The Other Side: Foreign Policy


graphic by Yasmin Haq

The topic of foreign policy has exploded since the assassination of Qasem Soleimani. The Jan. 3 drone strike on Baghdad International Airport that killed the Iranian war general was authorized by President Donald Trump, making it a hot topic in politics. 

The media has covered the assassination as being largely Republican-supported, and many did approve of the action; however, it does go against some core Republican beliefs regarding foreign policy. 

One common foreign policy view among Republicans is non-interventionism. Those with this mindset would rather the U.S. stay focused on what is happening within its own borders instead of intervening in other country’s affairs. This viewpoint aligns with the very common Republican-supported concept of smaller federal government. In history, non-interventionism has been equated with Republican disapproval of the U.S. entering Woodrow Wilson’s League of Nations and opposing entry to WWII until the country was provoked by the attacks on Pearl Harbor. 

A contrasting majority of Republicans believe the U.S. has a responsibility in maintaining global order and promoting democracy abroad. This view is normally backed with the idea of American exceptionalism, which means these people believe America is a great country, and its support of liberty and democracy are the best and most moral structure for a country to have. This idea extends to believing the U.S. should encourage and support the establishment of democratic governments around the world, the biggest example of which is the unwavering Republican support of Israel. 

While Trump’s recent actions do go against non-interventionist ideals, many Republicans approve of his decisions because his stances have been transparent since his election. For one, he openly criticized the Obama administration for its negotiations with Iran regarding nuclear weapons. Because of this, it was no surprise when Trump withdrew the U.S. from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action because he believed it was too lax in restricting Iran’s nuclear activity. 

Communication outlets have continued to improve since globalization began, making foreign policy increasingly important as communication grows more transparent. There are a lot of different opinions about what the U.S. should involve itself in and why, but foreign policy shouldn’t be a partisan issue. The safety of America and its people shouldn’t depend on political parties, and those in power having discussions and making decisions need to consider this more than ever in the wake of foreign tension.