The Democratic Candidates and Their Foreign Policy Strategies #NGMSVote16

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Democratic Candidates Share Their Foreign Policy Strategies

We’ve covered taxes.

We brought you the GOP candidates’ strategies for our troops.

Next up, the game plans of the 2 remaining democratic candidates’ (Secretary Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders) for everything from involvement in the Middle East to working with our allies around the globe. While Senator Sanders is the former Chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, as former Secretary of State, Clinton has the upper hand in foreign policy experience.

What would either of these democratic candidates’ presidency mean for our military families?

Democratic Candidates Share Their Foreign Policy Strategies

Per Clinton’s website: “Hillary was a champion for our men and women in uniform as a member of the Armed Services Committee. As president, she’ll ensure the United States maintains the best-trained, best-equipped, and strongest military the world has ever known. America must also respond to the new challenges our veterans and military families face, providing them with the support they have earned and deserve.”

She also states her commitment to military families. Per her site, she wants to

“strengthen services and support for military families, a cause that is near and dear to Hillary’s heart. She recognizes that military family readiness is a critical part of total force readiness, and her plan promotes policies that give families opportunities and flexibility, like expanded access to child care and initiatives to boost spouse employment. And Hillary will ensure that family members have access to the benefits and support services they need, because she believes nobody should have to choose between serving their country and taking care of their family.”

Clinton has stated 3 priorities:

  1. Keep America safe and secure by defending our core values and leading with principle.
  2. Defeat ISIS and global terrorism and the ideologies that drive it.
  3. Strengthen our alliances and nurture new relationships to tackle shared challenges such as climate change, cyber threats, and highly contagious diseases.

While Clinton has strong rhetoric toward ISIS, Iran, Russia and even China, opponents call into question multiple Clinton scandals and her handling of the 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya, during her tenure as Secretary of State, which left 2 Americans dead, including U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens.

It’s unlikely you’ll see the word “conservative” used to describe Sanders, but his views on when to use force are just that.

He is very vocal that the Bush administration made a mistake in going into Iraq. He explains his position, “As a member of Congress, I have supported the use of force only when it was a last resort and America’s vital interests were at stake. I opposed the first Gulf War, as did many other Members of Congress, because I believed that there was a way to achieve our goals without bloodshed, through sanctions and concerted diplomatic action. I supported the use of force to stop the ethnic cleansing in the Balkans.

“And, in the wake of the attacks on September 11, 2001, I supported the use of force in Afghanistan to hunt down the terrorists who attacked us. I regret that President Bush did not use that authority properly, and that American combat troops remained there too long. I voted against the war in Iraq, and knew it was the right vote then, and most people recognize it was the right vote today. The only mission President Bush and his neo-conservative friends accomplished was to destabilize an entire region, and create the environment for al-Qaeda and ISIS to flourish.”

Sanders has steadfastly opposed the use of force, so what does he propose to do?

Per his campaign website, Sanders plans to do the following:

  1. Move away from a policy of unilateral military action and toward a policy of emphasizing diplomacy, and ensuring the decision to go to war is a last resort.
  2. Ensure that any military action we do engage in has clear goals, is limited in scope and whenever possible provides support to our allies in the region.
  3. Close Guantanamo Bay, rein in the National Security Agency, abolish the use of torture and remember what truly makes America exceptional: our values.
  4. Expand our global influence by promoting fair trade, addressing global climate change, providing humanitarian relief and economic assistance, defending the rule of law, and promoting human rights.

Opponents cite Sanders’ lack of foreign policy experience as troubling.

Clinton’s top policy advisor, Jake Sullivan was quoted in the New York Times as saying, “I have the utmost respect for Senator Sanders, but it is a challenge to critique someone’s plans and proposals when they haven’t really presented any. The limited ideas he has put forward raise the question of whether he understands the dynamics of the Middle East, and more fundamentally whether he has thought through the implications of proposing, for example, that Iran put more troops on the ground in Syria.”

Both candidates talk about the important role military families play in service and want to support our veterans coming home from war.

Whether you’re in favor of a more aggressive ground game or tightened military spending (or something in between or entirely different), spend some time getting to know these candidates’ strategies.

Remember: a NextGen MilSpouse voter is an informed voter.

What’s your opinion of the 2 Democratic presidential candidates’ foreign policy plans? Share your views in the comments section. 

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