Foreign policy takes stage, yet most voters indifferent, professor says

Oct 01, 2012 by Courtney Culey

(Phys.org)—Foreign policy has taken center stage in the presidential campaign as Barack Obama and Mitt Romney tout their differing plans – and take aim at one another's vision for international security.

Unfortunately, voters pay little attention to these issues when electing a president, said Matt Zierler, associate professor of international relations at Michigan State University's James Madison College.

"Foreign policy does matter, but voters traditionally don't pay much attention to it," Zierler said.

There's a lot of tension in the world, Zierler noted. The European financial crisis appears to be getting worse. The Middle East is in chaos. There is violence in Libya and Egypt and United States Embassies are under attack. And Iran is working to gain nuclear power.

But Obama, the Democratic incumbent, and Republican challenger Romney have disparate views on many of these foreign policy and global issues should be handled.

"In reality, they might have similar goals, but it's all about how they want to get there," Zierler said.

Obama prefers a more diplomatic approach, Zierler said. Obama aims to work with U.S. allies but not cater to their needs. He is committed to ending the and bringing U.S. troops back, and hopes to cut U.S. defense spending.

Romney takes a much more hardline approach to foreign policy, Zierler said. He wants to be tougher on Russia and China. He wants to take aggressive actions to prevent countries from gaining nuclear power. Romney likely will increase defense spending and wants to be more aggressive when supporting U.S. allies, Zierler said.

According to recent public opinion polls, Zierler said Americans tend to favor a approach more similar to Obama's.

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Jeddy_Mctedder
1 / 5 (3) Oct 01, 2012
crap like this has got to be removed from physorg.

this is a sign the site is starting to weaken.

the fact that this so OBVIOUSLY is out of place means that someone was hired that ought not to have been. either they learn about their new duties, or they leave.

signed, someone who has been visiting physorg RELIGIOUSLY for over 7 years from the early days when it was less than a quarter of what it is now.

PLEASE DO NOT CHEAPEN THIS WEBSITE.
COCO
1 / 5 (3) Oct 03, 2012
although the lady above does have a point - I think the real point is the pointlessness of the article - both clowns are in the great War Party whose dogma has not changed in this century - if it is brown and living over resources it must be attacked. Amerika had a chance for a real leader in Dr. Paul - but now only two neocon puppets.

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