Donald Trump’s Foreign Policy Speech: Unsurprisingly Short on Real Proposals

Donald Trump recently gave a speech concerning the direction his administration would take on foreign policy – it was not well received. Trump’s speech smacked of isolationism among other things.

After The Donald praised our past accomplishments as a country, he went on to praise former President Reagan in his handling of Mr. Gorbachev. According to Donald Trump, American foreign policy took a wrong turn after the Cold War – continuing to make poor choices one after the other. This much I can agree with.

Trump said this on U.S. foreign policy:

“Our foreign policy is a complete and total disaster. No vision. No purpose. No direction. No strategy.”   (Full text of Trump speech can be read here)

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Throughout his speech, Trump ripped President Obama for his handling of foreign policy, as well as Hillary Clinton, and I agree with him on this. At the same time Trump strongly implied only he has the answers, “I’m the only one — believe me, I know them all, I’m the only one who knows how to fix it.” Anyone running for president is going to say that they have the answers; Trump takes it a step further and says only he has the answers as if no one else has a clue what is happening on the world stage.

The Donald specifically targeted Obama and Biden for their anti-Israel rhetoric – is this not the pot calling the kettle black? Back in February, during a Republican debate, Trump said that the U.S. “would not side with Israel in its conflict with the Palestinians”, saying as well that to take Israel’s side would “demean” the Palestinian people. Now Trump calls Israel “our great Friend.” Either Israel is a close ally we will support and defend or they are not, you cannot have it both ways Mr. Trump.

America FirstIn his speech Trump said that our NATO allies must be made to pay their fair share (two percent of GDP on defense), as most are not. This was and is a good idea. What was not so good is the threat that America must be willing to stop defending those countries that do not pay up. Trump states that the U.S. must dump nation-building and instead focus on a more stable world stage. How is the U.S. supposed to effect greater world stability if and when the U.S. would stop defending our own allies? Not to mention doing so could have adverse affects on our own national security. Trump’s inexperience shows here loud and clear.

America First

America first was a slogan popularized by isolationists in support of the U.S. staying out of World War Two back in the 1930’s. Imagine if the U.S. had not gotten involved in World War Two – it’s possible Hitler could have won the war; where would the U.S. be today?

Trump wants to implement an isolationism type policy as the direction U.S. foreign policy must pursue. The U.S. must be involved in a global sense, as must any other country that is a power on the global stage. The time of keeping to ourselves as a nation – as George Washington wanted us to — is long gone.

The tone of Donald Trump’s speech suggests to our allies that the U.S. under Trump’s leadership may abandon them to their own devices. Under Obama the U.S. is seen as weak and indecisive; under Trump we would be seen as overly self-protective and even possibly as a country that will throw others to the wolves to suit our own needs. Trump’s isolationism already has allies alarmed at what direction Trump might lead this country in to the detriment of standing agreements with them – not to mention the future defense and well being of our allies.

Trump also promised there would be a quick end to ISIS – while at the same time proclaiming use of boots on the ground only as a last resort (in any situation). ISIS is not going to be wiped out without a coalition of countries committed to eradicating them from the face of the earth, including the use of ground troops.

Putting America first is a good thing – but there is a right way and a wrong way. Trump’s way is the wrong way; isolationism will never work – like it or not, most all countries are players in a global network. This is not to be confused with the New World Order which is evil incarnate, but for example, the economies of all countries are tied together. What affects one country has repercussions for many other countries.

Under Ronald Reagan the U.S. was strong, respected, if not always liked. The U.S. was a force for good, willing to help others etc., while at the same time, Reagan looked out for America.

America is not a business deal to be won through negotiation; America is a people, a nation – a nation in need of a leader, not a business manager.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by

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