Policy Perspectives of the Presidential Candidates: Foreign Policy

June 9, 2016

The presidential candidates for the two main parties are all but certain, but on the topic of foreign policy there are number of contradictions that could make this race unique. Hillary Clinton will enter the general election as the most hawkish candidate—a paradox given that she is the presumed Democratic nominee and claims to regret voting for the War in Iraq. But, there isn’t much evidence to suggest that the foreign policy debacles of the recent past—including Clinton’s own in Libya—have led her to rethink her eagerness to intervene militarily. Donald Trump argues that contemporary U.S. foreign policy has been disastrous and pledges that his first instinct will not trend toward aggression and war, yet he claims the world is “more dangerous now than it has ever been.” Contrasting Clinton and Trump, the Libertarian Party candidate, Gary Johnson, advocates restraint in the use of American power and for a reduction in military spending.

Which candidate is most likely to chart a new course for foreign policy in their administration? Will any make the case for restraint when faced with a conflict where U.S. vital interests are not at stake? Will a third-party candidate like Gary Johnson influence the direction of the debate? Cato vice president for defense and foreign policy studies Christopher Preble will join us to examine the candidates’ foreign-policy positions, what their historical actions suggest, and what this means for the future of U.S. engagement with the world. Chris will take your questions and discuss the future of U.S. foreign policy.

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