2020·2 min read

2020 Election: National Security

2020 Election: National Security
Lara Antal
May 28, 2020

The Story

You’ve been hearing it since you were in preschool: safety first.

The Background

There are a wide variety of issues that could affect the safety and security of Americans: everything from the threat of terrorism and nuclear war to gun control and climate change. President Trump ran on a platform of extending the US-Mexico border wall – and tends to treat illegal immigration as a national security threat. 

But both parties agree the US faces threats abroad: like Russia, because of its interference in the 2016 election process and concerns it could interfere in 2020 as well. Iran and China are also believed to pose serious cybersecurity threats to US elections. Meanwhile, ISIS. Even though it lost its leader as well as territory in Iraq and Syria, the terror group is still active there – and maintains cells around the world. That includes in Afghanistan, where the US has thousands of troops to contain terror threats like ISIS and the Taliban.


Some candidates want to crack down on countries they perceive to pose a threat to the US. Others think diplomacy is the way to go. Meanwhile, many want the US to further protect itself by investing more in cybersecurity and strengthening election systems. Here’s where the candidates stand:

Donald Trump Republican

President Donald Trump

  • Extend the US-Mexico border wall

  • Get the US out of "endless" foreign wars (Afghanistan, Iraq)

  • Engage with adversaries: North Korea, Russia, Taliban

  • Pulled the US out of Iran nuclear deal

  • Pulled US troops from northern Syria

  • Impeached by the House on nat'l security grounds over withholding aid to Ukraine

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Joe Biden Democrat

Former VP Joe Biden

  • Supports sanctions against Russia as a response to things like annexation of Crimea

  • Supports Iran nuclear deal

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