Friday, May 27, 2016

Zack Beauchamp — The Donald Trump dove myth: why he’s actually a bigger hawk than Hillary Clinton


Donald Trump as colonialist.
In fact, Trump is an ardent militarist, who has been proposing actual colonial wars of conquest for years.…
In the past five years, Trump has consistently pushed one big foreign policy idea: America should steal other countries' oil.…
To be clear: Trump's plan is to use American ground troops to forcibly seize the most valuable resource in two different sovereign countries [Iraq and Libya]. The word for that is colonialism.
Yeah, he actually said this — repeatedly. Although I would not say that this makes him a bigger hawk than HRC. The Donald is not a neocon — as far as we can tell now anyway. He has suggested he would back off confronting Russia.

But he has also said things involving torture that go way beyond HRC, so while Trump is not a neocon bent on US global hegemony, at least from what he has said publicly, he is no dove either.

This post provides a lot of background. Beauchamp sees Trump as a Jacksonian* rather than a neocon (Wilsonian).

Vox
The Donald Trump dove myth: why he’s actually a bigger hawk than Hillary Clinton
Zack Beauchamp

The four traditional schools of US foreign policy by Walter Russell Mead
Longtime readers will know that I divide American foreign policy into four schools of thought. Hamiltonians (well represented among the old Republican foreign policy establishment) want the United States to follow the trail blazed by Great Britain in its day: to build a global commercial and security system based on sea power and technological leadership, maintaining a balance of power in key geopolitical theaters and seeking to attract rivals or potential rivals like China into our system as, in Robert Zoellick’s phrase, “responsible stakeholders.” Wilsonians also want the United States to build a world order, but to anchor it in liberal human rights practices and international law rather than in the economic and security frameworks that Hamiltonians prefer. Those two globalist schools dominate the foreign policy establishment’s thought about the world we live in, and have done so since the 1940s.
There are two other schools that are home-focused rather than globalist. They are less interested in changing the world around the United States than in keeping the United States safe from the world. Jeffersonians have historically sought to avoid war and foreign entanglements at all costs; Jacksonians have been suspicious of foreign adventures, but strongly believe in national defense and support a strong military and want decisive action against any threat to the United States, its honor, or its treaty allies.Jeffersonians are generally opposed to almost any war other than a war of self defense following a direct enemy attack; Jacksonians aren’t interested in global transformation but will generally back robust American responses to anything they see as a security threat or a threat to America’s honor and reputation abroad.

11 comments:

Random said...

Tom, we have discussion on Mike's force course on reddit mmt:

https://www.reddit.com/r/mmt_economics/comments/4l9v87/question_re_investing_with_mmt/

Bob said...

There was an article posted here a few weeks ago that described Trumps foreign policy as 'realist'.

Tom Hickey said...

In terms of the four traditions mentioned, neocons are Wilsonians (idealist) and Trump is Jacksonian (realist). Wilsoniamism is the only idealist tradition that is also globalist.

Hamiltonism is the other globalist tradition. It is the source of contemporary realist American foreign policy, especially since the US inherited the remnant of the British empire and built out its own empire post WWII, based on neoliberalism, neo-imperialsim, and neocolonialism, which involves control of trade and therefore control of the sea and now air and space.

Jeffersonians and Jacksonians are isolationists that wish to avoid foreign entanglements in so far as practicable.

Ron Paul and some of the Tea Party tend to be Jeffersonian, hence realist. Little to no saber rattling there. Just "Don't tread on me."

Trump is more Jacksonian, also realist. Don't go looking for it, but if someone else is, give all you got. This is the overwhelming force doctrine of Colin Powell.

MRW said...

I don’t think Trump is a full-on Jacksonian. I thin he’s half-and-half. Half Jeffersonian and half Jacksonian.

Bob said...

Is this not an improvement then? Realism versus neo-conservative insanity.

Tom Hickey said...

I don’t think Trump is a full-on Jacksonian. I thin he’s half-and-half. Half Jeffersonian and half Jacksonian.

Why do you think that, if I may ask?

Tom Hickey said...

Is this not an improvement then? Realism versus neo-conservative insanity.

An improvement yes. But I regard Trump as an unknown quantity and a loose cannon.

MRW said...

Does anyone know when Trump became a Republican? He was a Democrat for years when I was in NYC. He was on Don Imus’s morning show for years in the early Aughts--at least once a week--railing against Bush.

MRW said...

As far as I remember, he got his contrarian label burnished because he was bucking Bush and the war when everyone was enamored with taking out Saddam, and Friedman was writing his ridiculous columns in support of it. You were considered unpatriotic to criticize Bush...remember the Dixie Chicks? Or Bill Maher in 2001 right after 9/11.

The Rombach Report said...


I was beginning to warm up to Trump on what appeared to be his non-interventionist foreign policy, which ironically seemed to be rather close to Ron & Rand Paul. Then I became aware of how he flip flopped on intervention in Libya. Believe in and trust Donald Trump at your own risk.

http://www.f169bbs.com/bbs/news/269061-donald-trump-on-video-supporting-intervention-in-libya

Tom Hickey said...

This is an issue with Trump that quite a few pundits have pointed out. He is the chameleon candidate. Moreover, he often puts forward incompatible views in the same speech. This was particularly the case in his foreign policy speech, which was criticized as something for everyone since it covered all important POVs in the political spectrum.

So far Trump has pretty gotten away with it without incurring major flak. according to Scott Adams. this is owing to his superior skills as "master persuader."

So no one really knows just what Trump's bottom lines are, which are negotiating positions, and which are just campaign rhetoric.