One of the main strands of destructive criticism of Donald Trump’s newly launched presidency is that the President is volatile, inconsistent and rambling all over the place. Since the mainstream media are indeed the Opposition, as presidential strategist Stephen Bannon has correctly if indiscreetly called out, The New York Times or The Washington Post are not concerned about the truth of such allegations when they insert them in front page coverage of most any word or action coming from the Trump White House.
However, the reality is great coherency in Donald Trump’s vision of both the domestic and foreign policies he has begun to implement, as well as clear understanding of how both fit together....
Conceptually this all makes great sense. It throws out entirely the wrongheaded ideological preoccupations with democracy promotion and regime change abroad that both Democratic and Republican administrations have pursued these past 25 years to the detriment of the homeland. Trump rejects the American Empire and is seeking to revive the American Republic. Hoorah, indeed....
In a word, the enactment of the foreign policy revolution that Donald Trump has invited will require the intellectual inputs from a great many thinkers who have been on the outs and who hold different viewpoints among themselves. Only such a free and public exchange of ideas can ensure high quality foreign….and domestic policies from what promises to be a much needed recalibration of national interest.Doctrow makes some good points with which I am in basic agreement.
It's not all good, however. President Trump's confrontational rhetoric directed toward China and Iran is misguided and his remarks about Iraq and taking the oil are inflammatory. Then president's position on torture is in violation of US law, and the insertion of US ground troops into Syria and the creation of a US-controlled safe space there is particularly stupid in that it constitutes an act of aggression against a sovereign nation, a war crime. Not a good way to begin your administration.
This strikes me as shooting from the hip. The president needs to take Gilbert Doctrow's advice and assemble a foreign policy team and group of advisers from the realist school and jettison the idealists, whether they be liberal interventionists, neocons, or war hawks intent on imposing "American values" on the world. Imposing liberalism is illiberal.
Une parole franche
Towards a New Foreign Policy that is Both Coherent and Informed
Gilbert Doctorow | European Coordinator of The American Committee for East West Accord Ltd.