In what seems like another lifetime, on April 27, 2016, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gave a speech to a friendly audience at the Center for the National Interest, outlining his foreign policy and how he would steer the United States through what was becoming an increasingly complex geopolitical reality.
Here are some key excerpts that are particularly interesting given the current situation with Iran:
"Unfortunately, after the Cold War, our foreign policy veered badly off course. We failed to develop a new vision for a new time. In fact, as time went on, our foreign policy began to make less and less sense.
Logic was replaced with foolishness and arrogance, and this led to one foreign policy disaster after another.
We went from mistakes in Iraq to Egypt to Libya, to President Obama’s line in the sand in Syria. Each of these actions have helped to throw the region into chaos, and gave ISIS the space it needs to grow and prosper.
It all began with the dangerous idea that we could make Western democracies out of countries that had no experience or interest in becoming a Western Democracy.
We tore up what institutions they had and then were surprised at what we unleashed. Civil war, religious fanaticism; thousands of American lives, and many trillions of dollars, were lost as a result. The vacuum was created that ISIS would fill. Iran, too, would rush in and fill the void, much to their unjust enrichment."
Here is his summary of America's foreign policy:
"Our foreign policy is a complete and total disaster. No vision, no purpose, no direction, no strategy."
Lastly, here is what he had to say about America's Middle East foreign policy:
"We have made the Middle East more unstable and chaotic than ever before."
Here is the speech in its entirety:
With the current on-again/off-again threats of military action against Iran (and North Korea for that matter), I would suggest that little has changed when it comes to America's foreign policy being a "complete and total disaster". Rather than listening to John Bolton who never saw a war that he didn't like as long as he didn't have to attend and Mike Pompeo who loves to threaten any nation that doesn't subscribe to his narrative, Donald Trump may just listen to the voices of American voters who voted for him because he took a stand against the war-mongering foreign policies of past administrations. Eliminating Iran's leadership is going to create yet another series of unintended and painful consequences, making the Middle East "more unstable and chaotic than ever before".
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