The first issue which is worth discussing is the threat of ISIS. Hillary Clinton believes that it is reasonable to continue a strategy of President Obama, and does not think that the United States must utilize the ground troops. On the other hand, Donald Trump argues that the approach used by current administration is inefficient and it will be impossible to defeat the terrorists if the United States is not active. The next issue worth mentioning is NATO. Donald Trump criticizes this alliance and suggests that it may become obsolete in the future, because it does not devote enough attention towards terrorism. However, Hillary Clinton disagrees with this position and argues that the US must respect their allies. Furthermore, relationship with Russia is also worth noting. Hillary Clinton believes that Vladimir Putin tries to interfere with the elections, and that is why she proposes to apply aggressive policies to deal with Russian leader. Contrary to that, Donald Trump suggests that it would be appropriate to cooperate with Russia, because ISIS is the biggest threat at the moment, and it must have a higher priority than other problems. Moderators also have asked the questions about a conflict in Syria during both debates. Hillary Clinton prefers a direct involvement and wants to protect innocent citizens. Donald Trump, in his turn, argues that it is unreasonable to support rebels, because it is nearly impossible to identify their intentions. Candidates also discussed the current situation in Iran. Hillary Clinton believes that the deal is productive, and it has helped to stabilize the situation in the area. But Donald Trump calls it one of the worst agreements and admits that a renegotiation is of utmost importance (Blake, 2016).
Both presidential candidates disagree about the strategy that the United States must use to eliminate the threat of ISIS. First of all, Donald Trump believes that actions of President Obama have indirectly led to the creation of this militant group. Therefore, he thinks that Hillary Clinton does not understand how to deal with terrorists, because she supported most of the decisions. However, the former Secretary of State has a better understanding of the situation, because she had an access to crucial information and relied on her previous experiences in this area. Overall, she believes that it is possible to eliminate ISIS without putting citizens at risk. Presidential candidates also have a different perspective on the role of NATO. Hillary Clinton thinks that it benefits all involved countries, and all agreements are reasonable. Donald Trump looks at the organization as an opportunity to receive additional resources, because he believes that many members are not paying their fair share. They also propose dramatically different visions of relationship with Russia. Donald Trump argues that cooperation is possible, and Hillary Clinton basing on her previous experiences admits that it can be difficult to negotiate with Putin. Additionally, the Republican candidate has questioned her claims about the intervention with the elections. These were the reasonable statements, because a former Secretary of State threatens the relationship with Russia by making such suggestions without clear evidence. The current situation in Syria also has led to many disagreements. Donald Trump is reluctant to accept refugees, because he believes that current vetting processes are insufficient, and it may endanger the citizens of the United States. The Democratic candidate does not agree with this position and thinks that the country has an obligation to accept people that need help. Additionally, they have different perspectives on the Iran nuclear deal. Donald Trump suggests that every aspect of this agreement is very bad, because it leads to various dangerous consequences, and namely Iran benefits from it greatly. Moreover, it complicates the relationship with Israel, a vital ally. Hillary Clinton has supported this proposal and believes that it is beneficial in the long-term, because it reduces the risk associated with nuclear warfare.
The first similarity worth mentioning is that both candidates believe that ISIS is an enormous threat, and the United States should use all the available resources to prevent acts of terror. They mutually agree that it endangers the population of the country, and understand the concerns of the public. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump also accede that some Russian actions of are dangerous and require a prompt response. Also, both candidates share the same vision that it is necessary to protect innocent citizens affected by the Syrian conflict, but they prefer different strategies. Both Clinton and Trump also think that it is reasonable to view Iran as a threat, but have different strategies in solving this issue.
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Hillary Clinton, however, has provided liberal answers most of the time. For instance, she suggested that it is wise to promote democracy in Syria, and it will make a region much more peaceful. Also, she thinks that rebels do not have bad intentions and their primary objective is peace. Similarly, she has suggested that Syrian refugees want to protect themselves and their families, and the argument that they may threaten Americans is groundless. Donald Trump is much more realistic when discussing this subject matter. He has questioned the cooperation with rebels, because it is impossible to predict the outcome of such actions. Moreover, he believes that Syrians will try to expand the power of the country regardless of the regime, because every nation prioritizes its personal interests. Similarly, he thinks that altruism is unreasonable in some situations, and the United States should provide their help when it benefits the state as a whole. Hillary Clinton is also much more liberal when it comes to ISIS and Iran. She believes that military intervention is not the only approach that helps to address the conflicts, and such strategies as economic pressure also have an enormous potential. She has stated that sanctions allow the United States to control the opponents and support a peaceful negotiation. On the other hand, Donald Trump has provided the answers that resemble the principles of realists. He thinks that military actions are very important, and a passive approach allows enemies like ISIS to gain power, because the impact of economic pressure is relatively insignificant most of the time.
Hillary Clinton’s policies belong to the Wilsonian school of thought. One of its central principles is to spread the values of the United States. It focuses on liberal values and human rights, and the Democratic candidate also supports such position. She recognizes that the country bears the responsibility to protect those in need who live in other regions. Donald Trump has suggested that taking refugees from Syria will harm the US people, but Clinton disagrees on this subject matter and insists on providing all necessary help for these poor people. Therefore, her policies suggest that she supports the interventions in other regions to spread democracy and the rule of law.
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On the other hand, Donald Trump’s vision shares the views of Jacksonian school of thought. The candidate leans heavily on the ideas of populism and believes that the United States should not engage in activities abroad that do not benefit the population. During the first debate he has questioned the current position of NATO, and it indicates that he does not support globalization, but puts independence on the first place. Moreover, he believes that all countries should pay for the protection, and such policies suggest that he prioritizes the needs of the United States. Another similarity worth mentioning is that he highlights the necessity to defeat ISIS, because it is an enormous threat to the national security.
One can consider that using the principles of Jacksonian school of thought is the most appropriate one if the United States is determined to defeat ISIS. It suggests that a military intervention is required when it refers to the interest of a particular country. It is clear that this terrorist group is very dangerous to the United States, and it has already threatened its citizens many times. Therefore, it is reasonable to apply all available resources to address this issue not to put the US population in danger, and a war with ISIS is an appropriate solution. One of the limitations of this school of thought is that it focuses primarily on the interests of one country. However, this approach will indirectly help other nations, because ISIS threatens the global security as a whole.
It is clear that Donald Trump intends to alter the foreign policy of the United States, because he is not satisfied with the current situation and suggests radical alternatives. First of all, he believes that it is necessary to renegotiate some of the trade deals, as they benefit other countries more than the United States. As a president of the United States, he will have an opportunity to meet other world leaders and discuss some of the issues. Donald Trump has already visited Mexico and met with the president, and raised such controversial topics as a border wall and illegal immigration. Therefore, one should underline that he may have an enormous influence on the foreign policy, and will try to prioritize populism. Moreover, he has received the support from many military generals and has many experienced advisors. Therefore, it is likely that officials will consider his proposals related to the threat of ISIS and other aspects of international interventions.
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