Throughout recent history, U. S. Presidents have faced significant problems such as: the Great Depression; World War II; the Korean War; the break-up of the Soviet Union; terrorists attacks on U. S. soil; the Great Recession (4Q07-1Q09) and, now, Islamic Jihad. Additionally, great opportunities have been recognized, such as: the expansion of the Federal Highway System; the Space Age and Digital Technology, among others.
Conventional wars have been waged throughout history—going back to the ancient Greeks and Romans, and even before—but unconventional warfare, since Vietnam, is not something that can be contained and won merely by throwing military troops and advanced weaponry at it. Trade and economic warfare can also be expected in the future. And, corrupt leaders also will continue to devastate many, especially poorer, nations by raiding the national treasury for personal gain.
But there is also the potential for efforts to inflict damage by controlling water supplies, cyber-hacking, and tactical nuclear and biological weapons. China is threatening global trade by building islands in the South China Sea, illegally claiming natural resources, and wreaking havoc on the environment. Russia has been aggressive in Ukraine and, now, Syria. And lastly, there is also the risk of insane tyrants, such as in North Korea actually firing nuclear weapons on neighboring countries.
In years past, our Presidents have tended to pick capable advisors that, except in a few cases, helped keep the country out of trouble and took advantage of golden opportunities for economic expansion and development. Oftentimes, these goals required diplomacy, both to work with allies and other nations alike, such as in fighting potential pandemics, containing global warming or in stopping the spread of such terrorist groups as the Islamic State or al-Qaeda.
As the American political landscape has become more antagonistic, however, ideology and narrow-mindedness continually obstruct rational solutions to major problems. It has gotten so bad during the current Administration, that the opposition party has confronted the President every step of the way, since he took office seven years ago!
So, which of the five remaining Presidential wannabes would be most capable in handling either current or new problems that might occur—perhaps totally unexpected ones? This applies to both domestic and foreign issues. And let’s not forget the need for him or her to partner with other world leaders.