Indiana Daily Student

OPINION: Warren has a foreign policy for all

<p>Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., speaks during the Democratic presidential primary debate Feb. 19 in Las Vegas, Nevada.</p>

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., speaks during the Democratic presidential primary debate Feb. 19 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Since the South Carolina primary Saturday, it has become clear that Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s, D-Mass., prospects of winning the Democratic nomination are slim. Warren has slipped in the polls from her third place finish in the Iowa caucus to fifth place in South Carolina, where she won only 7.1% of the vote.

Although it is unlikely that Warren will become a front-runner, her pragmatic foreign policy plans should continue to be discussed and adopted among the remaining candidates.

The Democratic nominee will need to have policies that a diverse coalition could support. Warren’s foreign policy vision can appease the many factions in the Democratic tent.

Warren’s foreign policy vision acknowledges that the U.S. can no longer maintain completely separate foreign and domestic goals. Every decision the government makes should be grounded in the recognition that the undermining of working families in the U.S. ultimately erodes American strength in the world, according to an article written by Warren for Foreign Affairs Magazine.

Warren’s plans focus on traditional global issues such as pledging to scale back military involvement in the Middle East but also plans to reform international trade to help American workers and fight global corruption.

The Pew Research Center found that 62% of American adults thought that the war in Iraq was not worth fighting. Both moderate and progressive Democrats are tired of endless wars and would back a nominee who has a plan to avoid them. Warren plans to double the size of the Foreign Service, the U.S. State Department’s diplomatic corps, which would help achieve her vision.

On international trade, Warren’s policies are framed within her broader domestic platform, which is to stand up to large corporations that thrive at the expense of Americans. A main tenet is to allow representatives from labor, consumer and environmental groups to participate in trade negotiations between the U.S. and other countries. This would create more perspectives on how to make international trade more equitable for Americans.

Similarly, Warren has plans to crack down on international corruption. This includes requiring public disclosure of U.S. trade negotiations to make the process more transparent. The estimated amount of money laundered globally in one year is 2 to 5% of global GDP.

The Miami Herald found that at least 13 Trump Tower buyers have been the subject of government investigations, either personally or through their companies. These buyers include members of a Russian-American organized crime group and a Venezuelan oil tycoon convicted in a bribery scheme. The proximity of these powerful oligarchs to President Donald Trump is concerning not only for American democracy but for the hope of stable democracies in Russia and Venezuela.

Warren plans to use America’s alliances and embrace multilateralism to combat this rampant corruption.

For example, she has proposed a nine-point test that foreign countries would have to pass to trade with the U.S. These standards would include ratifying the Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions, eliminating child labor and implementing collective bargaining.

Unlike Warren’s other progressive challenger, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt, she has not praised Cuba's Fidel Castro and Nicaragua's Daniel Ortega, considered by many to be brutal dictators. Sanders’ defense of his comments is polarizing rhetoric that will likely turn away many voters in key states like Florida.

Warren’s foreign policy stances align with Sanders’ in many ways, such as re-entering the Iran Nuclear Deal, withdrawing troops from the Middle East and focusing on human rights and economic fairness. However, Sanders calls for ending the U.S. alliance with Saudi Arabia, strengthening Congress’s war powers and the lofty goal of collaborating with pro-democracy forces around the world to build societies that work for all people. 

Warren has stated publicly that she will hold Saudi Arabia accountable for its human rights abuses. She proposes to expand diplomatic and multilateral solutions to resolve international tensions and only use the threat of America’s military might as a deterrent.

She intends to work with America’s trade partners to combat tax evasion and toughen anti-bribery laws to ensure that the bribes extorted and paid outside of the United States, even when there is no U.S. company involved, cannot be laundered through the U.S. banking system

Warren’s pragmatism emphasizes diplomacy, anti-corruption measures and protecting workers around the world. It represents a break from the status quo that would appeal to progressives but still has the long term goals of protecting U.S. business and security interests.

Ian Nowlin (he/him) is a sophomore studying law and public policy. He has minors in Spanish and Arabic.

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