With everything from Brexit to the Iran nuclear deal to Russian hackers in the headlines this fall, foreign policy is playing a major role in the 2016 presidential campaign.
As the former Secretary of State under President Obama, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton was the public face of U.S. foreign policy from 2009 to 2013, famously visiting 112 countries during her four years with the State Department.
Though her foreign policy expertise has earned her praise even from some Republicans who are wary of GOP nominee Donald Trump, Clinton has come under fire for some aspects of her time as Secretary of State—most notably, her decision to use a private email server to conduct State-related business. Republicans have also seized on her handling of the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans.
Here are some key components of Clinton’s stated views on foreign policy:
Develop new tools in the fight against ISIS
Clinton has said she would not put boots on the ground in Iraq or Syria to aid in the fight against ISIS, but instead would provide support to Arab and Kurdish forces on the ground. She proposes working with Arab nations in the region to provide resources for the battle against the terrorist network, sharing intelligence with European allies and coordinating air attacks.
With regard to “lone wolf” attacks in the U.S., Clinton proposes an “intelligence surge” that would help equip local and federal law enforcement with the information necessary to identify potential attackers before they carry out their plans. She also suggested “intensifying” relations between law enforcement and Muslim American communities around the country, implementing “no fly, no buy” policies to prevent those on terror watch lists from obtaining firearms, and enlisting U.S. tech companies in the fight against ISIS’ online recruitment efforts both in the U.S. and abroad.
Clinton has also advocated for a no-fly zone over Syria, saying at a Democratic debate in April that “we need to put in safe havens for those poor Syrians who are fleeing both Assad and ISIS and so they have some place they can be safe.”
Stand up to Russia and China
Clinton, unlike Trump, has urged a firm hand with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Though she stood with Putin for a 2009 photo op with a red “reset” button, symbolizing a “reset” in U.S.-Russia relations, by 2014 (after she had left the State Department) she was saying she was “skeptical” of Putin.
She has described Putin as a “bully,” noting that the U.S. and Russia have a complicated relationship. “My relationship with [Putin], it’s—it’s interesting. It’s one, I think, of respect,” she said during a Democratic debate in January. “We’ve had some very tough dealings with one another. And I know that he’s someone that you have to continually stand up to because, like many bullies, he is somebody who will take as much as he possibly can unless you do.”
As for China, Clinton has been a frequent critic of the country’s human rights violations going back all the way to 1995, when she delivered her famous “women’s rights are human rights” speech in Beijing. She has since made it clear that the relationship with China is “challenging,” and that the U.S. will work with China but also stand up to the country when necessary.
Clinton will “press China to play by the rules—including in cyberspace, on currency, human rights, trade, territorial disputes, and climate change—and hold it accountable if it does not, while working with China where it is in our interest,” her issues website reads.
Preserve and strengthen key alliances around the world
While her opponent has criticized the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and suggested the U.S. should reconsider its role in the international organization, Clinton has urged continued cooperation and collaboration with the U.S.’ international allies around the globe.
“From the Middle East and Asia to Europe and our own hemisphere, Hillary will strengthen the essential partnerships that are a unique source of America’s strength,” her website’s issues page reads. “HIllary knows that NATO is one of the best investments that America has ever made. And she’ll continue to support Israel’s ability to defend itself … Hillary will also invest in partnerships in Latin America, Africa, and Asia with people and nations who share our values and vision for the future.”
Uphold the Iran nuclear deal
During her tenure at the State Department, Clinton was involved in laying the groundwork for the nuclear deal with Iran, and has said she will “vigorously enforce” the deal.
In a speech at the Brookings Institution in fall 2015, Clinton said her approach toward Iran is “distrust and verify”—noting that she would “not hesitate to take military action” if Iran moved toward obtaining a nuclear weapon.
She said at the September Commander-in-Chief forum that she did not believe Iran was “playing us” when it came to its nuclear efforts, but did note that the Middle Eastern country was not adhering to the deal when it came to ballistic missiles, its involvement in Syria, and other issues.
“I would rather as president be dealing with Iran on all of those issues without having to worry as much about their racing for a nuclear weapon,” she said.
Build on the Obama administration’s new Cuba policy
Clinton has praised President Obama’s efforts to normalize diplomatic relations with Cuba, supporting his policies and calling for an end to the trade embargo with the island nation.
“The Cuba embargo needs to go, once and for all,” she said in a speech in Miami in summer 2015. “We should replace it with a smarter approach that empowers Cuban businesses, Cuban civil society, and the Cuban American community to spur progress and keep pressure on the regime.”