In my opinion we should focus on the moon and just a little less on Mars when it comes to putting people on them as I believe it is easier to start building a bridge from one end some times then from from both when trying to cross the river.
I believe strongly that the first base outside our planet that we construct should be on the moon. Because it's close and doesn't need as much fuel to propel from there, it is a strategic place to establish a base there. We just have to bring all our stuff to grow food and it's going to be perfect.
Yes, do I think that the international community set up research bases on the Moon before Mars. Why not start with what is closer and more known to the scientists first, let alone cheaper, to then move on to a planet that is so far away. Exploring Mars is a great endeavour nonetheless, and it should be pursued.
The international community should first establish research bases and conduct experiments on the Moon before risking lives and equipment on other planets. Men have safely landed on and returned from the Moon. The Moon is significantly closer to earth and can more easily be monitored and take on new supplies nd experiments.
While the moon is closer and might require less work, the exploration of the moon is largely completed, but life on Mars is still considered a possibility. With the discovery of water on mars, there is still quite a lot of research to be done there, and a wider range of new possibilities.