What will “the Donald” really do on Foreign Policy?

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Donald Trump speaking at an immigration policy speech in Phoenix, Arizona in August. Photo: Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository

If one wants to understand how President-elect Trump would conduct his foreign policy, they should read this article.

“That is why watching President-elect Trump’s choices for his foreign policy team is so important. If he chooses primarily alumni of the Bush administration, we can be fairly certain that there will be few, if any, beneficial changes in Washington’s security strategy. Indeed, it could conceivably be even more interventionist than that pursued by the Clinton, Bush or Obama administrations. The main difference might be that it would be conducted unilaterally rather than multilaterally, especially if someone like John Bolton gets a key position.

If on the other hand, Trump begins to pick advisers who have little or no previous government service, it would be an encouraging step. Watch for appointments from realist enclaves like Defense Priorities, the Independent Institute and others. Also watch for the appointment of individual unorthodox or “rogue” scholars from such places as Notre Dame University, George Mason University, the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas, and (ironically) the Bush School at Texas A&M University. Such moves would indicate that Trump was choosing new blood and really intending to make a meaningful change in the direction of U.S. foreign policy.”

That might explain why Trump made his recent comment about “the ultimate deal” for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict but, again, it is still too early. No one in their right-mind should have voted for this novice candidate but, unfortunately, he was. That is how the flawed American system works. While the former category was yours truly’s biggest fear during the campaign, let us hope he picks advisors from the latter.

Regardless of which advisors he picks, the United States is a country hurting at home and it is spending too much abroad. If Trump appointees come from the alumni of the Bush administration, it will only reinforce the disconnect between the political elite and the population (and the GOP will most probably lose its “supermajority”). If he picks advisors with no government experience (Defense Priorities, the Independent Institute, etc), a Trump presidency will expedite Obama’s policy of removing the United States from the international scene. Either way, the United States is in bad shape and it needs to fix its problems at home. If Trump does not address the economy, he will begin to lose that majority just like Obama did in his eight years in office and those same “angry voters” will continue to vote for whomever will listen to them and it will not go in Trump’s favour.

Whichever way Trump decides to go, it is seriously time to reconsider an alliance with the United States. While the previous blogpost showed that there is another country besides the United States that is willing to broker a two-state solution between the Israelis and the Palestinians, it can also be interpreted for the other countries around the world. There are other emerging countries like Russia and China that should seriously be considered as partners, not enemies on the international stage. It is time to let a new world order, one that addresses the challenges of 21st century, emerge with new partnerships because the old (post-World War II) structure we’re in is leading us in a direction that is confrontational and dangerous. If we don’t heed a new way, we will head in a path that will be, as “the Donald” loved to say on the campaign trail, a total disaster.

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