How Foreign Policy Will Play Out in the 2020 U.S. Presidential Race

How Foreign Policy Will Play Out in the 2020 U.S. Presidential Race
President Donald Trump holds up a chart documenting land lost by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria as he delivers remarks in Lima, Ohio, March 20, 2019 (AP photo by Evan Vucci).

Foreign policy rarely plays a major role in U.S. presidential elections. The United States has always been an insular nation. Particularly for people in the American heartland, the world’s troubles seem far away. The connectivity of the modern world and the globalization of terrorism have challenged that insularity, but even so, national elections seldom pivot on international affairs. 2020 could be different: Debates over American foreign policy and national security could sway enough undecided voters to tip the scales, and the political battle lines are already forming.

As Alex Ward pointed out in Vox, President Donald Trump is likely to sell a story of foreign policy successes to voters in the upcoming campaign: that he defeated the Islamic State; stopped North Korean nuclear and missile testing; repaired U.S. relations with Israel; pushed back on Iran, Venezuela and Russia; fixed some trade problems; increased U.S. military spending; compelled some additional defense spending in Europe; and made progress on an Afghanistan peace process. How will Democrats respond? “We have to run on a proactive message of our own,” a campaign staffer to one Democratic presidential candidate told Ward, “instead of spending all of our time attacking Trump.”

What will that entail? Here are five key points that the Democratic candidates, and the eventual presidential nominee, will likely use to dispute Trump’s narrative.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article as well as three free articles per month. You'll also receive our free email newsletter to stay up to date on all our coverage:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having your own personal researcher and analyst for news and events around the globe. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of 15,000+ articles
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday
  • Weekly in-depth reports on important issues and countries
  • Daily links to must-read news, analysis, and opinion from top sources around the globe, curated by our keen-eyed team of editors
  • Your choice of weekly region-specific newsletters, delivered to your inbox.
  • Smartphone- and tablet-friendly website.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.

More World Politics Review