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.
Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continuesi
Ayesha Tanzeem
November 25, 2015 10:46 PM
One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continues

One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syria

Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

Video Taiwan Looks for Role in South China Sea Dispute

The Taiwanese government is one of several that claims territory in the hotly contested South China Sea, but Taipei has long been sidelined in the dispute, overshadowed by China. Now, as the Philippines challenges Beijing’s claims in an international court at The Hague, Taipei is looking to publicly assert its claims. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.

Video Syrian Refugees in US Express Concern for Those Left Behind

Syrian immigrants in the United States are concerned about the negative tide of public opinion and the politicians who want to block a U.S. plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees. Zlatica Hoke reports many Americans are fighting to dispel suspicions linking refugees to terrorists.

Video After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against IS

The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Americans Sharpen Focus on Terrorism

Washington will be quieter than usual this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday, even as Americans across the nation register heightened concerns over possible terrorist threats. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports new polling data from ABC News and the Washington Post newspaper show an electorate increasingly focused on security issues after the deadly Islamic State attacks in Paris.

Video World Leaders Head to Paris for Climate Deal

Heads of state from nearly 80 countries are heading to Paris (November 30-December 11) to craft a global climate change agreement. The new accord will replace the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change that expired in 2012.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

Video Creating Physical Virtual Reality With Tiny Drones

As many computer gamers know, virtual reality is a three-dimensional picture, projected inside special googles. It can fool your brain into thinking the computer world is the real world. But If you try to touch it, it’s not there. Now Canadian researchers say it may be possible to create a physical virtual reality using tiny drones. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video New American Indian Village Takes Visitors Back in Time

There is precious little opportunity to experience what life was like in the United States before its colonization by European settlers. Now, an American Indian village built in a park outside Washington is taking visitors back in time to experience the way of life of America's indigenous people. Carol Pearson narrates this report from VOA's June Soh.

Video Even With Hometown Liberated, Yazidi Refugees Fear Return

While the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar has been liberated from Islamic State forces, it's not clear whether Yazidi residents who fled the militants will now return home. VOA’s Mahmut Bozarslan talked with Yazidis, a religious and ethnic minority, at a Turkish refugee camp in Diyarbakır. Robert Raffaele narrates his report.

Video Nairobi Tailors Make Pope Francis’ Vestments

To ensure the pope is properly attired during his visit, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops asked the Dolly Craft Sewing Project in the Nairobi slum of Kangemi to make the pope's vestments, the garments he will wear during the various ceremonies. Jill Craig reports.

Video Cross-Border Terrorism Puts Europe’s Passport-Free Travel in Doubt

The fallout from the Islamic State terror attacks in Paris has put the future of Europe’s passport-free travel area, known as the "Schengen Zone," in doubt. Several of the perpetrators were known to intelligence agencies, but were not intercepted. Henry Ridgwell reports from London European ministers are to hold an emergency meeting Friday in Brussels to look at ways of improving security.

Video El Niño Brings Unexpected Fish From Mexico to California

Fish in an unexpected spectrum of sizes, shapes and colors are moving north, through El Niño's warm currents from Mexican waters to the Pacific Ocean off California’s coast. El Nino is the periodic warming of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this phenomenon thrills scientists and gives anglers the chance of a once-in-a-lifetime big catch. Faith Lapidus narrates.

Video Terrorism in Many Forms Continues to Plague Africa

While the world's attention is on Paris in the wake of Friday night's deadly attacks, terrorism from various sides remains a looming threat in many African countries. Nigerian cities have been targeted this week by attacks many believe were staged by the violent Islamist group Boko Haram. In addition, residents in many regions are forced to flee their homes as they are terrorized by armed militias. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Study: Underage Marriage Rate Higher for Females in Pakistan

While attitudes about the societal role of females in Pakistan are evolving, research by child advocacy group Plan International suggests that underage marriage of girls remains a particularly big issue in the country. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports how such marriages leads to further social problems.

VOA Blogs