Friday, April 29, 2016

A Trump-First Foreign Policy

The candidate critiques Obama but also shares some of his views.
As Donald Trump closes in on the Republican nomination, he’s rolling out a formal lecture series to detail his agenda and burnish a more dignified brand. His maiden policy speech on Wednesday, devoted to foreign affairs, earns an “incomplete” at Trump University.
“America First will be the major and overriding theme of my Administration,” Mr. Trump said in Washington. He called for “a new foreign-policy direction for our country—one that replaces randomness with purpose, ideology with strategy and chaos with peace.” The businessman didn’t mention if the same principle will apply to his rallies or harum-scarum campaign.
The 5,000-word speech lacked specifics by normal political standards, if not his own. The central motif, like all of Mr. Trump’s political thought, is that the businessman has the brains and strength to solve a given problem, and everybody else is a pathetic loser, so trust his instincts and temperament. “I’m the only one—believe me, I know them all—I’m the only one who knows how to fix it,” he said.
... For prepared remarks, or for that matter even an after-dinner talk, Mr. Trump’s speech was especially rife with contradictions. He said the conduct of foreign policy must be “more unpredictable. We are totally predictable. We tell everything.” He also said the conduct of foreign policy must be “disciplined, deliberate and consistent.”
Mr. Trump portrayed America’s posture abroad as an unbroken line of “one foreign-policy disaster after another” across Presidents of both parties since the end of the Cold War. By this he largely seems to mean that the U.S. has not exercised “economic power” or what he calls “the leverage” over other nations.
Mr. Trump’s threats of trade wars with China, Mexico and Japan may please economic nationalists, but such brinksmanship could well provoke another global recession. American interests must come first, but the trade-offs are inevitably complex. Republican and Democratic Presidents since the 1930s have concluded that trade is a net benefit to the economy. They’ve also defended the Pax Americana that arose after the Soviet collapse, which both Messrs. Trump and Obama hold in contempt. There’s more continuity between their beliefs than either man would care to admit. ...
Read the full WSJ op-ed HERE and follow links below to other reactions:

Trump's 'America first' speech alarms U.S. allies

Donald Trump's foreign policy speech earns praise in Russia

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