foreign policy

Why the President’s Emphasis on America First Makes Sense

Doug Bandow, The American Spectator

Surveying the world demonstrates how relatively unimportant it is to America’s basic well-being. That is, a global superpower has interests everywhere, but few are important. Most are of minor consequence. Although confrontations, conflicts, and crises abound, they rarely are noticed in the U.S. The U.S. should remain the world’s most powerful nation, well able to defend itself against all comers. But Washington should abandon social engineering as its chief foreign policy principle. And stop subsidizing prosperous, populous allies.

The Establishment Goes Trump on China

Victor Davis Hanson, National Review

The establishment would like to fool itself that it came to its growing about-face on China thanks to a natural exhaustion of patience, or new data, or brilliant new exegeses. And that evolution may be in part true. But far more likely, Trump’s early and relentless hammering on Chinese mercantilism, systematic cheating, and illiberality finally made the old status quo unsustainable in the face of mounting evidence. The establishment is adopting Trump’s once-renegade stance toward China, and yet trying to immunize it from him all the same.

Trump the Diplomat-in-Chief

Betsy McCaughey, The American Spectator

Trump is by no means the first president to seize control of diplomacy in a personal way. In 1972, President Nixon shocked the establishment with a surprise visit to communist China, a dramatic first step toward opening diplomatic relations between the rival powers. And who can forget President Ronald Reagan’s personal dealings with Mikhail Gorbachev, which contributed to ending the Cold War. Face it, Trump’s personal diplomacy is controversial because he’s controversial. But look beyond his swagger and judge the results.

The Face of Imperial Overstretch

Patrick J. Buchanan, The American Conservative

Today, the U.S. maintains a policy of containment of Russia and China, which are more united than they have been since the first days of the Cold War. We are responsible for defending 28 NATO nations in Europe, twice as many as during the Cold War, plus Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, Australia and New Zealand. We have troops in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, and appear on the cusp of collisions with Venezuela and Iran. This is imperial overstretch. It is unsustainable.

Trump Should Call Congress’s Bluff on Our Endless Wars

W. James Antle III, The American Conservative

Trump should dare legislators to do their jobs and vote to authorize continuing these wars—or he will end them. Put the onus on the House and Senate to fulfill their constitutional duties. Up until now, Trump’s big fight with the establishment has been over immigration and the border wall. Amid his belated turn towards the more populist parts of his program, he should not forget to spend political capital on America’s wars as well. Trump now says Republican congressional leaders misled him on the wall. It has been even worse on foreign policy.

On Syria Donald Trump Finally Acts Like President Trump

Washington’s overall objective should be to bring peace to America, not micro-manage other nations’ conflicts. Washington policymakers come up with long lists of objectives which are not worth the cost, in this case essentially permanent war. Withdrawal from Syria is long overdue.

Forever Nipping at His Heels

George Neumayr, The American Spectator

Normally, liberals would cut a non-interventionist president some slack on a dubiously obtained Vietnam-era medical deferment. Not Trump. His withdrawal of troops from unwinnable conflicts and his overtures to enemies leave liberals decidedly unimpressed. Suddenly, they have turned hawkish — they now favor a perpetual presence in the Middle East — and forbid dialogue with dictators. Earlier this year they told us with great confidence that Trump’s irenic North Korean policy would empower Chairman Kim and loose him upon the world. Never mind that the North Korean crisis has disappeared from discussion for months. Where did it go?

Who Lost the World George H.W. Left Behind?

Patrick J. Buchanan, The American Conservative

The establishment won the great political battles before 2016. But how did the democracy crusaders, globalists, open borders progressives and interventionists do by their country in these decades? Did the former presidents who sat beside Trump at National Cathedral, and the establishment seated in the pews behind them, realize that it was their policies, their failures, that gave birth to the new America that rose up to throw them out, and put in Donald Trump?

Elizabeth Warren goes first on foreign policy and serves as a warning to the rest

Editors, Washington Examiner

In the face of the threats we face from states such as China, Iran, North Korea, and Russia, this is not a good moment to cut defense spending. Warren has at least put a foreign policy outlook on the table for others to pick over. For that, she deserves a lot of credit. But her foray into this topic should serve as a warning to other Democrats that they're going to have to do better, and that that might not be so easy to do if they intend to keep their left-wing base happy.

The Trump Doctrine

President Trump’s remarks at the UN were noteworthy, not so much for their radical departure from the interventionist policies of the two Bush presidents, and their rejection of the weakness and globalism of Obama, but for their return to the principles of George Washington.

Death of a Patriot

William Murchison, The American Spectator

There seems ample room to debate the wisdom of this American intervention or that one without discarding the overriding wisdom that projection of national strength warns the screwballs and America-haters to keep their distance. Because if they don’t, you know what? They’ll run eventually, and head-long, into the heirs of John McCain — lovers, like him, of freedom; imitators of his worthy example; telling foreign enemies, in McCain-like tones of defiance, just where they can get off.

America’s Growing Enemies List

Patrick J. Buchanan, The American Conservative

How many quarrels, conflicts and wars, and with how many adversaries, can even the mighty United States sustain? A list of America’s adversaries here would contain the Taliban, the Houthis of Yemen, Bashar Assad of Syria, Erdogan’s Turkey, Iran, North Korea, Russia and China—a pretty full plate. Are we prepared to see these confrontations through, to assure the capitulation of our adversaries? What do we do if they continue to defy us? And if it comes to a fight, how many allies will we have in the battles and wars that follow?

Trump’s foreign policy is actually boosting America’s standing

Michael Goodwin, New York Post

Numerous signs are popping up that the impact of Trump’s policies is far from the disastrous scenario the media predict. By wielding America’s power instead of apologizing for it, and by keeping his focus on jobs and national security, Trump is making progress in fixing the ruinous status quo he inherited. America First, it turns out, is more than a slogan. It is a road map to reshaping America’s relationship with friend and foe alike.

Trump Stays Defiant Amid a Foreign Policy Establishment Gone Mad

Patrick J. Buchanan, The American Conservative

This Helsinki hysteria is but a taste. By cheering Brexit, dissing the EU, suggesting NATO is obsolete, departing Syria, trying to get on with Putin, Trump is threatening the entire U.S. foreign policy establishment with what it fears most: irrelevance. For if there is no war on, no war imminent, and no war wanted, what does a War Party do?

Reciprocity Is the Method to Trump’s Madness

Victor Davis Hanson, National Review

Trump’s entire foreign policy can be summed up as a demand for symmetry from all partners and allies, and tit-for-tat replies to would-be enemies. Did Trump have to be so loud and often crude in his effort to bully America back to reciprocity? Who knows? But it seems impossible to imagine that globalist John McCain, internationalist Barack Obama, or gentlemanly Mitt Romney would ever have called Europe, NATO, Mexico, and Canada to account, or warned Iran or North Korea that tit would be met by tat.

Trump's diplomatic belligerence

Editors, Washington Examiner

Trump, when he talks about international relations, sometimes goes too far. But when he grumbles about allies “taking advantage” of us, he is not wrong. It is true that in NATO and other international institutions America is generally the boss, and it would be folly to demolish or abandon these institutions and this order. But that does not mean they are not in dire need of improvement or that it is not time to try methods of persuasion tougher than those deployed in the past. Trump is applying pressure to our allies to hold them accountable, to make the alliances work. Sometimes that involves being a bit brusque.

The Establishment Hearts China

Steven J. Allen, American Greatness

China is a totalitarian police state that tortures and jails dissidents and seeks to intimidate anyone who gets in its way. It’s killed more of its own people than any other government, ever. But many members of the American establishment see China as a partner, a role model, and the wave of the future. They believe that, instead of fighting the Communists, we should work with them and emulate them. The arguments against democracy by many of our opinion leaders and industrialists sound as if they were crafted by Chinese Communists? Great fools think alike, I suppose.

Burma Lurches Back Toward Ethnic and Religious Conflict

The Trump administration doesn’t appear to be paying attention, let alone seeking a solution, to the increasing conflict. For Burma much depends on the government ending its multi-front war on its own people. Unfortunately, the West has few good options concerning Burma.

Trump's New Foreign Policy: The Cooptation Doctrine

Roger L. Simon, PJ Media

The Cooptation Doctrine -- Sanction the hell out of the leader of a despotic Third World country, then go meet him and promise, if he mends his ways, to make his country rich and him even richer. Trump realizes instinctually what we all know from history. Ideology be damned -- being a communist dictator is all about making a fortune off the backs of "the people."  (Castro died a billionaire).  Of course, it helps that you place the despot's regime under those extreme sanctions before you offer him paradise and not let up with those sanctions until he relents and signs.

Trump Could Be One of America's Great Foreign Policy Presidents

David P. Goldman, PJ Media

Liberal media is aghast at the president's rough handling of Canadian boy-band frontman Justin Trudeau, and his confrontational approach overall at the Group of Seven summit. When the dust settles, though, Trump may accomplish what eluded Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama: a stabler and safer world without the need for millions of American boots on the ground. He well may go down in history as one of our great foreign policy presidents. It's not in the bag, but it is within sight.