The Bare Facts Topic Number Three: Foreign Policy

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Elizabeth Bachmann ’17

The next president of the United States will be responsible for foreign policy and national security decisions. Currently, neither 2016 presidential candidate has reported clear foreign policy or national security plans, but both provide general outlines of their strategies and overarching goals. 

Elizabeth Bachmann '17
Elizabeth Bachmann ’17

As president, former Secretary of State Mrs. Hillary Clinton plans to promote internal strength, maintain connections with allies, take a firm stance with enemies, and confront terrorism.
“I’m going to keep America’s security at the heart of my campaign,” Mrs. Clinton said in an address on national security in San Diego.
In addition, Mrs. Clinton will focus on strengthening ties with US allies. She will continue to support the National Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), which she believes is one of the nation’s best investments.
In the Middle East, Mrs. Clinton will fully support Israel’s Qualitative Military Edge, its ability to defend itself against aggressive nations with its own military, according to defenddemocracy.org. To further support Israel, Mrs. Clinton will uphold the strict standards of the Iran Nuclear Deal, and authorize military intervention to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, if necessary.
As president, Mrs. Clinton will also invest in creating alliances and relationships in Latin America, Africa, and Asia with groups that share American values and global goals. In particular, Mrs. Clinton will utilize diplomacy to strengthen ties between Cuba and America. She supports President Barack Obama’s proposal to re-establish relations with Cuba, and plans to persuade Congress to lift the embargo on the island nation.
“We must decide between engagement and embargo, between embracing fresh thinking and returning to Cold War deadlock,” Mrs. Clinton said during an address in Miami.
She advocates for firm dealings with our rivals, particularly Russia and China. She hopes to collaborate with European allies to prevent Russian encroachment into Europe and the Middle East.
Mrs. Clinton additionally condemns overproduction of steel in China. During China’s decade long economic boom, manufacturers increased steel production by 12 percent, but are now left with a surplus of steel. They are currently selling it on the global market for extremely low prices, according to bbc.com.
This drove the value of US steel exports down by 36 percent, and made it difficult for American steel manufacturers to compete, according to wsj.com. As president, Mrs. Clinton will appoint a trade prosecutor and triple the number of trade enforcement officers to end China’s steel dumps and prevent other countries from breaking global economic rules in future.
Mrs. Clinton has also presented a plan to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Through stepping up the coalition air campaign against ISIS infrastructure and territory, she will systematically take out ISIS bases in Iraq and Syria.
She will not only combat terrorism abroad, but also increase intelligence efforts and block ISIS propaganda online. Finally, she will allow the FBI to deny gun sales to suspected terrorists, according to hillaryclinton.com.
Mr. Donald J. Trump’s vision for global success focuses on creating peace through strength by prioritizing the needs of the American people.
“My foreign policy will always put the interests of the American people, and American security, above all else,” Mr. Trump said in a speech regarding foreign policy.
If elected, he will build up the the US military and end defense sequestration.
Defense sequestration began with the Budget Control Act of 2011 which automatically imposes federal budget cuts each year if the president and Congress cannot come to a spending agreement, according to defense.gov. It has depleted the US military by over 100,000 personnel. Mr. Trump will propose a generous new budget to rebuild the military.
As president, Mr. Trump will also terminate the practice of nation building, which he believes has been ineffective as only four of the past 16 countries the US interceded in still practice democracy now, according to carnegieendowment.org
A major facet of Mr. Trump’s plan to shift the trajectory of current foreign policy is to require allies to invest financially and politically in defending global security. He faults NATO as the facilitator of this trend. In past years, only five out of 28 member countries are spending the minimum of two percent of their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on defense, according to wsj.com.
As president, Mr. Trump will refuse to defend countries that do not cooperate and participate in global defense, or comply with outlying US treaties and agreements, according to donaldjtrump.com.
Mr. Trump also has a plan to eliminate ISIS. He likens the onset of ISIS ideology to that of communism in the Cold War, and will stand firm with US allies in the Middle East to defeat it. He will organize aggressive joint attacks on known ISIS territory, enact international embargoes to cut off the group’s funding, and promote global intelligence sharing to pinpoint the group’s locations and to anticipate future attacks, according to donaldjtrump.com.
To fight ISIS within America, Mr. Trump will enforce screening processes and immigration laws to keep terrorists out of the country. He will also establish temporary suspensions on immigration from areas with a history of dangerous terrorist action.
Finally, Mr. Trump will establish a Commission on Radical Islam to educate the American citizens about the beliefs of radical Islam and the warning signs of radicalization, according to donaldjtrump.com.
Voters can read the candidates’ full foreign policy proposals on hillaryclinton.com and donaldjtrump.com
-Elizabeth Bachmann, Content Editor