The Keys To The Foreign Policy Playground

How the Next U.S. President  Inherits All Tools Necessary to Run Wild

By Ahmed Ahmed  

100406-D-7203C-002 Secretary of State Hillary Clinton conducts a briefing on the Nuclear Posture Review with Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen and Secretary of Energy Steven Chu in the Pentagon on April 6, 2010. DoD photo by Cherie Cullen. (Released)

DoD photo by Cherie Cullen. (Released)

The 2016 Presidential election is reaching its climax on November 8 in voting booths across the country. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have run the most controversial campaigns in recent U.S political history.

  The nation is divided and the path forward rests in our hands. Both candidates have promised significant domestic policy changes, and each has had their agendas thoroughly analyzed.

However, voters must realize where their voting decision will be felt the most and that will not be at the domestic level. Rather, it is an area that Americans are statistically less interested in, Foreign Policy.   

In due respect the president lacks the credible authority to influence domestic policy in a radical way.

This is because of the “checks and balance” system instituted by our founding fathers.

The U.S. Congress, the supreme legislative branch of the government, is where many of the policies and laws that we interact with on a daily basis are drafted and enacted.

Taxes, government oversight, spending and the welfare of the nation is solely in the hands of the 100-member Senate and the 435-member House of Representatives.

This is not to say that the president is completely removed from the nation’s laws. Presidents can veto legislation, meaning any law or policy purposed by Congress not in-line with their ideology can be rejected. However, it is important to note the context when something like that occurs.

If a bill enjoys broad support from Congress, then the president has the prospects of being overridden by a 3/4th majority vote in Congress: an embarrassing situation which every president avoids.

Taking, for example, the recent campaign promises, if President Clinton were to fulfill the vision of a tuition-free higher education, she wouldn’t be able to do so immediately.

A policy like this would need to originate and pass both chambers of Congress with a majority.

Likewise, if President Trump were to make good on his promise to rebuild America’s infrastructure, then securing the necessary budget allocations for the program would require Congressional support, action and subsequent approval.

These promises cannot be implemented without the votes of the representatives you chose to send to Washington D.C. Your Senator, local Congresswoman and Congressman are better empowered to bring those visions to fruition than the Executive-in-charge.

Change does not come from the top down, but from the bottom-up.

The policy is a reflection of citizens’ attitudes and preferences, and the president cannot be representative of 300 million people at once.

That is why it is important to focus on the candidates running to represent you directly.

To better understand the office of the president, one must look to Article 2 of the Constitution.

Here the powers of the president are stipulated and defined. It importantly notes that the President is the sole representative of the country, he/she is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces and only the president can agree to enter treaties and pacts.

While in place for centuries, after 9/11 these powers grew exponentially when Congress passed the Authorization To Use Military Force (AUMF) on September 12, 2001.

This gave the President the authority to use “all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons she determines planned, authorized, committed or aided the terrorist attacks of 9/11, and to prevent any future acts of terrorism against the U.S.”

The broad, non-expiring and vague nature of the bill has ensured a global battlefield in which the President has the final call.

Today, we are fighting terrorists overtly and covertly in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya and Somalia with conventional and drone forces.   

With tensions on the rise against Russian intervention in Syria, the next President will need to carefully maneuver our sphere of influence in the region.

Both candidates have voiced distinct viewpoints. Trump favors warming ties with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin and Clinton favors supporting a confrontational stance, even threatening to shoot down Russian fighter jets over Syria.

Voters need to be aware of the candidate’s stance on the Iranian Nuclear deal and if they will honor it.

How will they deal with our membership in NATO, a pillar of European stability since World War II?

How will they deal with free-trade, that is vital to our national economy. What will our role be in the world? These are questions that deserve honest answers.

So on November 8 make sure you get the answer you want.


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