Both presidential candidates are facing scrutiny regarding their respective stances on foreign policy.
With Russian President Vladimir Putin seeking to expand his country’s international presence, China entering into the World Trade Organization and North Korea’s intensified nuclear program, along with the continuing issues of ISIS and illegal immigration from Mexico, both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have their own responsesto global affairs.
In his April speech in Washington D.C., Trump says he wishes to “ease tensions and improve relations with Russia, from a position of strength only.” Clinton has openly called President Putin a “bully” that must be continually stood up to, and has wanted to reasses relations with Russia.
Trump has persistently opposed China’s trade and economic policies, and has said he would crack down on Chinese hackers and label China a currency manipulator. Clinton has also said that China and the United States have had their share of disagreements. However, she has said that she would also categorize the relationship as “positive, cooperative, and comprehensive.”
Trump has said he would crack down on North Korea’s nuclear development program by pressuring China to help ease tensions, but has also indicated that he would open up communications with North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un. Clinton has said she would increase the sanctions against North Korea, and plans to work closely with Japan and South Korea to respond to the threat posed by the country. Many countries have had to go back to the drawing board with their counterterrorism protocols as a result. Trump recently said that he will not publicly explain his plans to defeat ISIS, because it would “ruin the surprise.” However, he has said previously that he wants to change the international rules governing how the military operates when deployed.
In a speech delivered in November of 2015, Clinton said that the key to fighting ISIS would be to keep it from gaining momentum.
“We have to break the group’s momentum, and then its back,” said Clinton. “Our goal is not to deter or contain ISIS, but to defeat and destroy ISIS.”
Clinton has also gone on record saying that Sunni Muslims and the Kurdish military forces should have a greater role in responding to ISIS attacks.
Both candidates also have distinct stances on illegal immigration. Trump has said from the beginning of his campaign that he plans to have Mexico sponsor a wall across the U.S.’s southern border. He also intends to increase the number of Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers, as well as increase the penalties for violations. Meanwhile, Clinton wishes to overhaul the immigration process to allow even currently illegal immigrants to gain citizenship, without having to send close to eleven million people back to Mexico.
Early voting in Tennessee lasts until Nov. 3. Election Day is Nov. 8.