Monday, January 16, 2017


Donald Trump's foreign policy goal is not glorious isolationism, but a fusion of business tactics led by America First. Like trade agreements, treaties with allies will be subject to renegotiation. Trump questions the entire post Cold War geopolitical paradigm, which is thereby up for review

UPDATE: Last night as the President Elect's interview with the German newspaper Bild and Brexiteer Michael Gove of TheTimes of London was published, sheer panic broke out in the ranks of foreign policy watchers. Most aren't used to Trump's type of blunt negotiating skills. They are in for a rough ride. The Times interview requires simple registration for complete access. Gove:
I was invited to see the president-elect, along with my colleague Kai Diekmann, from the German newspaper Bild, because Mr Trump wanted to chat about Britain, Brexit, Europe and the world. The Trump team knew that Kai was close to German chancellors, from Kohl to Merkel, and was aware of my role as a campaigner for Brexit. We chatted, on and off the record, for an hour in his corner office in Trump Tower, surrounded by mementoes of his past successes, commercial and political. (More
Here are the main points:
  • Trump congratulates Britain for Brexit
  • And is keen on a quick trade deal with the UK 
  • Trump thinks Angela Merkel made a “catastrophic mistake” in tearing up EU immigration laws to welcome Syrian refugees
  • And he places Merkel in the same bracket of mistrust as Vladimir Putin
  • And partly as a result, he thinks the UK won’t be the last country to leave the EU
  • He says Nato is “very important to me” but wants its members to cough up
  • And about the ex-MI6 spy who compiled the Moscow dossier: “That guy is somebody that you should look at, because whatever he made up about me it was false (More)

In the interview with Bild the question was asked if it it is better for the US to deal with a strong EU or with separate member states bilaterally. Trump's answer was that he did not think it makes any difference. He never thought that it would. The purpose of the EU was to beat the US in trade, so it doesn't make much difference to me. Of which a journalist made: Trump doesn't care if the EU collapses or not. 


Apr. 27, 2016


April 27, 2016 Donald J. Trump Speaks on Foreign Policy for the Center of National Interest. (Starts at 27:50)

Donald J. Trump accepted an invitation from The National Interest Magazine, and its parent institution, The Center for the National Interest, to address the organization at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C. Full text on Donald Trump website (source).

April 9, 2016


Feb 20, 2016 Donald Trump explains his foreign policy ideas to Sean Hannity. 

Looks like the GOP doesn't want to admit it, or give credit where credit is due.

But on Wednesday, his fellow Republicans joined the chorus during a closed-door meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Capitol Hill, according to sources inside the room. For under an hour, senators grilled Stoltenberg, a former prime minister of Norway, about why only five members of the 28-nation club spend at least 2 percent of their gross domestic product on defense, the official amount NATO recommends each nation set aside. Some expressed particular dissatisfaction with Germany, the fourth largest economy in the world, which does not meet the 2 percent threshold. (...) Last year, the U.S. accounted for more than 72 percent of NATO members’ total defense expenditures, spending about $649.9 billion. The other 27 NATO members combined to spend less than 28 percent, or about $251 billion, of the total. (...) Trump has spent much of his campaign deriding NATO allies for “ripping off” the American taxpayer and failing to contribute to the world’s most powerful military alliance. 

Mar 31, 2016


An article by Peter Navarro on National Interest (source) explains the Trump foreign policy further.The main points are
Those who insist Donald Trump has no foreign policy are simply not listening. The “Trump Doctrine” is a page right out of Ronald Reagan’s playbook: peace through economic and military strength. Trump knows the key to keeping America safe in an increasingly dangerous world is to “make America great again” through economic renewal. America must have the fiscal firepower to end Pentagon’s budget sequestration in order to fund the military the U.S. needs for adequate defense. Cutting the corporate tax rate and cracking down on unfair trade practices to increase America’s GDP growth rate are just as demonstrative of national might as the F-35. Here is how President Trump would use a newly empowered economy and military confront our rivals abroad.


The best way to kill ISIS is to cut off its own financial head in two ways: first, target any oil fields that it may be using as a cash register and “follow the money” through the Internet and expropriate it. 


President Trump will abrogate that deal the day he takes office. As commander in chief, he will exert both economic and military pressure on Saudi Arabia, our quasi-enemy that has pledged to destroy Israel and dreams of ruling a new Middle Eastern caliphate.


Trump appears to regards this democratic state as America’s most important ally in the Middle East. But Trump, along with most Americans, disagrees with hardliners who insist there can be no deal brokered between Israel and the Palestinians. A deal is possible, but you cannot have peace unless you are willing to negotiate. 


(Trump and Putin are both strong leaders who respect each other.) This is a far better and safer situation for America than a status quo Russia policy that leads from behind and inspires far more contempt from Putin than respect. 


China’s Rising Phoenix Trump will no longer tolerate a mercantilist China having its way with America’s factories and jobs. He will firmly crack down on unfair trade practices like illegal export subsidies, currency manipulation, and intellectual property theft and bring American jobs and factories home. That’s not just good trade policy—it’s good foreign policy, too. (More on China)


Trump is tired of the U.S. having to pay the lion’s share of the bill to protect wealthier nations unwilling to spend the requisite funds to defend their own homelands. Trump will demand a better deal for American taxpayers.

FP Advisors

Trump has assiduously avoided surrounding himself with a large circle of advisors. He has done so because he has “off the record” access to a broad distributed network of experts around the world—as well as an inner circle that stays out of the limelight.

Nation Building (part of Just War Theory)

From his own detailed foreign policy research over many years—required due diligence to conduct business globally—Trump has developed a strong aversion to the kind of “nation building” that dragged America into wasted and protracted wars in God-forsaken killing fields like Iraq and Afghanistan. 

Mar 29, 2016


Mar 22, 2016 Full, unedited interview of Donald Trump with The Washington Post editorial board. 

Donald Trump outlined an unabashedly non-interventionist approach to world affairs, telling The Washington Post's editorial board that he questions the need for NATO, which has been the backbone of Western security policies since the Cold War. Trump said he advocates a light footprint in the world. A changed world calls for new solutions.  Trump said:
I do think it’s a different world today, and I don’t think we should be nation-building anymore. I think it’s proven not to work, and we have a different country than we did then. I know the outer world exists and I’ll be very cognizant of that. 
Trump also listed members of a team chaired by Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) that is counseling him on foreign affairs and helping to shape his policies:
  • Keith Kellogg, executive vice president at CACI International.
  • Joseph E. Schmitz, inspector general at the Department of Defense.
  • George Papadopoulosm oil and energy consultant.
  • Walid Phares PhD, adviser to the House of Representatives, a counterterrorism expert.
  • Carter Page, managing partner of Global Energy Capital.

Keith Kellogg, a former Army lieutenant general, is an executive vice president at CACI International, a Virginia-based intelligence and information technology consulting firm with clients around the world. He has experience in national defense and homeland security issues and worked as chief operating officer for the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad following the invasion of Iraq. 

Joseph E. Schmitz served as Inspector General at the Defense Department during the early years of President George W. Bush’s administration and has worked for Blackwater Worldwide. In a brief phone call Monday, Schmitz confirmed that he is working for the Trump campaign and said that he has been involved for the past month. He said he frequently confers with Sam Clovis, one of Trump's top policy advisers, and that there has been a series of conference calls and briefings in recent weeks. 

George Papadopoulos directs an international energy center at the London Center of International Law Practice. He previously advised the presidential campaign of Ben Carson and worked as a research fellow at the Hudson Institute, a conservative think tank in Washington. 

Walid Phares has an academic background, teaching at the National Defense University and Daniel Morgan Academy in Washington, and has advised members of Congress and appeared as a television analyst discussing terrorism and the Middle East. 

Carter Page, a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and now the managing partner of Global Energy Capital, is a longtime energy industry executive who rose through the ranks at Merrill Lynch around the world before founding his current firm. He previously was a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, where he focused on the Caspian Sea region and the economic development in former Soviet states, according to his company biography and documents from his appearances at panels over the past decade. (More)

Eastern Europe

Trump questions the United States’ continued involvement in NATO and, on the subject of Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, said America’s allies are "not doing anything." "Ukraine is a country that affects us far less than it affects other countries in NATO, and yet we’re doing all of the lifting," Trump said. "Why is it that Germany’s not dealing with NATO on Ukraine? Why is it that other countries that are in the vicinity of Ukraine, why aren’t they dealing? Why are we always the one that’s leading, potentially the third world war with Russia."
Asked whether Russia will end up dominating Ukraine: “Well, unless there is somewhat of a resurgence from people that are around it. Or they would ask us for help. But they don’t ask us for help. They’re not even asking us for help. They’re literally not even talking about it, and these are the countries that border the Ukraine.” 


Trump said that U.S. involvement in NATO may need to be significantly diminished in the coming years, breaking with nearly seven decades of consensus in Washington. "We certainly can’t afford to do this anymore," Trump said adding, "NATO is costing us a fortune, and yes, we’re protecting Europe with NATO, but we’re spending a lot of money."
On his recent comments questioning the effectiveness of NATO and its ability to combat terrorism: “I’ll tell you the problems I have with NATO. No. 1, we pay far too much. Because it really helps them more so than the United States, and we pay a disproportionate share. (...) So NATO is something that at the time was excellent. Today, it has to be changed. It has to be changed to include terror. It has to be changed from the standpoint of cost because the United States bears far too much of the cost of NATO.” 


Trump questioned the value of massive military investments in Asia and wondered aloud whether the United States still was capable of being an effective peacekeeping force there. “South Korea is very rich, great industrial country, and yet we’re not reimbursed fairly for what we do," Trump said. "We’re constantly sending our ships, sending our planes, doing our war games — we’re reimbursed a fraction of what this is all costing." Trump cast China as a leading economic and geopolitical rival and said the United States should toughen its trade alliances to better compete.
On whether to allow Japan and South Korea to build their own nuclear arsenal: “It’s a position that at some point is something that we have to talk about, and if the United States keeps on its path, its current path of weakness, they’re going to want to have that anyway with or without me discussing it, because I don’t think they feel very secure in what’s going on with our country.”
On whether he would withdraw United States forces from Japan and South Korea if those countries do not increase their payments to cover the costs of those troops: “Yes, I would. I would not do so happily, but I would be willing to do it... We cannot afford to be losing vast amounts of billions of dollars on all of this... 


"China has got unbelievable ambitions," Trump said. "China feels very invincible. We have rebuilt China. They have drained so much money out of our country that they’ve rebuilt China. Without us, you wouldn’t see the airports and the roadways and the bridges.
On how he would combat China’s assertiveness over islands in the South China Sea: “We have great economic — and people don’t understand this — but we have tremendous economic power over China. ... And that’s the power of trade. Because they use us as their bank, as their piggy bank, they take — but they don’t have to pay us back. It’s better than a bank because they take money out but then they don’t have to pay us back.”