WASHINGTON, D.C. — Senator Bernie Sanders is a Democratic presidential candidate in the 2020 election. During his previous presidential campaign in 2016, Sanders lacked a strong foreign policy. This time around, however, his campaign stresses new, progressive ideas in this area. Specifically, he is focusing on Yemen. Here are some focal points of Bernie Sanders’ foreign policy.
Conditions in Yemen
What started as a civil war in Yemen escalated into the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. With more than 60,000 dead and 14 million people facing starvation in the country, this war has had truly devastating consequences. This war has affected millions of innocent civilians, leaving people with no shelter, food or medicine.
For four years, the United States has aided Saudi Arabia in the brutal war against the Iranian-backed rebels in Yemen by supplying them with ammunition and intelligence. Sanders explained at a press conference, “We’ve got to end that war. We’ve got to help the people of Yemen with food, with humanitarian supplies, not with more bombs.” Sanders has been an advocate for the people of Yemen since he joined the historic movement in Congress to end U.S. involvement in the war two years ago.
Sanders was among the politicians who advocated for the War Powers Resolution, urging President Trump to remove America from involvement, that Congress never authorized, in the Saudi-led war. Although the resolution passed, Trump vetoed it. President Trump believed that this resolution was a threat to his constitutional authorities as well as a potential threat to American lives.
As a result, this issue became a major part of Bernie Sanders’ foreign policy plan for his 2020 campaign. His progressive foreign policy vision distinguishes Sanders’ from the other Democratic candidates because he is focused on bettering the severe circumstances in Yemen.
Bernie Sanders’ Foreign Policy
Along with reaching peace in Yemen by removing U.S. involvement, Sanders’ strategy consists of value-based policies. During a speech at Westminster College, Sanders stated that the key principle of his foreign policy plan is that “every person on this planet shares a common humanity.” He believes the U.S. should pursue partnership and unity with other countries.
Sanders’ approach to foreign affairs significantly contrasts that of President Trump. Sanders believes that by working together, multilaterally, countries’ shared problems and challenges will find shared solutions. Meaning, instead of the U.S. dominating foreign relationships, the White House should practice working with other nations and acting in the best interest of the people living in these countries.
Bernie Sanders’ foreign policy plan also focuses on the inequality that countless people are subjected to abroad. Sanders believes in order to reverse the rise of authoritarian leaders, the U.S. has to distance itself from them. He believes that the White House should not choose sides in stubborn, political feuds, such as the ongoing battle taking place in Yemen between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Rather, Sanders wants to empower citizens who are working toward better governance. By doing this he believes the U.S. can influence the outcome without supporting corrupt government officials.
As the 2020 election nears, Sanders remains a front-runner among other candidates. Bernie Sanders’ foreign policy and political values reflect his compassion. With the best interest of Yemeni people in mind, Sanders is promoting an optimistic future for the people of that country while also providing a promising foreign policy for other nations as well.
– Marissa Pekular