In a single term, President Donald Trump has achieved more on foreign policy than his predecessors of the last 30 years. Diplomatic engagement with North Korea, a Kosovo-Serbia economic normalization agreement, and planned troop withdrawal from Afghanistan by Christmas. Add to that the defeat of ISIS and a path to peace in the Middle East. Trump’s record is embarrassing for career politicians who have routinely championed costly, needless, and perpetual military interventions to defeat whatever enemy the military-industrial-complex claims needs to be vanquished.
Amid the fallout from Mr. Trump’s upset victory in 2016, an alliance between neoconservatives and the left was formed. Both sides came together on the principle of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” Indeed, now that a reality T.V. star has shown what amateurs can do with diplomacy, the Trump administration has exposed the mendacious and malignant intent of the Swamp establishment, and that has perturbed the crowd promising these forever wars.
Obama Lectures Trump
Former President Barack Obama appeared on Pod Save America, a podcast hosted by two former aides, Jon Favreau and Tommy Vietor. Trump’s predecessor spent a portion of the interview lamenting the current president’s foreign policy, arguing that it lacks the “patience” and “focus” to make substantial changes. He asserted that Trump “systematically tried to decimate our entire foreign policy infrastructure” with erratic decision-making.
Of course, all this is coming from a Nobel Peace Prize winner who continued and exacerbated neoconservative orthodoxy on foreign policy. He expanded drone warfare, killed American citizens without due process, and created the migrant crisis by invading and destroying Libya.
Before receiving the keys to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Obama talked a good game on the 2008 campaign trail. Now, contrast this with Trump. The president has certainly been less than eloquent on a diverse array of subjects, but he possesses a laundry list of oft-ignored accomplishments. And this is something the mainstream media does not want most Americans to know because it would lead to the obvious question: If Trump, who is ostensibly a combination of Literally Hitler™ and The Three Stooges, succeeded in this area, how did his predecessors fail?
A Letter Grade
His own record of failure aside, is Obama’s assessment of Trump’s foreign policy accurate? Hardly.
While some of Trump’s actions have perturbed the recently revived anti-war right, the president has been better than most people had ever expected. If he had to be given a letter grade up to this point, it would probably be a B, an upgrade from the last few decades’ F grades. The Democrats, neocon Republicans, the establishment press, and Swamp creatures within the military-industrial complex will repeatedly allude to some vague notion of how Trump has damaged America’s reputation on the international stage by abandoning and insulting allies. But, as the famous line in Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado goes: “Your notions, though many, are not worth a penny.”
The most important feat of this administration is that Trump did not initiate any new wars. It might be low hanging fruit, but previous commanders in chief have been enthusiastic about launching fresh conflicts and shipping young men and women off to far-flung warzones. President Trump may have tweeted absurd and dangerous threats, but as is par for the course for him, actions have been what mattered. So far, he has not placed U.S. military boots in Venezuela, North Korea, Iran, or China. That fact should earn a salute.
The Founding Fathers had repeatedly expressed a desire for a non-interventionist foreign policy, staying out of entangling alliances and refraining from searching for dragons to slay. For the last century, presidents have abandoned this philosophy, embracing everything from the Truman Doctrine to the Bush Doctrine.
Liberty Nation’s Washington Political Columnist Tim Donner recently asked a pertinent question: “Has Donald Trump forever changed politics?” For the sake of American lives – and dollars – the nation should hope so.
Peace Wins Elections?
This century’s election results have proven that when a presidential candidate advances a humbler foreign policy proposal, he or she has had an immediate advantage. It was a winning strategy for Bush in 2000, Obama in 2008, and Trump in 2016. Will it help a second time for the 45th president? American voters have had enough of eternal regime change wars that leave behind death, destruction, and despair. The left used to believe in this anti-war concept until Trump began to espouse this language. In previous years, the loud, anti-war left would have tarred and feathered the likes of Max Boot, Ralph Peters, David Frum, and other cheerleaders for conflict. Since they can never be on the same side as Trump, though, leftists now cozy up to these neocons. Perhaps it puts a different spin on Donner’s question: Has Trump forever altered, in a Freaky Friday way, the Republicans and Democrats’ positions on war and foreign policy?
Read more from Andrew Moran.