International Policy Should Still Be An Important Issue For The Presidential Candidates

At the GOP convention neither presidential candidate Mitt Romney nor vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan mentioned war in their respective speeches.  According to an article on Yahoo News, this is the first time since 1952 that the Republican’s presidential candidate has not felt the need to mention war in his speech.–election.html.  To most this is likely viewed as a good thing.  Many believe that it is about time that the United States focuses on its own domestic issues and attempts to fix the numerous problems faced on the home front.

Despite little talk of war in the presidential election and the concern many have with issues such as unemployment and health care, the current situation in Syria as well as other international issues still need to be discussed.  Before I vote, I want to know where both candidates stand on the issue of involvement in the Syrian conflict as well as each candidate’s stance on foreign policy generally.  If one gets too wrapped up in what each candidate will do domestically, one may neglect to vote for the candidate that has a stance on international policy compatible with their own.  International policy has a large impact on domestic policy, and informed voters need to be concerned with each candidate’s views.

Hopefully the United States will have the time to fix many of its domestic problems before it must again engage in any sort of international conflict.  While war should try to be avoided, its occurrence sooner or later is largely inevitable.  It is precisely because of this inevitably that each candidate much let their stance on foreign policy be known.  Surely no one thought the September 11th terrorist attacks would occur shortly after President George W. Bush was elected.  The fact is that the attacks did happen and Bush’s views on foreign policy immediately began to have a huge impact on his presidency.  While foreign policy may not be the talk of this election, make certain that you know your candidates stance on foreign policy before casting a vote.  One never knows what the next day may bring.

How do you think the candidates should approach the issue of foreign policy, especially policies related to international conflict?  Should the United States attempt to become involved in Syria or stay out of international affairs as much as possible?  Is an interventionist or isolationist stance more appropriate for the United States at this time?


  1. I agree with Louis that foreign policy should be a topic that presidential candidates elaborate further on. I remember when Romney emerged as the GOP front-runner, he made a comment along the lines of “I would invade Iran if they attain nuclear capability, ” to which President Obama insinuated its considerably more difficult to effectuate foreign policy than by simply making some off the cuff remark.

    Unfortunately, this election cycle will feature little commentary on foreign policy. The candidates, and the media for that matter, have placed their focus squarely on the economy and jobs–with abortion somehow running at a distant third. While all of these issues (sans abortion in my opinion) have merit and deserve discussion, foreign policy is a natural tie in. In order to continue our current foreign policy do we need to spend more on defense initiatives than any other country in the world? In order to draw down our national debt, couldn’t we cut some defense related programs while still projecting strength overseas? Alas, these valuable conversations will get swept away in the ridiculousness that is American politics.

  2. There is a very good reason why foreign policy will not be discussed much during this election. The candidates simply do not disagree enough for foreign policy to be a major discussion. Neither candidate is particularly “anti-war” and both claim that they would bring troops home when they can. While the rest of us may have valid critiques of our foreign policy, discussing them would not help either candidate right now, and therefore will rarely be mentioned.

    This election will be decided on domestic issues because that is where most of the candidates’ disagreements (allegedly) lie. One party is pro-choice and supports gay marriage, while the other party holds the exact opposite belief. One party supports the recent healthcare legislation, while the other does not. These are cut-and-dry issues where it is easy for parties to distinguish its candidate from the other. Each side is not trying to have a thoughtful discussion on the issues in order to improve our country as a whole. Each side is trying to win an election.

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