Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Trump's Foreign Policy: An Unwise

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Trump's Foreign Policy: An Unwise

Article excerpt

THE presidential campaign, Donald Trump's foreign policy positions were anything but consistent. One day we heard that NATO was obsolete and the U.S. needs to pursue better relations with Russia. But the next time he spoke, these sensible positions were abandoned or an opposite position was taken. Trump's inconsistent rhetoric leftus wondering exactly what kind of foreign policy he would pursue if elected.

The president's inaugural speech was no different. On the one hand it was very encouraging when he said that under his administration the U.S. would "seek friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world," and that he understands the "right of all nations to put their own interests first." He sounded even better when he said that under Trump the U.S. would "not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but rather to let it shine as an example. We will shine for everyone to follow." That truly would be a first step toward peace and prosperity.

However, in the very next line he promised a worldwide war against not a country, but an ideology, when he said he would "unite the civilized world against radical Islamic terrorism, which we will eradicate from the face of the Earth." This inconsistent and dangerous hawkishess will not defeat "radical Islamic terrorism," but rather it will increase it. Terrorism is not a place, it is a tactic in reaction to invasion and occupation by outsiders, as Prof. Robert Pape explained in his important book, Dying to Win.

The neocons repeat the lie that ISIS was formed because the U.S. military pulled out of Iraq instead of continuing its occupation. But where was ISIS before the U.S. attack on Iraq? Nowhere. ISIS was a reaction to the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq. The same phenomenon has been repeated wherever U.S. interventionist actions have destabilized countries and societies. …

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