A Page from the US Presidential Debates

By Dr. Ijlal Ali Shah.

Foreign policy was an eminent and moot point in the three Presidential face-offs and it had to be, owing to the geo-political leverage that the State of America enjoys. The two Presidential candidates did eventually spar over the Russian state of affairs, the situation in the Middle East and proliferation of nuclear weapons.

In the advent of Clinton or Trump administration, what would happen to the US and Russia relations? Who would be the puppet and who would be pulling the strings? How different are these two candidates from Obama, in terms of foreign policy?

Assuming different administrations in the White House, here is the comparison between the two presidential candidates and the Obama administration:

Over Russia

Obama administration is almost near the end of its 2nd term and it is very obvious how he looked at Putin. He relied much more upon a multilateral diplomacy, minimizing the use of force, avoidance of any direct military intervention, putting together local coalitions. Hilary administration would not change very dramatically from Barack Obama administration but she would be more muscular and would not shy away in challenging Putin at every forum. She would definitely pursue the interventionist policy.

Trump has always been a sheer lackluster as far as foreign policy is concerned. Considering the fact that he is a businessman overfilled with egomania and has no foreign policy vision whatsoever. He looks at foreign policy through the lands of business. He wants America as an emissary power. He knows nothing about the foreign policy. Over Russia, he would be more flexible and would definitely work for having good relations with Putin.

Over Middle East

Obama has been very clear over the years regarding the escalations in Middle East. His doctrine was to back local coalitions avoiding troops on the ground. The same would be expected of Hilary but then again, she would not shy away from challenging Russia in the Middle East as she mentioned multiple times, the code words “safe zones” while addressing the masses.

Over Nuclear Proliferation

Hillary and Obama have been very straightforward about the fact that they want to reduce the stock piles of Nuclear weapons but Trump does not understand the gravity and the destruction that Nuclear Proliferation can cause. He has been flip-flopping about whether the right to proliferate the nuclear weapons should be given to other countries or not.

Over these three US Presidential debates, one prominent fact is the ignorance of Trump regarding a strong Foreign Policy that thoroughly shrouds his personality and agenda.


The author hails from Abbottabad. He  is an MBBS student at Ayub Medical College ATD. A humanist and a writing enthusiast. He is the member of Youth Parliament Pakistan under PILDAT. Tweets @shahaliijlal. Follow him on instagram Shahaliijlal.

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