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.
People are afraid of [Mr. Trump] because he’s got a lot of power but they are also wise to the act because they find him ridiculous...Some of them thought they could flatter him, but during the past few months European and Asian leaders have realized that isn’t enough to get substantial concessions and now they are looking for leverage.
Most presidents would outline a plan to deal with Iran after the nuclear deal, or to transform NATO to cope with the threat from authoritarian states, or to resolve the trade war...But Trump is not one for detail or course correction. In his world, there was a problem, so he did something quickly. And now it’s solved. To say anything else is to suggest the unthinkable — that he is not a magician.