Donald Trump’s ‘America First’ Foreign Policy • Full Video
April 27th, 2016 • iizthatiiz
Presidential candidate Donald Trump outlined the foundation and tenets of his foreign policy in a major speech before the ‘Center For The National Interest’ in Washington D.C.
Donald Trump called for a new direction in American foreign policy, “one that replaces randomness with purpose, ideology with strategy, and chaos with peace.”
While a turn from eight years of Democrat policies is hardly a surprise, Trump’s speech was also a call for a foreign policy that shifts dramatically, in some ways radically, from decades of Republican mantras and doctrines.
“It’s time to shake the rust off America’s foreign policy”, Trump declared, promising that “‘America First’ will be the major and overriding theme of my administration.”
Characterizing recent American foreign policy as “a complete and total disaster”, with “no vision, no purpose, no direction”, and “no strategy”, Trump identified several weaknesses of American foreign policy.
Contending that a weak economy has led to an over-extension of American resources, Trump pointed to an Obama economy “crippled” by wasteful spending, massive debt, low growth, high trade deficits, and open borders that has weakened and depleted American military might.
Trump observed that many of our allies are “not paying their fair share” in the costs associated with maintaining their security. He pointed out that only four of the twenty-eight NATO countries are contributing the mandated two percent of their gross domestic product required under the NATO agreement. Trump emphasized that the allies we are defending, “must pay for the cost of this defense, and if not, the U.S. must be prepared to let these countries defend themselves.”
Citing diverse examples from Iran, China, Cuba, and even Denmark, Trump said that the Obama administrations foreign policy has led to America being, “laughed at all over the world”, adding that “the list of humiliations go on, and on, and on.” .. “If President Obama’s goal had been to weaken America, he could not have done a better job.”
Tying Hillary Clinton to a string of Obama administration foreign policy failures, he said that the Obama-Clinton interventions in the Mideast have led to “weakness, confusion, and disarray. A mess.” Trump called out Hillary Clinton for blaming the assault on the diplomatic compound in Benghazi on a YouTube video, “An excuse that was a total lie.” He accused Clinton of misleading the nation, indicating that he intends to hold Clinton accountable for Benghazi in the upcoming general election.
Upon documenting many of the failures of recent American foreign policy, Trump switched gears, saying “This will all change when I become president”, and refocused the second half of his speech upon the new directions he intends to implement. “We’re going to finally have a coherent foreign policy based upon American interests, and the shared interests of our allies.” Trump declared that “we’re getting out of the nation-building business, and instead focus on creating stability in the world.”
Trump painted a picture of a foreign policy that will benefit, and be supported by, “Democrats, Republicans, Independents, everybody”, explaining that this type of approach is how “we will win our new future struggles.”
His first major foreign policy goal will be to implement a “long-term plan to halt the spread and reach of radical Islam”, comparing it to the “long struggle” to win the Cold War. Trump invoked a mix of ingredients to achieve this, including “two-way” participation of mid-east allies, the possible use of military force, and an examination of “senseless immigration policies.”
Trump had a “simple message” for ISIS. “Their days are numbered.” He refused to reveal the exact methodology to achieve this end only saying it would happen quickly, criticizing the Obama administration for telegraphing American strategies to the enemy , saying, “We have to be unpredictable.”
His second goal would be to rebuild America’s military and economy, again implying that economic strength is directly tied to military strength. Trump lamented that the Chinese and Russians have “rapidly expanded” their capabilities, while American might has deteriorated. Labeling our nuclear deterrent “atrophied”, he called for the immediate “modernization and renewal” of America’s nuclear arsenal. He further pointed toward the drastic reductions in recent decades of the size of our Army, Navy, and Air Force and vowed to rebuild these military branches.
Stressing the importance of changes in American trade, immigration, and economic policies as vital to rebuilding American strength, and maintaining national security. Trump said that a nation cannot succeed if it’s business interests do not succeed.
Trump returned to the Middle East as a core issue of his foreign policy. He indirectly criticized President Obama and Hillary Clinton’s visions of an ‘Arab Spring’ that would usher democracy into the region, saying “Our goal must be to defeat terrorists and promote regional stability, not radical change. We need to be clear sighted about the groups that will never be anything other than enemies.”
Regarding Russia, Trump said that “we are not bound to be adversaries”, and that we should “seek common ground based on shared interests.” Acknowledging the critics who believe that cooperation is not possible, Trump said that he “intends to find out”, but only from a “position of strength.”
Trump specifically addressed the trade deficit with China, saying that “China respects strength, and by letting them take advantage of us economically .. we have lost all of their respect.”
He issued a very strong warning to China, unlike anything the Chinese have heard from an American leader since the rapprochement of relations in the early seventies. Trump flatly stated that this trade imbalance must be resolved quickly, or he would be willing to radically alter Sino-American relations, “We can both benefit, or we can both go our separate ways. If need be, that’s what’s going to have to happen.”
Trump called for a series of summits with both our NATO allies and our Asian allies, designed to take a “fresh look” toward solving “common challenges” such as migration and Islamic terrorism. He said America needs a “deliberate and consistent” foreign policy.
“With President Obama and Secretary Clinton, we’ve had the exact opposite. A reckless, rudderless, and aimless foreign policy. One that has blazed a path of destruction in it’s wake. After losing thousands of lives and spending trillions of dollars, we are in far worse shape in the Middle East than ever, ever, ever before. I challenge anyone to explain the strategic foreign policy vision of Obama-Clinton. It has been a complete and total disaster.”
Trump said his intention is “to establish a foreign policy that will endure for several generations.” To achieve this new direction and these fundamental shifts in policy, Trump made it clear that he would not be “surrounding” himself with those who implemented failed policies in prior Democrat and Republican administrations. They may have “perfect resumes, but very little to brag about”, Trump said. “We have to look to new people” he said, “because many of the old people frankly don’t know what they’re doing, even though they may look awfully good writing in the New York Times or being watched on television.”
Returning to his ‘American First’ theme, Trump said rhetorically that “many Americans must wonder why our politicians seem more interested in defending the borders of foreign countries than in defending their own. Americans must know that we are putting the American people first again. On trade, on immigration, on foreign policy, the jobs, income, and security of the American worker will always be my first priority.”
Trump separated himself further from decades of Republican dogma regarding free trade saying, “We will no longer surrender this country or its people to the false song of globalism. The nation-state remains the true foundation for happiness and harmony. I am skeptical of international unions that tie us up and bring America down. Under my administration we will never enter America into any agreement that reduces our ability to control our own affairs.”
After such a statement, does anyone still wonder why the big money interests and corporate donors invested so heavily, so adamantly, and for so long in their efforts to derail Trump’s campaign?