Still there are serious questions we must ask ourselves: What are our positions toward the two antagonistic giants, China and Russia? What about the US troops still stationed in the Middle East and in Afghanistan? What about the unfriendly positions of Iran and Venezuela?

Trump’s foreign policy has been backwards. He has alienated our traditional allies and pacified the new dictators.  That is not the post-war consensus that the USA has built up since Roosevelt.

Biden has claimed he is a great foreign policy genius.  He is the same guy who told President Obama not to go after Bin Laden. One must admit that he has been wrong so many times in the past on his foreign policy intuitions. And one can be a liberal and admit that his family members have shamelessly used his brand name as has Trump, the most corrupt president in history,

Neither one inspires confidence abroad. Surely Europe will be glad to see Trump receed, but what is the American forieign policy supposed to embrace? We will go back into the Paris Accord on climate change, but are China and India going to join us in fighting pollution? This is after all one world,  How are we going to police Chinese violation of copyrights or do we just admit that we can no longer in this global economy really worry about patents and copyrights? The Russians are continuing their harassment in US and Western European elections. Will they suffer some penalty for that and for putting bounties on the heads of US troops in Afghanistan?

These are issues that will confront us immediately, but our presidential candidates believe that power stops at the water’s edge.  

Michael P. Riccards, a former college president. is the author of 30 books, including a two-volume history of the presidency, The Ferocious Engine of Democracy, and the recently published Woodrow Wilson as Commander-in-Chief. He is providing the Jandoli Institute with commentary and analysis about the 2020 presidential campaign.

 

 

 

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