Hi, need to submit a 750 words paper on the topic The US Presidential Candidates on Foreign Policy. Our relations with Iran and North Korea are at the center stage. Our plan for the war in Iraq and an international consensus may be vital to our success there. Almost every issue from banking to human rights requires some degree of foreign policy expertise. While McCain’s years as a Senator qualifies him as the most experienced candidate, what Obama lacks in experience he makes up for in expertise. In today’s world, Obama’s plans and approaches to foreign policy are a better fit for the international community and the growing globalization.
One of the critical differences is in the approach and style that the men bring to the table. While McCain’s years of experience have given him significant exposure to foreign events and crisis, many of his methods arise from his experiences and are anchored in the past. For example, his comment during the debate of ‘walk softly and carry a big stick’ may have been effective in dealing with the 20th-century banana republics, but is not relevant to 21st century Iran. In addition, he has recently contended that Iran’s Ahmadinejad was responsible for their nuclear policy when in fact it is Ayatollah Khamenei and Iran’s National Security Council. When questioned he simply replied, “any average American thought of Ahmadinejad as the Iranian leader, and so he would, too” (Frick). However, we would not expect the average American to run our foreign policy. While Obama may lack the direct experience, he has a lifetime of studied thought and a personal interest in foreign affairs that gives him a historical perspective and expertise that McCain lacks.
This ability to think and examine is shown by the candidates’ differences in their approach to Iran. McCain steadfastly argues that we should never negotiate with terrorists and refuses to talk to the Iranians. This approach is a continuation of the Bush policy that has been responsible for the election of the extremist government in Iran. While Iran is a rather moderate and modern country, they have elected a hard-line government in response to the Bush right-wing rhetoric of the early 2000s. However, Obama contends that we should be talking to the Iranians. Note that Obama understands the difference between negotiating and talking, which offers no guarantees, makes no promises, and has no pre-conditions (Fang). While we may come away from the table with nothing, it may thaw out an icy relationship and create the first step to a diplomatic process. Here again, Obama favors the reasonable avenue of diplomacy with war as a last resort, while McCain favors the pre-emptive strike policies (a reckless and dangerous approach) that have been pursued by the current administration. These same shortsighted policies will be pursued by McCain in North Korea, while Obama will favor constructive diplomacy to defuse the situation.
The most immediate foreign policy dilemma that will face the next president will be the plan for Iraq. The critical difference between the candidates is their steadiness and commitment to a goal. Obama has supported a phased withdrawal with a timetable to extract the US presence in Iraq since the war began. McCain had been adamantly opposed to a timetable arguing that it would simply motivate the enemy to wait for our exit. Meckler reports that “After months of ridiculing opponents who want to set a timetable for withdrawal in Iraq.
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