THE BLOG
07/29/2016 02:09 pm ET Updated Jul 30, 2017

Where Do The Candidates Really Stand On Foreign Policy?

What are the major flaws with Donald Trump's and Hillary Clinton's foreign policy agendas? originally appeared on Quora - the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.

Answer by Michael McFaul, Political Scientist and FSI Director at Stanford, Former U.S. Ambassador to Russia, on Quora.

Donald Trump seems to know very little about the conduct of foreign policy. His recent statements about our allies suggest that he does not understand what treaties are. On NATO, for instance, you cannot reevaluate our commitments to defend all our allies on a rolling basis. That undermines our credibility and makes allies nervous. The same is true of our Asian allies. I was recently in Japan and they are very nervous about a Trump presidency.

His threat to not honor our debt commitments also is incredibly irresponsible. If he followed through on that threat, he could send the entire world into recession/depression. His praise of strong men like Putin alarms me, as well as his complete indifference to human rights.

Most fundamentally, he believes that we can pull back from the world, build walls around us, and everything will be just fine. The least time we followed such a policy -- the 1920s -- things didn't work out so well for our security or the security of the world. (His "American First" slogan comes from that era.)

On Clinton, I worked with her while I was at the White House and then for her wen I served as U.S. ambassador to Russia. I respect and support almost all of her foreign policy agenda. My one criticism is regarding Trans-Pacific Partnership. I think TPP is smart for our economy and our security. I hope with time others will come to see the wisdom of TPP.

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