US foreign policy will not change regardless of the winner

A lot of Europeans would like to see Kerry in the office of the American president, just to take a breath of fresh air

Americans elect not just the president, but the person, who will be responsible for too many things in global scale. World leaders pretend that the USA will not change the foreign policy much, no matter who is going to be the American president. Nevertheless, a lot of them are looking forward to seeing the results of the American presidential election to clarify the situation.

Some politicians want George W. Bush to stay in the office for another four years for the sake of their own political careers. Italian and Japanese prime ministers Berlusconi and Koizumi, for example, supported the US-led incursion in Iraq. They might deal with political isolation in the event Bush will have to leave the White House.

French President Jacques Chirac, however, would be happy to welcome the end of the four years of Bush's regime, which was basically about single-handed solution of many global issues. Nobody dares to talk about it out loud; no world leader is going to come to the States to “bring American voters to senses.” Nevertheless, several presidents and prime ministers are waiting for John Kerry to win.

However, they will have an advantage in case Bush wins the election. No one will have to adjust to a change in the American foreign policy, for it will remain totally predictable. In other words, the White House will continue its course of USA's alienation with the active work outside the US. President Bush said it directly during his pre-election campaign: the US administration fights terrorists abroad, not to let them come to America.

Russia and China would like to preserve status quo, although they have always been against the war in Iraq, unlike Italy and Japan. Both Russia and China have apparently come to conclusion that it was Bush, who made the mess, so he should put things right too. John Kerry might not be able to handle the situation successfully. The Russian president dropped a hint about his support of George Bush. Needless to say that the Russian opinion will not exert any influence on common American voters. If Kerry wins, the Russian government will have to spend quite a lot of time to establish relations with him. In addition, the new president will need some time to formulate his foreign policy in a precise way. Pre-election slogans will not be enough at this point. Therefore, Russian and Chinese leaders prefer to deal with someone they know quite well.

USA's allies, though, hope that the American administration will change its style and manners. A lot of countries are not willing to make up with Washington's role of the global moral leader. Will Bush or Kerry be able to retrieve confidence to America after the election? Will they listen to other countries' opinions as far as international problems are concerned? Judging upon pre-election programs, Kerry is more prepared to the “multilateral” course.

Europeans think that the challenges will remain the same, no matter who of the two candidates wins the race. The incursion in Iraq became the decisive factor in Bush's international policy. Other key aspects included declaring war on international terrorism and the USA's opposition to Kyoto Protocol. Considerable changes on these issues are not likely to follow regardless of the winner.

A lot of Europeans, however, would like to see Kerry in the office of the American president, just to take a breath of fresh air. A recent research conducted in France showed that nine of ten people would like to see Kerry on the post. Bush has only one proponent in Europe - Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. British Prime Minister Tony Blair has his own reasons. It is best for him to represent Britain as a bridge between the USA and Europe. It will be easy for Blair to preserve such a stance as long as Bush has the power. It is noteworthy that Fidel Castro is probably the one, who wishes Bush's defeat most. Cubans do not back up Kerry either, for he has promised not to lift the economic embargo from Cuba. 

American voters will have to say the last word, in spite of what the world might think about the US election.

Sergey Borisov

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Author`s name Olga Savka