On the morning of the first 2004 presidential election debate, Senior Fellow Ivo Daalder and Robert Lieber, professor of government and foreign policy at Georgetown University, discuss the differences in foreign policy outlooks and implementation by the two presidential candidates.
Daalder argues that the fundamental distinction between the two candidates is their underlying approach to foreign policy: Bush’s confidence in American power has led him to conduct a foreign policy that emphasizes the importance of being steady and moving forward, while Kerry’s conviction that one needs to work with other countries to solve problems would result in a different way of leading America. If the U.S. had tried from the beginning to make Iraq an international effort, Daalder contends, then ninety percent of the troops there would not be American, rather they would constitute a far smaller percentage as in Afghanistan and the Balkans.
Daalder and Lieber analyze additional differences between President Bush and Senator Kerry through the lens of Darfur, North Korea, and Iran.
Falling apart? The politics of New START and strategic modernization
Sentiment inside the Beltway has turned sharply against China. There are many issues where the two parties sound more or less the same. Trump and others in the administration seem heavily invested in a ‘get very tough with China’ stance. It’s possible that some Democrats might argue that a decoupling strategy borders on lunacy. But if Trump believes this will play well with his core constituencies as his reelection campaign moves into high gear, he will probably decide to stick with it, if the costs and the collateral damage seem manageable. But that’s a very big if, especially if the downsides of a protracted trade war for both American consumers and for American firms become increasingly apparent.
Over the arc of his presidency, Trump has shed himself of cabinet secretaries he doesn’t trust and surrounded himself with loyalists. That will continue and escalate. But the big problem is, he doesn’t know where he’s going.