Sanders’ Potential Foreign Policy: An Ignored Strength? Reply

Sanders voted against the Iraq War and has criticized efforts to use NATO to encircle Russia.

By Walter Ross

LA Progressive

Progressives like LA Progressive editor Dick Price have indicated many domestic reasons why progressives prefer Bernie Sanders to Hillary Clinton. A recent New York Times editorial also emphasizes his domestic stances but concedes that “Mrs. Clinton outflanks him on both knowledge and practice of foreign policy.” This essay, however, will argue that we voters should pay more attention to Sanders’ dovish approach to foreign policy, as contrasted to the more hawkish and belligerent positions of Clinton and Trump. As president, he would be less likely than Clinton or Trump to involve us in foreign entanglements that would cause more human and economic pain and divert attention and resources from important domestic problems.

Before making this case, however, it must be acknowledged that as a former secretary of state, Clinton has far more foreign-policy experience and knowledge than Sanders. Moreover, such experience is significant, but it does not necessarily make her more qualified.

Where Sanders has a great advantage over her is that he is less hawkish, less inclined to pursue foolish policies that are extremely costly, both in human lives and financially. In short, he exercises better judgment. Two prime examples come readily to mind where his stances have opposed Clinton’s: his opposition to NATO expansion and his voting, as a congressman in 2002, against authorizing President Bush to invade Iraq.

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