U.S. Foreign Policy, Yesterday, Today and the 2020 Elections: Anti-Imperialist Struggle in the Years Ahead

U.S. Foreign Policy, Yesterday, Today and the 2020 Elections: Anti-Imperialist Struggle in the Years Ahead

By Cliff DuRand 


There has been little discussion of foreign policy in the U.S. election campaign. Yet, whether Trump or Biden will direct foreign relations over the next four years, there will be fateful consequences for all. Whether foreign policies will emphasize soft power or military power, whether they will be unilateral or in consultation with allies, whether the official “enemy” is Russia or China, whether the U.S. will intervene in other countries or withdraw inward—all these are open questions. But they all need to be looked at in the historical context of the imperial role the U.S. has long followed, regardless of which political party is in power. 


Political Scientist Harry Targ will talk about the continuities in the U.S. imperial agenda and the variations in policy in the Trump years. For instance, this administration has been relentless in pursuing regime change in countries such as Iran, Cuba, and Venezuela, using what has been called “hybrid war” strategies, at great cost to the people of those countries. There have been some changes in U.S. policy in the Trump years, but the pursuit of empire is a common thread that runs through all administrations, Republican or Democratic, at least since World War II. Peace activists need to be prepared to organize around the differences in foreign policy that each possible president would impose and the continuities in policy, irrespective of who wins the November election. 


Harry Targ is a Purdue University professor emeritus and longtime political activist. He blogs at www.heartlandradical.blogspont.com and is currently a co-chair of the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism. In his view, the greatest importance ahead of us will be upping the anti-imperial agenda if either Trump is reelected or if we will be embarking on a Biden foreign policy. Either way, it will be crucial to build a strong peace movement, something that has been sadly lacking for too long. 

For an introduction to his remarks, see: