Muftic: America First puts American security last
May 6, 2016
Donald Trump brought forth a serious foreign policy statement that he thinks would make America great again by isolationism, removing it from the leadership of the free world, abandoning or undermining mutual defense alliances, scotching future interventions, and advocating a protectionist trade policy. His new slogan is" America First'. But if you read the fine print, it would put America's security dangerously last in his priority to consolidate his base that believes he speaks the truth, but does not consider the consequences.
'America First' is not new. The 1930's were marked by the oratory of admirers of Nazi Germany, like aviator Charles Lindbergh. His organization, " America First", opposed getting involved in Europe as Germany prepared to invade England.
Trump proposes strengthening the military, which was also part of the 1930's America First concept that if we are strong at home, we would not be attacked. It was wrong then, but it is a mismatch of tactics to current threats. ISIS' foreign strategy is terrorism carried out by a few with car bombs, pressure cookers, and AK 47's, fueled by religious fanaticism impervious to bombs and drones. Opposing intervention in foreign conflicts while beefing up the military makes the military threat empty.
Trump's speech failed to tell us how he would defeat ISIS and its franchises. Would it mean massive ground troops he would call something other than an intervention? .Fifteen years later we are still dealing with the aftermath of shock and awe in Iraq and the birth of ISIS.. His reason for being mum? Keep the enemy and American voters guessing. The danger is needless blunders and miscalculations by enemies
Our strategy of having Muslim allies fight the war against ISIS for us has been damaged by his ant- Muslim rhetoric and his attempt to bully the Saudis. Or does he plan a deal leaving Syria to Russia? Would that deal also leave the Baltic states and the rest of the Ukraine to the sphere of influence of Russia, while at the same time weakening or destroying NATO? His fine print is on a blank page.
That it is the duty of the President to place American interests first is a given that needs no slogans attached, but it does require skill and use of many arrows in the quiver to be successful, an Obama strategy Trump calls weak. Trump believes "coherence" is the correct strategic approach: one size should fit all situations while keeping everyone guessing what the size is. Realty check. Sometimes it does take forging robust alliances of the willing, not reluctant alliances of the ticked off. Threatening participants with dire consequences can backfire in Dana
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Missing from his speech is his prior advocacy of over-turning anti-nuclear proliferation agreements which would unleash a nuclear arms race with no means to restrain others from acquiring and using them against us or their other enemies, a formula for a far more dangerous world than even the Cold War.
While the impact of trade agreements on jobs is a legitimate concern, the pain of globalization is now from old treaties and the economy has changed from the old assembly line to high tech. Re-education and job creation in infrastructure projects could be the balm the under and unemployed rust belters need now instead of starting a trade war.
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