A Trump Hypothetical Here's a Foreign Policy Speech the President Should Give

By Lind, William S. | The American Conservative, March-April 2018 | Go to article overview

A Trump Hypothetical Here's a Foreign Policy Speech the President Should Give


Lind, William S., The American Conservative


President Trump's speech to the American people was of historic importance. It announced a turning point in America's grand strategy, something that happens only seldom. The new grand strategy the president laid out reflects the world of today and tomorrow, finally leaving behind the era of the Cold War. The president's speech was so important it is worth printing here in full:

My fellow American citizens, I am speaking to you tonight from the Oval Office not as the leader of one party but as the representative of all Americans. Foreign policy should be above all party considerations, as it was for many years under such great presidents as Harry Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and Ronald Reagan. The change in our national strategy I am announcing this evening will, I hope and I trust, be received in the same nonpartisan fashion those great men exemplified.

For many years, the national strategy of this and every nation was based on competition with other countries. We allied with some countries, and we opposed some. Those relationships changed over time--Great Britain, once our enemy, became our firmest friend--but always our opponents and our allies were other countries.

But the world has changed. More and more frequently, this country and other countries find themselves competing with and sometimes going to war against organizations that employ violence but are not countries. Two such organizations are al Qaeda and ISIS. There are many more, and not all represent extremist Islam. To our south, some countries are now weaker than gangs like MS-13. That is one reason we are building a wall along our southern border.

Some people think these violent organizations need not be taken seriously. After all, our military has planes, tanks, aircraft carriers, even nuclear weapons, which these new enemies lack. But the 9/11 attacks on our soil warned us that there are other ways to fight. Terrorism is one. Mass immigration is another, including when immigrants come as "refugees." If we do not take these new kinds of threats and dangers seriously, we will not pass on to our children the safe, great America we have known.

We are not alone in facing this new challenge. That opens an important door, one I am determined to go through. It opens the door to alliances with most, maybe all, other nations, alliances against this new threat all countries now face.

The most important country with which we need such an alliance is Russia. Russia has the second most powerful military in the world. Russia has helped us defeat ISIS in Syria. Like the United States, Russia has suffered from terrorism on its own soil.

President Putin has repeatedly offered to work closely with the United States against terrorism. Later this week, I will fly to Moscow where I will sign a new alliance with Russia. …

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