Tag Archives: US foreign policy

Inconsistencies in Trump's national security policies

Source: Independent Institute
by Ivan Eland

"The recent North Korean missile tests raise questions about contradictions in President Donald Trump's national security policies. During his campaign Trump implied that the United States should fight fewer wars overseas and demanded that U.S. dependents, Japan and South Korea, do more for their own defense, perhaps even getting nuclear weapons. Yet a recent article written by David Sanger, a national security reporter for the New York Times, noted that Trump had tweeted that North Korean acquisition of a long-range missile 'won't happen' and that his administration was considering preemptive military strikes on North Korea's nuclear and missile programs or reintroducing U.S. tactical (short-range) nuclear missiles into South Korea, which were removed twenty-five years ago. So which is it — demanding U.S. allies do more or ramping up America's efforts to make them even more reliant on American power? And this is not the only Trump policy contradiction." (03/24/17)


Is Trump another Obama on foreign policy?

Source: Antiwar.com
by Lucy Steigerwald

"The shiny, new, politics-free status of Donald Trump made him a Rorschach test for hopes and fears on foreign policy. And Trump's propensity for taking all sides of each issue made him even harder to pin down. Here we are more than six weeks into his tenure as president, and the first reports of his plans and his decisions are coming in, and are being mused over by supposed experts. … he appears to be something less dramatic than either his ardent supporters or his most fearful haters suggested. In fact, Trump may be a lot like Obama in terms of foreign policy, but with more delegation to the Pentagon, and even more use of Special Forces." (03/24/17)


Trump's wars

Source: Cato Institute
by Emma Ashford

"Trump's foreign policy approach during the campaign can be charitably described as incoherent. On the one hand, he openly admitted that the Iraq war had been a mistake, and repeatedly criticized the money wasted on pointless Middle East conflicts. These ideas, unorthodox for a Republican candidate but popular with the general public, helped to win him votes. But on the other hand, candidate Trump often contradicted himself, calling for the use of overwhelming force in the fight against the Islamic State group, and promising a massive increase in U.S. military spending. The candidate's militaristic worldview frequently came through in his off-the-cuff remarks, most memorably when he told a rally of supporters, 'I love war, in a certain way.' Sadly, since his inauguration, Trump has pursued the second of these two approaches." (03/22/17)


It's time to end America's longest war

Source: Garrison Center
by Thomas L Knapp

"If the Korean War was a person, it would be old enough to collect Social Security benefits. It began on June 25, 1950 …. Coming up on 67 years later, it continues. The two Korean regimes still consider themselves at war, the US government still keeps nearly 30,000 US troops deployed along the ironically named 'Demilitarized Zone' separating the two countries, and the situation remains as tense and sporadically violent as ever since 1953 when a temporary ceasefire was signed. Today, South Korea is twice as populous and 35 times as wealthy (in terms of Gross Domestic Product) as the North, boasting the 11th largest economy in the world (North Korea ranks 113th). In what universe does it make sense for American taxpayers to continue picking up a substantial portion of the check for South Korea's defense from its smaller, poorer, less industrially advanced neighbor?" (03/22/17)


Tillerson, China and the North Korea question

Source: Cato Institute
by Christine Guluzian

"Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's first visit to China came to a conclusion this weekend, having visited South Korea and Japan earlier in the week as part of his East Asia tour. As expected, policy options regarding North Korea were a top focus. Pyongyang's recent set of missile launches, including a more advanced ballistic missile which landed in the Sea of Japan, tested not only Washington's patience but also that of Beijing. Indeed, just hours prior to Tillerson's meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Sunday, North Korea's state media reported the testing of a new high-thrust rocket engine, overseen by Kim Jong-un himself who declared it 'a new birth' for the isolated country's rocket industry. So what is the likelihood of China supporting changes in U.S. policy toward North Korea?" (03/20/17)


The dangerous reality of an Iran war

Source: The American Conservative
by Sharmine Narwani

"After weeks of saber-rattling over Iran as the 'number one terrorist state' in the world, the Trump administration appears to have quietly dialed down the rhetoric a notch. Here in the Middle East, however, where every peep and creak out of Washington is scrutinized to death, interested parties haven't stopped speculating about a U.S. confrontation with Iran. Fifty days into his term, Trump's foreign-policy course remains an enigma. He swears 'all options' remain on the table with Iran — but do they?" (03/15/17)


Death in al Ghayil

Source: The Intercept
by Iona Craig

"On January 29, 5-year-old Sinan al Ameri was asleep with his mother, his aunt, and 12 other children in a one-room stone hut typical of poor rural villages in the highlands of Yemen. A little after 1 a.m., the women and children awoke to the sound of a gunfight erupting a few hundred feet away. Roughly 30 members of Navy SEAL Team 6 were storming the eastern hillside of the remote settlement. … His mother fell to the ground next to him, still clutching his baby brother in her arms. Sinan kept running. His mother's body was found in the early light of dawn, the front of her head split open. The baby was wounded but alive. Sinan's mother was one of at least six women killed in the raid, the first counterterrorism operation of the Trump administration, which also left 10 children under the age of 13 dead." (03/09/17)


Syria: US Marines arrive with artillery for Raqqa fight


Source: Military.com

"Marines attached to the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit quietly moved into Syria weeks ago to establish an artillery base, defense officials confirmed to Military.com on Wednesday. The move comes as American-backed forces intensify their assault on Raqqa, the Islamic State's capital city. … A defense official would not speak to the size of the detachment deployed to Syria, but said it included elements of multiple artillery batteries, as well as support personnel, including infantry Marines." (03/08/17)


Chinese regime threatens South Korean regime over deployment of US regime's missile defense system

Source: Korea JoonAng Daily [South Korea]

"As Korea speeds along with the deployment of the U.S.-led Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (Thaad) system by sealing a land deal with Lotte Group to acquire a golf course in Seongju County, North Gyeongsang, Beijing is threatening diplomatic, economic and possibly military retaliation. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said through a press briefing Tuesday that Beijing is 'firmly opposed to and strongly dissatisfied with the fact that' Seoul is working with Washington to accelerate the deployment process of a Thaad battery and 'ignoring China’s interests and concerns.' He added Beijing will 'resolutely take necessary actions to safeguard its own security interests,' without specifying what measures it will take." (03/01/17)


Believing that war has consequences

Source: Antiwar.com
by Lucy Steigerwald

"The only thing that can change America's mindset is Americans themselves. That never feels likely, no matter how war-tired or war-worried we are supposed to be. Indeed, perhaps the best possible solution to hope for is that we will be too distracted by mass deportation of immigrants, and a reinvigorated drug war to bother being pushed into a fresh conflict. Or Trump will just stick with child-killing Yemen raids, thereby keeping his wars at a low simmer. Anyone who has spent time arguing the case for peace has probably encountered the loop that develops: they hurt us, we hurt them, sure they hurt us, but how can we just … not respond? It's an uncomfortable question, with a somewhat unsatisfying answer: we have to stop sometime." (02/24/17)