Saturday, June 22, 2019

Donald Trump's Foreign Policy...Until He Was Elected

In what seems like another lifetime, on April 27, 2016, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gave a speech to a friendly audience at the Center for the National Interest, outlining his foreign policy and how he would steer the United States through what was becoming an increasingly complex geopolitical reality.

Here are some key excerpts that are particularly interesting given the current situation with Iran:

"Unfortunately, after the Cold War, our foreign policy veered badly off course. We failed to develop a new vision for a new time. In fact, as time went on, our foreign policy began to make less and less sense.

Logic was replaced with foolishness and arrogance, and this led to one foreign policy disaster after another.

We went from mistakes in Iraq to Egypt to Libya, to President Obama’s line in the sand in Syria. Each of these actions have helped to throw the region into chaos, and gave ISIS the space it needs to grow and prosper.

It all began with the dangerous idea that we could make Western democracies out of countries that had no experience or interest in becoming a Western Democracy.

We tore up what institutions they had and then were surprised at what we unleashed. Civil war, religious fanaticism; thousands of American lives, and many trillions of dollars, were lost as a result. The vacuum was created that ISIS would fill. Iran, too, would rush in and fill the void, much to their unjust enrichment."

Here is his summary of America's foreign policy:

"Our foreign policy is a complete and total disaster.  No vision, no purpose, no direction, no strategy."

Lastly, here is what he had to say about America's Middle East foreign policy:

"We have made the Middle East more unstable and chaotic than ever before."

Here is the speech in its entirety:

With the current on-again/off-again threats of military action against Iran (and North Korea for that matter), I would suggest that little has changed when it comes to America's foreign policy being a "complete and total disaster".  Rather than listening to John Bolton who never saw a war that he didn't like as long as he didn't have to attend and Mike Pompeo who loves to threaten any nation that doesn't subscribe to his narrative, Donald Trump may just listen to the voices of American voters who voted for him because he took a stand against the war-mongering foreign policies of past administrations.  Eliminating Iran's leadership is going to create yet another series of unintended and painful consequences, making the Middle East "more unstable and chaotic than ever before".


  1. I judge a man by his deeds. Talk is cheap and words aplenty...

  2. Ican't find a way to directly contact you, so I'll leave it here in the comment section: it is impossible to add comments to your blog site when behind a VPN [Opera]

    In Firefox, the captcha section is mostly wrecked and cumbersome to navigate. It takes [in my case] sometimes several tries before I succeed.

    The 'preview' option screws up sometimes as well.

    This is not a plea to let your guard down, but to let you know you might miss out on more comments.

    Hope this helps.


    1. In Firefox, the captcha section is mostly wrecked and cumbersome to navigate. It takes [in my case] sometimes several tries before I succeed.

      I was just in a vicious battle with a captcha section on another blog and finally gave up in disgust. I had not considered it might be my browser (Firefox). Time to swith to another browser for some things.

      Thanks for the hint

    2. I apologize. I do not require that commenters complete a captcha to comment on my blog. That is just one of the downsides of having a blog that is hosted by Google.

  3. Trump sounded like he had a decent grasp of US foreign policy issues and problems before the election. I see why, 6 or 8 months after the election Putin said of course they preferred him over (Cold War Warrier) Clinton.

    What went so horribly wrong?

    1. $175 million US buy-out of Trump by Sheldon Adelson is what made everything go sideways. Trump has jump to every Adelson command since he was elected.

    2. Three words - Pence, Pompeo and Bolton.

  4. @ APJ,

    No need to apologize. You're just trying to do your best and provide the wider world with a critical look at events as they unfold [past and present]. That part's always sincerely appreciated.

  5. I was wrong about the amount of the Trump/Republican buy-out. The amount is closer to $260 million US.