Donald Trump Foreign relations and America’s role in the world

Trump is, articulating a coherent vision of international relations and America’s role in the world.

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David Sanger and Maggie Haberman capture it well here is a portion of their lengthy New York Times interview with Trump:

“In Mr. Trump’s worldview, the United States has become a diluted power, and the main mechanism by which he would re-establish its central role in the world is economic bargaining. He approached almost every current international conflict through the prism of a negotiation, even when he was imprecise about the strategic goals he sought.” The United States, Trump believes, has been “disrespected, mocked, and ripped off for many, many years by people that were smarter, shrewder, tougher. We were the big bully, but we were not smartly led. And we were … the big stupid bully, and we were systematically ripped off by everybody.”

Trump hasn’t the slightest objection to being perceived as a bully, but he doesn’t want to be ripped off. Thus, he says, he’d be willing to stop buying oil from the Saudis if they don’t get serious about fighting the Islamic State; limit China’s access to U.S. markets if Beijing continues its expansionist policies in the South China Sea; and discard America’s traditional alliance — from NATO to the Pacific — partners if they won’t pull their own weight.

To those who criticize his apparent contradictions, his vagueness about his ultimate strategic objectives, or his willingness to make public threats, he offers a simple

and Machiavellian response: “We need unpredictability.” To Trump, an effective negotiator plays his cards close to his chest: He doesn’t let anyone know his true bottom line, and he always preserves his ability to make a credible bluff. (Here it is, from the transcript of his conversation with the New York Times: “You know, if I win, I don’t want to be in a position where I’ve said I would or I wouldn’t [use force to resolve a particular dispute].… I wouldn’t want to say. I wouldn’t want them to know what my real thinking is.”)

Trump has little time for either neoconservatives or liberal interventionists; he thinks they allow their belief in American virtue to blind them to both America’s core interests and the limits of American power.

He has even less time for multilateralist diplomats: They’re too willing to compromise, trading away American interests in exchange for platitudes about friendship and cooperation.

And he has no time at all for those who consider long-standing U.S. alliances

sacrosanct. To Trump, U.S. alliances, like potential business partners in a real-estate transaction, should always be asked: “What have you done for me lately?”

In his inimitable way, Trump is offering a powerful challenge to many of the core assumptions of Washington’s bipartisan foreign-policy elite. And if mainstream Democrats and Republicans want to counter Trump’s appeal, they need to get serious about explaining why his vision of the world isn’t appropriate — and they need to do so without merely falling back on tired clichés.

The Tired clichés roll easily off the tongue:

U.S. alliances and partnerships are vital. NATO is a critical component of U.S. security.

Forward-deployed troops in Japan and South Korea are vital to assurance and deterrence.

We need to maintain good relations with Saudi Arabia. And so on. How do we know these things? Because in Washington, everyone who’s anyone knows these things.

But this is pure intellectual and ideological laziness.

Without more specificity, these truisms of the Washington foreign-policy elite are just pablum.

Why, exactly, does the United States need to keep troops in Japan, or Germany, or Kuwait? Would the sky really fall if the United States had fewer forward-deployed troops? What contingencies are we preparing for? Who and what are we deterring, and how do we know if it’s working?

Who are we trying to reassure? What are the financial and opportunity costs? Do the defense treaties and overseas bases that emerged after World War II still serve U.S. interests? Which interests? How?

Does a U.S. alliance with the Saudis truly offer more benefits than costs?

What bad things would happen if we shifted course, taking a less compromising stance toward “allies” who don’t offer much in return?

Questions like these are legitimate and important, and it’s reasonable for ordinary Americans to be dissatisfied by politicians and pundits who make no real effort to offer answers.

Trump’s vision of the world — and his conception of statecraft — it reflects a fairly coherent theory of international relations. It’s realist, transactional, and Machiavellian — and it demands a serious, thoughtful, and nondefensive response.

If those in the foreign-policy community can’t be bothered to offer one, a “TRUMP” sign on the White House may be better than we deserve.

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Hillary more of the same.jpg 2Tired clichés

 

 

 

 

 

Panetta’s Book Is A Contract Hit On Obama By Hillary

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By: Dick Morris And Eileen McGann on October 9, 2014

Leon Panetta, Bill Clinton’s former Chief of Staff who was appointed with Hillary’s blessing, has written a book with one clear motive: To bolster Hillary’s narrative that the failures of the foreign policy that she designed were simply not her fault. Everything was Obama’s fault, not Hillary’s and, of course, not Panetta’s.

In the former Secretary of State’s book Hard Choices, she criticized Obama’s lack of strategic vision saying “not doing stupid stuff” is not an overarching foreign policy organizing principle.

Now Panetta echoes this criticism in his own book, Worthy Fights, describing a president who “avoids the battle, complains and misses opportunities.” He accuses Obama of “coordinating negotiations” to allow our troops to stay in Iraq to guard against an ISIS resurgence without “really leading them.”

According to Panetta, the White House “seemed content to endorse an agreement if State and Defense could reach one” to keep our troops in Iraq, But, Panetta points out that without Obama’s personal involvement, it became impossible to convince Iraqi Prime Minister al-Maliki to reverse his position and agree to let a garrison of American troops remain. And Obama did not make the effort to persuade him.

Panetta amplifies the impact of the failure to leave troops there saying “To this day, I believe that a small U.S. troop presence in Iraq could have effectively advised the Iraqi military on how to deal with al Qaeda’s resurgence and the sectarian violence that has engulfed the country.”

He said Obama had “kind of lost his way” and famously noted that the president too often “relies on the logic of a law professor rather than the passion of a leader.”

Panetta’s comments come as Hillary wrestles with a central threat to her candidacy. She was Secretary of State for four years yet the foreign policy crafted then has proven to be an unprecedented failure. Everything that she worked on has blown up in our face. The Arab Spring has become a nightmare.

We are on the verge of signing a phony deal with Iran that will let them enrich uranium far into the future so they can make a bomb anytime they want.

The reset button with Russia is a joke and we have made zero progress on human rights or fair trade with China.

Hillary realizes that this is not a record on which to predicate a presidential campaign. So if the foreign policy she helped to craft is a fiasco, she has to blame someone else — the president.

Hillary more of the same

Panetta stepped into help frame the issue. A Clintonista above all, he legitimized Hillary’s efforts to distance herself from the president on foreign policy without having to attack him herself. Now the negative points for disloyalty will accrue to Panetta not to Hillary.

The former defense secretary underscores the extent to which Obama’s failure to act against Syria when it crossed the “red line” he had drawn against the use of chemical weapons. He said “It was damaging.” Obama “sent a mixed message, not only to the Syrians, but to the world. And that is something you do not want to establish in the world: an issue with regard to the credibility of the United States to stand by what we say we’re gonna do.”

As our involvement in Iraq and Syria escalates into a full blown war — as it must now that our airstrikes are failing to do the job — the blame game will grow with it. Panetta’s comments are an attempt to swat the blame away from Hillary Clinton.

He will get his reward. Just wait.

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Obama’s Radioactive Agenda

My work here is done

My work here is done

by Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) chairman of the House Armed Services Strategic Forces Subcommittee

In June, President Barack Obama traveled to Europe to announce significant changes to U.S. defense policies and planning. Before a small crowd of Berliners, the president attempted to give new momentum to his push for a world without nuclear weapons, saying, “peace and justice means pursuing the security of a world without nuclear weapons.”This is an oft-repeated theme for the president, who spun a similar tale in Prague in 2009—never mind the peace and security the world has enjoyed since nuclear weapons made war between the great powers of the world almost unthinkable.

Unfortunately for the American people and their allies, the president and his supporters in the Western disarmament crowd are pursuing policies that are at odds with the world as it is.

Such disconnects have been seen before in our history; President Ronald Reagan said in 1982 at the ceremony for the recommissioning of the USS New Jersey, “The Soviet Union has met us halfway on the zero option. They’ve agreed to zero on our part.” While the president and his allies in the disarmament movement have embraced the idea of disarmament, virtually every other power is racing in the opposite direction.

At the end of October, Russian President Vladimir Putin oversaw a massive exercise of Russia’s nuclear forces involving launches of multiple intercontinental ballistic missiles and simultaneous use of Russia’s missile defense systems—the very kind Russia objects to when the United States proposes to build them.

The exercise was followed up with Russian nuclear bombers dispatched to Nicaragua from Venezuela—perhaps the first time in history this has occurred, according to the Congressional Research Service.

To the east, the People’s Republic of China took the unusual step of announcing on state-run media using glossy color maps that, with the deployment of China’s first sea-based ballistic missiles and ballistic missile submarines, the country could hold at risk greater numbers of America’s citizens. These same maps have now been removed from Chinese websites, but the communist regime’s chilling message was certainly understood by America’s Pacific allies, if not its president.

Pakistan recently conducted a test of its new nuclear ballistic missile, the NASR. It’s clear that India and Pakistan are racing to build up nuclear forces in South Asia that will soon make one of these states the fifth-ranking nuclear power in the world, ahead of Britain.

Saudi Arabia is increasingly sending signals that its long-known investments in Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program may indeed be a down payment on such a capability for the kingdom. The Saudis worry that the lure of a deal with Iran—any deal, no matter how bad and unenforceable—may prove irresistible to President Obama. Saudi Arabia can’t be assured when France’s socialist president proves more reliable than America’s.

While one would hope Obama would recognize that he is alone in his quest for nuclear disarmament

, far more important is it that the president adopts policies to counter these rising threats.

First and most important, the president must stop holding the men and women of the U.S. military and the defense budget hostage to his insatiable demand for tax increases and domestic discretionary spending. The poorly managed reductions at the Pentagon are causing severe threats to our military’s readiness at a time when the world is clearly not getting any safer.

Second, the president must stop the devastating and arbitrary budget cuts he has imposed since 2009. When President Obama came into office, for example, one of his first courses of action was to slash the missile defense budget, from nearly $10 billion to such an extent that, in fiscal year 2014, if sequestration occurs, it will be close to $6 billion. In fiscal year 2010 alone, well before the Budget Control Act was passed, he cut the Missile Defense Agency’s budget by almost 20 percent. In total, the president has allowed cuts to our missile defenses of nearly 40 percent at a time when the ballistic missile threat to the United States is rapidly rising. That’s simply irresponsible.

Third, the president must take steps to ensure the United States is prepared to deal with a Chinese submarine-based deterrent. Upon deployment, China will have no experience with command-and-control of nuclear forces on submarines, with all of the unique and challenging problems they pose. This isn’t just a concern about the Mandarin-language version of “The Hunt for Red October”; it’s a worry that long possessed us during the Cold War.

. We must dust off our plans and capabilities to deal with this today—in this case with communist China.

During his confirmation hearings to become secretary of defense, Chuck Hagel said, “What has kept the peace since World War II has been America’s nuclear weapons.” This was a significant statement for a one-time supporter of the Global Zero fantasy. Perhaps he’s had the chance to tell the president why he changed his mind. If so, I hope the president was paying attention … after all, this is America’s security, and not a website.

Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) is chairman of the House Armed Services Strategic Forces Subcommittee.

My work here is done

Read more: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2013/11/nuclear-policies-endanger-us-100008.html#ixzz2l8pHgYjx

Obama Neglect’s US Taxpayers and sends Billions abroad

 

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In addition to the billions expected to be promised to Egypt and Tunisia, and the sanctions being placed on Syria, Obama has already announced hundreds of millions of dollars in assistance to Jordan. Jordan however is not a Middle East nation where an Arab Spring live resolution has taken places. This has many questioning the sincerity of the money being sent in support of pro-democracy Arab uprisings.???  (Hamas and the muskim brotherhood)

All in all, billions of US tax payer dollars are being poured into the Middle East and North African regions while at home American famalies and the elderly continue to suffer.
Across the United States most municipalities and states are slashing spending and curtailing budgeted programs. Social programs, welfare, unemployment benefits and the like. This, while more and more Americans find themselves without homes, unemployed and unable to afford food for the next day as prices for food up 57%,utilities and gas soar.
American taxpayer dollars are being used to finance the well-being of others while Americans are unable to cope with their own problems. Many feel Obama is neglecting domestic issues and the US economy by focusing too much on Arab revolutions – placing foreign policy above his own people.