Whether Obama or Romney, next US leader faces severe foreign challenges
Whoever wins the US presidency – be it likely GOP nominee Mitt Romney or President Obama – faces an array of foreign-policy challenges that may be as daunting as those of the cold war. For starters, they involve China, Russia, the Arab world, Iran, North Korea, and Pakistan.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP
Whoever wins the US presidency in November faces an array of foreign-policy challenges that may be as daunting as those of the cold war. While revitalizing the US economy may be the next president’s primary concern, uncertainties abroad will likely reshape global politics and redistribute power.
CHINA. Its spectacular economic growth has made it a serious challenger to US global leadership and a formidable factor in a potential shift of power from the West to the East. Its growing military force makes countries in Southeast Asia nervous. Its growing Navy patrols waters where US warships have been dominant.
As America’s banker, Beijing commands respect in Washington, but the US-China relationship is prickly, particularly when US officials deplore the way China hobbles its citizens’ freedom and purloins US intellectual property. Pending changes in China’s top political leadership make for uncertainty about that nation’s internal and international direction.
RUSSIA. By shady vote-rigging and the neutralizing of opposition candidates, Vladimir Putin is president again and talking tough about America. But the opposition of young Russians was vocal in the election, and change seems inevitable.