Friday, September 30, 2016

Neither Trump Nor Clinton Are Up To Meeting Our Foreign Policy Challenges

Surveying the foreign policy looming landscape, it’s not at all clear that either of the two frontrunners are up to the task.
At last night’s debate, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump went toe-to-toe on national security, a topic very much on the minds of the American people these days. While they mainly repeated tired lines about NATO and the Iran deal, the debate did showcase the personalities and dispositions of these two less-than-ideal candidates—especially on the difficult questions of national security and foreign policy.
The exchanges between Clinton and Trump bring up an important question: what are the qualities we ought to look for in our next president, specifically for dealing with foreign policy challenges?
Last week, the University of Texas at Austin held a conference titled, “Security in Transition: National Security Challenges Facing the Next President,” that touched on this very question. The overall consensus of the conference is that we live in an increasingly dangerous and complex world. The panelists, many of whom have served at the highest levels of our national security agencies, underscored the gravity of the kinds of decisions the next president will have to face.
Surveying the foreign policy looming landscape, it’s not at all clear that either of the two frontrunners are up to the task.
Our Old Habits Can’t Handle New Dangers
One of the themes of the conference was the need to have clear international goals and a broad strategic vision. America can no longer rely on reflexive habits, as it has for years, not only because it’s reckless but because the landscape has become more dangerous.
We have to deal with an unstable post-Arab Spring Middle East, including the humanitarian crisis caused by Syria’s civil war, which in turn has become a proxy war for Russia. In Asia, an emergent China is flexing its muscles in the South China Sea. In Europe, a belligerent Russia is setting its sights on the Baltic States. Then there’s ISIS and its nearly weekly attacks in the West. All of this is occurring in the context of an America that’s been taking a back-seat on leadership.
We need a cohesive foreign policy based on principles, and a vision for America’s role in the international order. We need to assess our approach for a given crisis with this larger picture in mind, rather than sticking our finger in the dam each time it springs a leak. But this requires a leader who can shape a long-term vision and not waver from it, even if it calls for uncomfortable and difficult decisions.
Read the rest of this op-ed from The Federalist HERE and follow a link to a related story below:

Last Night, Donald Trump Showed Why He’s Dangerous

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