Yes, Warmongers, Trump Does Have a 'Coherent Foreign Policy': It's Called 'the National Interest'

  
Via:  heartland-american  •  4 months ago  •  7 comments

Yes, Warmongers, Trump Does Have a 'Coherent Foreign Policy': It's Called 'the National Interest'
However, there is one minor problem: it's clear to anyone with even half a brain that there most certainly is a theory shaping Trump's foreign policy. It's called "the national interest." There is no grand plan to remake the world in America's image, true, but that doesn't mean there's no "coherent intellectual framework" on which his foreign policy is based.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T


After it became known that President Trump had aborted a military response to Iran's downing of an American drone, neoconservatives, establishment conservatives,  and hawkish progressives (they apparently still exist) opened the attack on the 45th president. Earlier I wrote about the supposedly "conservative" criticism of Trump's decision. The main line of attack is that he is supposedly too soft on Iran.

There's another kind of criticism thrown at Trump nowadays, however. And that's this one:

https://twitter.com/warontherocks/status/1142361612579422208?s=11

According to this anti-Trumper, the president has no "coherent intellectual framework undergirding" his "approach to foreign policy." He's basically doing whatever he wants at the time. If he wants to attack a country today, but not tomorrow, that's what he'll do. He makes it up as he goes.

Trump's critics -- especially establishment hawks -- will undoubtedly love this criticism. After all, it proves once again that they are so much smarter than he is, and that he really isn't qualified for the job.

However, there is one minor problem: it's clear to anyone with even half a brain that there most certainly is a theory shaping Trump's foreign policy. It's called "the national interest." There is no grand plan to remake the world in America's image, true, but that doesn't mean there's no "coherent intellectual framework" on which his foreign policy is based.

When Trump negotiates trade agreements, he isn't interested in "moral questions" or "spreading the principles of the free market abroad." For him, it's all about one simple thing: what deal best serves the nation's interests? If he concludes that this goal is served by having no tariffs at all, he gets rid of them. And when he believes that it's best served by more and higher tariffs , that too is what he will do.

The same goes for military operations. The only question he asks himself is: Does it serve America's interests to attack, in this particular case, Iran? No? Then there will not be an attack. If the facts on the ground change, however, so that a military adventure does serve the nation's interests, he'll change his position on the war question.

To pretend that this approach is anti-intellectual is quite simply dishonest. After all, it's basically what the founding father of modern political theory argued for. I'm referring, of course, to Niccolò Machiavelli.

Trump's foreign policy is Machiavellian Realism (in the proper sense of the word, not the caricature created by moralists of later ages). That may not be very utopian or idealistic, but that doesn't make it any less intellectual.

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Heartland American
1  seeder  Heartland American    4 months ago

“When Trump negotiates trade agreements, he isn't interested in "moral questions" or "spreading the principles of the free market abroad." For him, it's all about one simple thing: what deal best serves the nation's interests? If he concludes that this goal is served by having no tariffs at all, he gets rid of them. And when he believes that it's best served by more and higher tariffs, that too is what he will do.

The same goes for military operations. The only question he asks himself is: Does it serve America's interests to attack, in this particular case, Iran? No? Then there will not be an attack. If the facts on the ground change, however, so that a military adventure does serve the nation's interests, he'll change his position on the war question.

To pretend that this approach is anti-intellectual is quite simply dishonest.”

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
2  Bob Nelson    4 months ago

I don't doubt that Trump believes he has a strategy... although ordering an air-strike and then canceling it...

The problem is that having a strategy based on erroneous ideas is... not a good way to run the planet :

President Trump believes we live in a zero-sum world in which one country’s gain is another’s loss. This is evident in his reaction to Mario Draghi’s comment this week that additional monetary stimulus will be needed if euro zone inflation doesn’t rise. Trump tweeted :
Mario Draghi just announced more stimulus could come, which immediately dropped the Euro against the Dollar, making it unfairly easier for them to compete against the USA. They have been getting away with this for years, along with China and others.
Adding that this is “very unfair to the United States!”

This, of course, is bollocks.
...
It is like me complaining that I lose money by my trading with Lidl. I don’t, of course. I merely exchange goods for money – which is exactly what US citizens are doing with China.
 
 
 
Ronin2
2.1  Ronin2  replied to  Bob Nelson @2    4 months ago

Obviously the left thinks basic economics doesn't apply when Trump is in charge?

https://www.investopedia.com/terms/s/weak-currency.asp

Pros and Cons of a Weak Currency

A weak currency may help a country’s exports gain market share when its goods are less expensive compared to goods priced in stronger currencies. The increase in sales may boost economic growth and jobs, while increasing profits for companies conducting business in foreign markets. For example, when purchasing American-made items becomes less expensive than buying from other countries, American exports tend to increase. In contrast, when the value of a dollar strengthens against other currencies, exporters face greater challenges selling American-made products overseas.

Currency strength or weakness can be self-correcting. Because more of a weak currency is needed when buying the same amount of goods priced in a stronger currency, inflation will climb as nations import goods from countries with stronger currencies. Eventually the currency discount may spur more exports and improve the domestic economy provided that there are not systematic issues weakening the currency.

In contrast, low economic growth may result in deflation and become a bigger risk for some countries. When consumers begin expecting regular price declines, they may postpone spending and businesses may delay investing. A self-perpetuating cycle of slowing economic activity begins and that will eventually impact the economic fundamentals supporting the stronger currency.

China keeps it's currency artificially low to increase their selling power. China exports far more than they import. This leads to a much stronger economy.

https://atlas.media.mit.edu/en/profile/country/chn/

https://wits.worldbank.org/CountryProfile/en/CHN

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/01/14/china-2018-full-year-december-trade-exports-imports-trade-balance.html

Europe is doing the same thing.

https://www.scmp.com/comment/insight-opinion/united-states/article/2151284/why-weaker-euro-means-trumps-trade-war-may-not

Yet, a day later, the ECB delivered a completely different message. While it anticipates ending its asset purchase programme at the end of this year, it also stated it expected key ECB interest rates to “remain at their present levels at least through the summer of 2019”. The ECB’s and the euro sold.

Looking ahead, investment research firm TS Lombard noted on Friday that the policy rate gap between the ECB and the Fed “is now 2.4 per cent” and, based on their expectations that the Fed will raise rates by 25 basis points every quarter, it is set to widen by a further 1 per cent in the next 12 months.

“The negative carry associated with [the euro] is becoming a drag on the currency,” TS Lombard’s Europe Team concluded.

If a weaker euro again becomes a market trend, it might also mean a lower value for that currency versus the yuan. The Chinese currency might then fall somewhat against the US dollar as a counterweight, in line with the basket of currencies framework of China’s current managed floating exchange rate system.

The net effect would be that the currency market would have delivered a stronger US dollar, which renders American exports more expensive, but imports into the US cheaper.

Of course the left is rooting for the US economy to slow, go into recession. Defeating Trump is all they care about.

 

 
 
 
Heartland American
2.1.1  seeder  Heartland American  replied to  Ronin2 @2.1    4 months ago

The bottom line.  Well said.  

 
 
 
Ronin2
2.2  Ronin2  replied to  Bob Nelson @2    4 months ago
I don't doubt that Trump believes he has a strategy... although ordering an air-strike and then canceling it...

Is a sign that Trump has more brains than the left thinks he does. Iran monitors the US media, and social media, closely. Pelosi and Schumer are in an all out panic. The leftist media is besides itself. Half of the US population is calling Trump deranged. Think Iran isn't nervous? Russia and China are busy with Syria. Iran has extended itself into Yemen, Iraq, and Syria. Now, Iran could do something exceedingly stupid (attacking US or NATO assets in the ME) and provoke the US into war; but it does not change the fact they will lose badly.

At worst we will end up with another Iraq/Afghanistan. At best another Libya. Hopefully Trump is smart enough to go with the Libya option. Pretty sure Iran has made enough enemies in the ME that the weakened state we will leave them in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey, etc will be able to make short work of them.

Oh, and Trump still has started 0 military conflicts despite the left's constant gloom, doom, and all out panic. Only wish our past presidents could say the same.

 
 
 
Tessylo
3  Tessylo    4 months ago

That's funny - the turd 'president' doesn't really have a coherent anything, much less foreign policy.  

The only interests the turd is worried about is his own.  

 
 
 
Ronin2
3.1  Ronin2  replied to  Tessylo @3    4 months ago
The only interests the turd is worried about is his own.  

Thankfully you are correct- Trump is only worried about his own interests. Military conflict is bad for his business. He has avoided started new engagements so far; which puts him far ahead of past presidents.

doesn't really have a coherent anything, much less foreign policy. 

You want incoherent foreign policies look no further than Bush Jr and Obama. The primary reasons we are stuck on stupid. 

 
 
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