Trump’s foreign policy agenda

October 18th, 2019 by Ken

President Donald Trump has announced his foreign policy agenda.  Bring the troops home. The president pointed out, that many of the trouble spots around the world have been trouble spots for centuries.  “We are not the world’s policeman,” he said.

The United States has military stationed in dozens of countries around the world, most  are remnants  of World War Two and the Cold War.  These “policemen” cost the United States billions of dollars every year.  Trump, ever the businessman, looks at the bottom line and says – we don’t need to spend this money.  Let other countries contribute and we’ll back off of our commitments.

Our country has gone through periods of Isolationism before.  No foreign entanglements has often been the watchword.   And, most Americans supported keeping out of Europe and the world’s affairs.  Before the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, the majority of Americans favored remaining neutral in World War Two.

America assumed its role as the world’s policeman after that war, when we were the only country in the world, not significantly touched by conflict on its soil.  We were the dominate power, with the exception of the Soviet Union.  The burden was thrust upon us to protect the rest of the world from the evils of totalitarianism   and we took it as a crusade.

We fought hot wars – Korea and Vietnam; and we fought hundreds of smaller wars in many forms, often with others doing the fighting and us providing the money and logistical support.

With the decline of the Soviet Union, the call came to withdraw from some of our policing charges.  Then came 9-11 and the War on Terror – and the rise of China as a challenge to our world dominance.

We’ve been fighting the war of terror for 18 years.  We have, for the most part, avoided another 9-11, but we haven’t stopped the religious overtones of additional conflicts.

The Turks and the Kurds have been at war with each other for more than a century.   The Hindus and Muslims have been fighting for longer than that in India.  Religious extermination  has reared its head in Myanmar, China and all across the African continent.

Trumps call for retrenchment and “America First” has a nice ring to it.

But, history has shown us, that isolationism is often seen as weakness.  And, those who wish to dominate, see weakness as an opportunity.

President Trump has been successful in his efforts to bring attention to the problem of stolen intellectual property and has gone to a trade war with the guilty parties.

As a businessman, he sees the world in terms of dollars, and the wars he wages are fought in the  worldwide economic battlefield.   He doesn’t seem to understand the need for human policemen to protect that economic battlefield.

Trump is right.  We can’t go on fighting the war on terror the way we are currently fighting it.  But, he’s wrong.  We can’t just pull out from of Cold War commitments, without something to take its place.

That’s where the discussion needs to head.  How do we fight religious intolerance, economic blackmail. civil wars and terrorism in the 21st Century.

If he hasn’t done anything else, President Trump has forced us to face the reality of America’s place in the new world order.

Posted in The Real News

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