One issue which has gotten more attention this year than in previous elections is the two candidates’ views on foreign policy.
With the Iraq War currently in progress and the largely imagined threat of terrorism, foreign policy weighs heavily on voter’s opinions. In terms of his foreign policy views, McCain in many ways seems to epitomize the worst aspects of the Bush administration’s already defective foreign policy. McCain has stated that the Vietnam and Korean wars were both winnable with greater commitment, and that withdrawal or surrender is never an option. He also has assaulted Obama for considering negotiations with unfriendly powers. Overall, McCain has highly aggressive, warlike stances on foreign policy and seems to have unlimited faith in America’s ability to triumph in any circumstance. As for his opinions on the Iraq War, McCain only claims that the surge is working and that failure is not an option, both statements indicate his support of the continuation and expansion of the conflict. These opinions seem highly likely to lead to unnecessary loss of life and diminished national security, and are dangerous for American interests.
While McCain’s opinions on are certainly frightening, Obama’s foreign policy views are frightening in a more uncertain way. Obama’s lack of experience has been both a blessing and a curse for his campaign in that it has been used to attack but has also kept him from being held responsible for many of the recent developments in American history. However, Obama’s short record leaves his views on foreign policy ominously unclear. Obama’s early opposition to the war in Iraq certainly speaks well of his judgment, but his other positions are vague at best. Obama speaks highly of diplomacy yet at the same time attempts to appear to be tough on enemies. Meanwhile, Obama seems to hold the belief that terrorism springs from resentment which would best be solved with interventionism, which is the same kind of defense which could be used for all sorts of aggressive acts. Obama’s stance on foreign policy is nearly impossible to determine, making him somewhat frightening.
Although both candidates have deeply flawed beliefs on foreign policy, the uncertainty of Obama is likely preferable to the certain aggression demonstrated by McCain.
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