After 15 years of war, the next president of the United States will inherit daunting foreign policy challenges. Sadly, many of those challenges were fueled by an “act first, think later” U.S. military policy in places like Iraq and Libya that has backfired. At the same time, the new president will need to sustain diplomatic initiatives started by President Obama including the Iranian nuclear deal and peace talks to end the Syria war.
It will be interesting to see how the anti-Sanders crowd--committed to making Mr. Sanders look like an equivalent war hawk to Hillary Clinton (not to mention the Republican Neanderthal circus)--spin this!
They want so badly to tie Sanders to the DLC and the duopoly's stance of continuous war and profit-mongering that they refuse to SEE the very real differences in what he stands for and about. In that way, their insistence on a continuity of the existing status quo becomes THEIR own self--fulfilling prophecy.
Pundits often try to present Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders as making similar appeals to voters. On the contrary, Bernie Sanders is presenting a vision of a future in which the power of the executive is promoted through the actions of a democratically engaged populace. He is presenting this election as a chance for more equitable economic structures. Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, and the other Republican candidates, are promoting a vision in which executive power derives from the decisions of a 'powerful' leader. Much of the appeal they make to voters is based on fear of what will happen if they are not the nominee, and, eventually, President.
Hillary Clinton and the Republican candidates embrace this sense of fear to promote a hawkish approach to foreign policy. The Republican candidates present an extremely hawkish approach - calling for greater engagement in terrorism wars, maintaining the Guantanamo torture/detention without charge center, and an embrace of the practice of barbaric tortures. Hillary Clinton is less extreme than the Republican candidates, however, she continues to promote fear as she seeks to distinguish herself from Sanders in her embrace for an increase support for NATO, maintenance of a hostile stance towards Russia and Iran, and support for regimes engaged in horrendous human rights abuses including Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Netanyahu in Israel.
I think Bernie Sanders would benefit by elaborating more fully in the distinction between his approach to foreign policy and that of Hillary Clinton. I think he would benefit even more, by making a break from President Obama's continuation of Bush administration policies such as drone killing, crowd killing, special operations practice of kidnap and murder, lack of prosecution of US officials who involved with torture programs, and military base expansions throughout Africa.
In the long run, just as equity and sustainability cannot be achieved through an capitalist economic system, war and widescale violence will never end until there is a break from a focus on militarism and an embrace in processes of promoting peaceful coexistence, sustainable livelihoods, and justice.
There are a lot of questions to answer. Who will be the best president to defeat ISIS and take on the other such jihadist groups in Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen, Nigeria, etc. and address the overall conflict between Sunnis and Shiites including the apparent proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran? Who will be able to best help resolve the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians? Who will be able to deal with the war in Afghanistan which has been going on for about 15 years? Who will be able to deal with the conflicts over territory among a number of countries in the South China Sea? Who will be able to best deal with North Korea with its nuclear weapons and missiles? Who will be able to deal with increasing tensions between Russia and the West? Who will be able to best address the mounting refugee problem? These are just some of the foreign policy problems that the next president will face. Whomever wins is going to be in for a very difficult four years in office.
You tell me. I don't have clue from what I have heard so far from the candidates other than Rand Paul who has dropped out. I suspect the answer is nobody.
I am trying to summarize the foreign policy context. As the authors noted in their first sentence it is very challenging. That is something I completely agree with.
Why would you besmirch what exists of the anti-war movement?
As many understand, 4 major things diluted it:
Obama's election win gave the ILLUSION that an individual opposed to war would take hold of the U.S. reins and direct the ship of state accordingly. (That diffused the antiwar momentum built up by Bush's foreign wars of aggression.)
The mainstream media absolutely has a quarantine in place against any peace activists or anti-war pundits. TOTAL black out.
After 911, it was considered unpatriotic, if not the mark of a traitor or enemy of state to question the rabid reflex to launch foreign wars
While the Music Industry was very open to significant antiwar protest songs back in the l960s and l970s... that sure ain't the case today. With the same handful of corporations buying up TV, RADIO, and print media, songs of this nature would get air time, if lucky, at remote university local stations. THAT is it!
A nation that is 3000 miles across and full of 300 million citizens has to have a major media in place to mass people together.
The police muscle used to break up Occupy Wall Street, added to very real 24/7 surveillance, known infiltration of any groups that could pose a threat to the corporate-military status quo, no fly lists, black lists, and God knows what else... make it extremely difficult for LARGE bodies of people to coalesce around THIS issue. It is THE issue that challenges the hegemonic controls of the Deep State apparatus, a network that has been woven into place (largely covertly) since l947... with Eisenhower warning against it back in l961.
Wow. Thanks for this. Am keeping it for reference.
Good article. Would be better with a bit of proof-reading.
Humans & our leaders must be explicit in the process which we propose for peace. Humanity's worldwide 'indigenous' ancestors & 1st Nations all used 'Council' process, which functions 'fractally' ('part contains the whole') at all levels from inter-personal, intergenerational, interdisciplinary to community, state, confederacy, continental, hemispheric & international levels. Processes must be detailed, transparent & publicly declared with equal opportunity for all parties involved. Bernie is still like most of colonial America & world such as Israel, quite 'vague' about processes for peace as if it is something 'negotiated' behind closed doors. Peace is actually a very public process which involves the deliberation & collaboration of everyone at all levels of public discourse from family, friends, community, city, state & internationally. Whenever there's conflict, at home or worldwide, we have 2 main choices to: 1) Believe the Finance-Media-Education-Military-Industrial-Legislative-Complex in its demonization of 'the-other', armour ourselves against perceived enemies, launch preemptive war & create hell or 2) Engage the other in formal Both-sided, Equal-time, Recorded & Published Dialogues to ascertain the truth. Mohandas Gandhi developed 'Satyagraha' (Hindi 'truth-search') based on the simultaneous inquiry with both parties whether in dispute or in research, asking the question, "What are your best intentions? & How can we help you fulfill these?" Gandhi, "I can imagine a fully armed man to be at heart a coward. Possession of arms implies an element of fear, if not cowardice. But true non-violence is an impossibility without the possession of unadulterated fearlessness." We need transparency in all levels of human interaction including military, government, education, business institutions etc for listening to all sides. Arming hotheads or sending arms or boys & girls to murder for foreign government destabilization & easy-cheap resource plunder is shameful, but the norm today. For peace there must be a clear open welcoming inclusive accessible & tangible fractal process for economic inclusion for every individual & group.