US Presidential Candidates Offer Similar Foreign Policy Visions

Suzanne Presto
As voters in the United States prepare to cast ballots in the presidential election on November 6, people around the globe wonder how the outcome could shape the world.

The presidential candidates offered similar visions of the U.S. role in global affairs during their final debate.

"America remains the one indispensable nation. And the world needs a strong America, and it is stronger now than when I came into office," said President Barack Obama.
"We recognize that there are places of conflict in the world. We want to end those conflicts to the extent humanly possible. But in order to be able to fulfill our role in the world, America must be strong," said Republican challenger, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.

Defense spending

The U.S. might look more militaristic under Romney, said Daniel Serwer of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington.
"He has made it clear that projection of strength would be a real priority, and one of the fundamental differences between the two candidates is the degree to which they are willing to continue funding defense build-up," said Serwer.

Romney has pledged to increase defense spending, if elected. But he agreed with Obama on plans to withdraw U.S. combat troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2014.

Eye on Iran

They also agree on the use of sanctions to prevent Iran from pursuing a nuclear weapon, and they say military strikes remain an option to counter that threat. Both have pledged to support Israel if it is attacked.

Romney has said, if elected, his first foreign trip would be to Israel. He suggested Obama has alienated the Jewish state.

"You went to the Middle East, and you flew to Egypt and to Saudi Arabia and to Turkey and Iraq. And by the way, you skipped Israel, our closest friend in the region," said Romney.

Obama countered that the debate was on the eve of the largest U.S. and Israeli military exercise in history.

Overall, the candidates offer similar foreign policy proposals, said analyst Serwer.

"Beyond rhetoric, I think the major difference is on this question of arms to the Syrian rebels," said Serwer.

Syria conflict

Syrian security forces and opposition fighters have battled since the uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad began in March of 2011. Romney favors providing weapons to the rebels.

"I want to make sure they get armed and they have the arms necessary to defend themselves, but also to remove Assad. But I do not want to see a military involvement on the part of our troops," said Romney.

Obama offers a more cautious response.

"For us to get more entangled militarily in Syria is a serious step, and we have to do so making absolutely certain that we know who we are helping; that we are not putting arms in the hands of folks who eventually could turn them against us or allies in the region," said Obama.

Looking East

Obama, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009, will have a personal mission if he is re-elected, said political analyst Robert Guttman.

"He will be looking for his legacy. It may not be [peace in] the Middle East; it may be better relations with China, but it will be something," said Guttman.

China is on Romney's mind. He said he would designate China a "currency manipulator," a label that could lead to sanctions. The Republican candidate's corporate background could influence his leadership, said Guttman.

"He wants to expand American business. I think he would be a president more involved with trade matters, more involved with business," said Guttman.

Analysts say voters are more concerned with domestic issues, such as the economy, than foreign policy plans.
This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: RNB Research from: India
October 27, 2012 2:17 AM
USA Presidential Election 2012

2012 USA Presidential Elections: Race to White House – Neck and neck but Barack Obama is marginally ahead.

Barack Obama and Mitt Romney took their respective blue prints for America to key electoral battle ground with our poll suggesting that the white house race remains neck and neck.

It appears to be an induced bounce back Obama jumped ahead in our latest poll conducted from 24 to 27 Sept 2012 with 48 % of 1480 likely voters saying that they would vote for Obama. If 6th November elections were held now topping Mitt Romney’s 46 %, with 4 % of voters are still undecided which is within the margin of error. Read More -

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Amnesty Accuses Saudi Coalition of ‘War Crimes’ in Yemeni
Henry Ridgwell
October 12, 2015 4:03 PM
The human rights group Amnesty International has accused the Saudi-led coalition of war crimes in airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen. Henry Ridgwell reports the group says hundreds of civilians have been killed in strikes on residential areas.

Video Amnesty Accuses Saudi Coalition of ‘War Crimes’ in Yemen

The human rights group Amnesty International has accused the Saudi-led coalition of war crimes in airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen. Henry Ridgwell reports the group says hundreds of civilians have been killed in strikes on residential areas.

Video No Resolution in Sight to US House Speaker Drama

Uncertainty grips the U.S. Congress, where no consensus replacement has emerged to succeed Republican House Speaker John Boehner after his surprise resignation announcement. Half of Congress is effectively leaderless weeks before America risks defaulting on its national debt and enduring another partial government shutdown.

Video New Art Exhibit Focuses on Hope

Out of struggle and despair often comes hope. That idea is behind a new art exhibit at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland. "The Big Hope Show" features 25 artists, some of whom overcame trauma and loss. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Columbus Day Still Generates Controversy as US Holiday

The second Monday of October is Columbus Day in the United States, honoring explorer Christopher Columbus and his discovery of the Americas. The achievement is a source of pride for many, but for some the holiday is marked by controversy. Adrianna Zhang has more.

Video Anger Simmers as Turks Begin to Bury Blast Victims

The Turkish army carried out new air strikes on Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) targets on Sunday, a day after the banned group announced a unilateral cease fire. The air raids apparently are in retaliation for the Saturday bombing in Turkey's capital Ankara that killed at least 95 people and wounded more than 200 others. But as Zlatica Hoke reports, there are suspicions that Islamic State is involved.

Video Bombings a Sign of Turkey’s Deep Troubles

Turkey has begun a three-day period of mourning following Saturday’s bomb attacks in the capital, Ankara, that killed nearly 100 people. With contentious parliamentary elections three weeks away, the attacks highlight the challenges Turkey is facing as it struggles with ethnic friction, an ongoing migrant crisis, and growing tensions with Russia. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Afghanistan’s Progress Aided by US Academic Center

Recent combat in Afghanistan has shifted world attention back to the central Asian nation’s continuing civil war and economic challenges. But, while there are many vexing problems facing Afghanistan’s government and people, a group of academics in Omaha, Nebraska has kept a strong faith in the nation’s future through programs to improve education. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Omaha, Nebraska.

Video House Republicans in Chaos as Speaker Favorite Withdraws

The Republican widely expected to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives shocked his colleagues Thursday by announcing he was withdrawing his candidacy. The decision by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy means the race to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner is now wide open. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Video German, US Officials Investigate Volkswagen

German officials have taken steps to restore some of the reputation their car industry has lost after a recent Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal. Authorities have searched Volkswagen headquarters and other locations in an effort to identify the culprits in the creation of software that helps cheat on emission tests. Meanwhile, a group of lawmakers in Washington held a hearing to get to the bottom of the cheating strategy that was first discovered in the United States. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Why Are Gun Laws So Hard for Congress to Tackle?

Since taking office, President Barack Obama has spoken out or issued statements about 15 mass shootings. The most recent shooting, in which 10 people were killed at a community college, sparked outrage over the nation's gun laws. But changing those laws isn't as easy as many think. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.

Video In 'He Named Me Malala,' Guggenheim Finds Normal in Extraordinary

Davis Guggenheim’s documentary "He Named Me Malala" offers a probing look into the life of 18-year-old Malala Yousafsai, the Pakistani teenager who, in 2012, was shot in the head by the Taliban for standing up for her right to education in her hometown in Pakistan's Swat Valley. Guggenheim shows how, since then, Malala has become a symbol not as a victim of brutal violence, but as an advocate for girls’ education throughout the world. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.

Video Paintable Solar Cells May Someday Replace Silicon-Based Panels

Solar panels today are still factory-manufactured, with the use of some highly toxic substances such as cadmium chloride. But a researcher at St. Mary’s College, Maryland, says we are close to being able to create solar panels by painting them on a suitable surface, using nontoxic solutions. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs