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Outside of the U.S., if you read the book “Diplomacy” by Henry Kissinger, you realize that Democrats and Republicans do not follow parallel or even similar foreign policies.
On November 6, 2012, the colors of red and blue will once again confront to each other and spearheading the event will most likely be President Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney. Two different schools of thought, fighting to occupy a seat in the White House. It could bring a complete change in American foreign policy and consequently spread to affect the policies of their allies.
Foreign policy of a powerful nation has repeatedly throughout history proven to have great influence in the countries that surround it. In Spain, they know through experience that the support of the right-wing President, Jose Maria Aznar, in the Iraq war contributed to the final result of the Spanish elections and allowed the Socialist party to win the Presidential post, despite popular beliefs.
And the trend goes the other way around too – who knows if the Arab Spring and President Obama’s support of the people in the Arab world will have built relations that could influence new movements in the future.
Even though the Republicans have always had a more clear foreign policy, while Democrats have had a more changing vision, it seems that many trust President Obama’s foreign policy so far. Obama’s vision of the world helped him win his first elections by declaring his opposition of the war in Iraq.
That could happen again. Even today Obama’s supporters give him credit for his fight against terrorism and for inspiring democracy in the Arab world: Osama Bin Laden, Anuar al Aulaki, and Muamar Gaddafi are out of the game, Al Qaeda is against the ropes, and three Middle Eastern countries have begun the transition into democracy. Last but not least, no more American soldier will die in Iraq after this year, and a date has been fixed for the complete removal of American troops from Afghanistan.
In spite of all the good results yielded by the Obama administration’s foreign policy, the flipside is ever present. Republicans accuse President Obama of compromising American interests in the Middle East by supporting the Arab Spring and other movements for uprising. Some are also criticizing Obama for not supporting the movement until it was clear that success was within reach.
It has been further questioned why there is no support for democratic movements in other dictatorial regimes such as Saudi Arabia, Yemen or Bahrain, all traditional allies of the U.S.A.
It is still widely recognized that the American support to democracies in the Middle East could open up new opportunities for the United States and its relations with Arab countries. Still, it is to be seen if the American people can agree with this policy in the long run and value it when they vote this fall.