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Sinn Fein

Trump Foreign Policy

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I saw a thread for Obama Foreign Policy, but I did not see a thread for Trump Foreign Policy :shrug:

 

I am not sure I really understand his policy, or its goals and objectives - outside of the slogan "America First".  I happened to be looking up the Mayflower speech, and it dawned on me, that might be his only foreign policy speech.

Here are the relevant excerpts:

Quote

In the Middle East our goals must be, and I mean must be, to defeat terrorists and promote regional stability, not radical change. 

 

I don't know what we are doing here - Jared has gone silent in recent months.  On the face of it - moving the embassy to Jerusalem does not seem to support this agenda.  We have been targeting ISIS to great effect, but I don't know that we are really promoting regional stability anywhere within the region.

 

Quote

 

We desire to live peacefully and in friendship with Russia and China. We have serious differences with these two nations, and must regard them with open eyes, but we are not bound to be adversaries. We should seek common ground based on shared interests.

Russia, for instance, has also seen the horror of Islamic terrorism. I believe an easing of tensions, and improved relations with Russia from a position of strength only is possible, absolutely possible. Common sense says this cycle, this horrible cycle of hostility must end and ideally will end soon. Good for both countries.

Some say the Russians won’t be reasonable. I intend to find out. If we can’t make a deal under my administration, a deal that’s great — not good, great — for America, but also good for Russia, then we will quickly walk from the table. It’s as simple as that. We’re going to find out.

 

Clearly, improving relations with Russia has been a cornerstone of the Trump campaign and presidency.  And, in theory - I agree with the goal, as an altruistic end.  But, as we will see, this flies in the face of America rewarding countries that do not share our western ideals.  We should have used our global standing to promote and enhance those ideals - rather than reward Russia for its misdeeds - election, Ukraine, Crimea, et al.  It is this policy - of rewarding Russia - that has called Trump's objectivity into play, imo.  Trump has failed to show how this policy fits with "America First" or what, if anything Russia can offer to the US.

 

Quote

 

Fixing our relations with China is another important step — and really toward creating an even more prosperous period of time. China respects strength and by letting them take advantage of us economically, which they are doing like never before, we have lost all of their respect.

We have a massive trade deficit with China, a deficit that we have to find a way quickly, and I mean quickly, to balance. A strong and smart America is an America that will find a better friend in China, better than we have right now. Look at what China is doing in the South China Sea. They’re not supposed to be doing it.

 

Two things to look at here - trade deficits - I have not seen any evidence that Trump is doing anything but exacerbating the trade balance.  (So far this year the deficit totals $152.2 billion, up 9.9 percent from the same period a year ago. As has been the case for decades, America's deficit with China is the largest imbalance with any country.)  Trump seems to think Trade wars are easy, and the right path to take here - time will tell, but the early returns do not look promising.

On the second issue - Trump notes China's buildup in the South China sea - as far as I know, the US has done nothing to slow down that expansion during Trump's tenure, and I have not heard of any plans or negotiations to rein in China's expansion.

 

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Our goal is peace and prosperity, not war and destruction. The best way to achieve those goals is through a disciplined, deliberate and consistent foreign policy. With President Obama and Secretary Clinton we’ve had the exact opposite — a reckless, rudderless and aimless foreign policy, one that has blazed the path of destruction in its wake.

 

The irony is thick with this one.

 

Quote

 

Finally, I will work with our allies to reinvigorate Western values and institutions. Instead of trying to spread universal values that not everybody shares or wants, we should understand that strengthening and promoting Western civilization and its accomplishments will do more to inspire positive reforms around the world than military interventions.

 

I think we can all agree, that Trump has failed in his goal of working with our allies to reinvigorate Western values and institutions.  If anything, Trump has done the opposite.

 

 

 

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Just now, Sinn Fein said:

I think we can all agree, that Trump has failed in his goal of working with our allies to reinvigorate Western values and institutions.  If anything, Trump has done the opposite.

He's the worst President on foreign policy since at least 1931 by a long shot. Possibly the worst ever. Antagonizing allies, and embracing dictators. Solid work there guy.

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21 hours ago, Sinn Fein said:

This feels like trolling - and not serious discussion - and certainly could have been included in any number of existing Trump threads.

If I start a Trump related thread you call it trolling and say it could have been included in any number of existing threads. That may be true (the latter, not the former). However, arguably a thread about Trump Foreign Policy could also have been included in any number of existing Trump threads.

I don't think starting a thread about a particular newsworthy item (lead story on most newscasts except Fox and Giuliani top trending Twitter hashtag) or anything people want to seriously discuss is trolling (and there has been some serious discussion of issues raised in that thread)

I don't believe either thread is trolling and I have no problem with this thread, but I do find it amusing it was started less than 24 hours of your criticism of me.

Edited by squistion
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10 minutes ago, squistion said:

If I start a Trump related thread you call it trolling and say it could have been included in any number of existing threads. That may be true. However, arguably a thread about Trump Foreign Policy could also have been included in any number of existing Trump threads.

I don't think starting a thread about a particular newsworthy item (lead story on most newscasts except Fox and Giuliani top trending Twitter hashtag) or anything people want to seriously discuss is trolling (and there has been some serious discussion of issues raised in that thread)

I don't believe either thread is trolling and I have no problem with this thread, but I do find it amusing it was started less than 24 hours of your criticism of me.

You are a very interesting and rare breed of duck, water does not roll off of your back.

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3 minutes ago, Ditkaless Wonders said:

You are a very interesting and rare breed of duck, water does not roll off of your back.

Quack!

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17 minutes ago, squistion said:
19 hours ago, Sinn Fein said:

 

If I start a Trump related thread you call it trolling

You start too many threads, way too many. Sinn Fein has a good idea for a thread and you come in caterwauling and trolling , as usual by the way. 

A wide variety of thread starters is welcomed in my book

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Yeah - this thread is ideally supposed to be a legitimate subject.  I agreed with some of Trump's goals, even though I question the execution of those goals.

The idea started as part part of a rabbit hole, where I was trying to better understand the relationship among  the Mayflower meetings, Mayflower speech, the Trump Tower meeting, and the cancelled speech that was to follow, and finally the GOP convention platform changes.  How did Russia fit into those plans - did that make sense?

 

And, I get that Trump's over-riding Foreign Policy is "America First" - from a political standpoint, I can understand the value, but from a diplomatic standpoint, I thought it would struggle - and evidence suggests that it has struggled to take foot with both ally and foe.

 

Going back to Trump though - I am somewhat struck by the tough talker, turning into the "do-nothing" president.  I expected that Trump would have been more assertive on the international stage.  That was part of the reason I wanted to see his policy goals, and how well his actions measured up to his goals.

Russia - On one hand, I agree that there is no reason why we have to be mortal enemies with Russia.  On the other hand, I struggle to understand what Russia brings to the table to entice us to be friendlier.  If Russia were to adopt more "Western" values, then I think it makes sense to provide economic benefits to support those changes - but friends without benefits = meh.

And, before we talk about a better relationship with Russia means a safer world - think about what that means.  Russia is not a direct threat to the US - Russia is a far greater threat to its neighbors.  And, Russia is effectively saying "Be nice to us, and we will be nice to our neighbors."  I prefer a different approach - "You be nice to your neighbors, and we will be nice to you."  I would also add, that Trump also touts an expanded military as part of his goals.  That seems to fly in the face of better relations with Russia and China - we don't need more military if there are fewer threats.  

Russian policy feels like it is being dictated by Russia - and that raises a lot of questions - even if you set aside and collusion.  How is this policy making "America First"?

 

China - reducing the trade deficit seems like a very worthwhile goal - I do not think we can sustain trade deficits over a long period, and China has the greatest deficit.  SO I think Trump is on the right path here - but again, I don't think he is executing very well.  Trump is attacking the demand side of the equation - while I think he should be focused on the supply side of the equation.  What can we be doing domestically, to create goods and services that the world wants to buy?  Instead of creating barriers to entry, which invite barriers to exit - we should put good old fashioned capitalism to work and figure out how to provide better/cheaper goods and services that the world is demanding.  that puts Americans back to work, and that bring foreign investments into the US.

 

Immigration fits into foreign policy, and i would say, Trump has made the most headway here - he is aggressively targeting non-white immigrants - and while I disagree with his policy, I think it is having the desired effect.  I would prefer that we acknowledge that immigration has been the backbone of this country for 200+ years.  Immigrants for generations have come here as unskilled laborers, and put down roots.  We don't need only the "best and brightest", we need a good mixture of everyone.

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Trump handles others like a businessman, not a diplomat.

Russia: while appearing to cozy up to Russia by not criticizing them (which never did any good anyway), he also replaced the missiles in Eastern Europe that Obama removed and struck a deal with the EU on LNG (which will take a while to completely fulfill as the EU has to build LNG terminals.

He did a carrot and stick approach with the EU calling them names while at the same time reaching a deal to sell them LNG and soybeans in return for not putting a tariff on autos (which would have devastated EU automobile industry). This will be his blueprint for winning the trade war - buy American and I won't destroy your industry.

The jury remains out on North Korea, but I can't fault him for trying to make a deal. He got further with them than anyone else has.

I don't like the guy, but I can't fault his foreign policy. It does put America first, which is what a President should do IMO.

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50 minutes ago, bueno said:

Trump handles others like a businessman, not a diplomat.

And this is a problem because America is not a corporation. 

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10 minutes ago, toshiba said:

And this is a problem because America is not a corporation. 

And, I am more concerned that he treats others like they are a sub-contractor who will be stiffed at some point.

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1 minute ago, Sinn Fein said:

And, I am more concerned that he treats others like they are a sub-contractor who will be stiffed at some point.

That comes with being the biggest economy and largest importer in the world. Basically he seems to be acting from a position of perceived strength rather than from one of perceived weakness and he doesn't care if we are loved or not.

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1 hour ago, bueno said:

struck a deal with the EU on LNG (which will take a while to completely fulfill as the EU has to build LNG terminals

This is untrue

ETA: As requested in the other thread, do the math, show the math.

Edited by msommer
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8 minutes ago, bueno said:

That comes with being the biggest economy and largest importer in the world. Basically he seems to be acting from a position of perceived strength rather than from one of perceived weakness and he doesn't care if we are loved or not.

It is not about being loved, but understanding that we NEED allies and we need to respect our agreements both past and present.  We need to maintain an understanding that our word matters and that we have an intelligent foreign policy that reflects the ideals of the United States.

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7 minutes ago, msommer said:

This is untrue

ETA: As requested in the other thread, do the math, show the math.

There is a deal in place. Not written down, but there is a deal.

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2 minutes ago, toshiba said:

It is not about being loved, but understanding that we NEED allies and we need to respect our agreements both past and present.  We need to maintain an understanding that our word matters and that we have an intelligent foreign policy that reflects the ideals of the United States.

Trump and many others would put it the other way. Our allies need us. That puts us in the position of strength rather than putting the allies there.

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Just now, bueno said:

Trump and many others would put it the other way. Our allies need us. That puts us in the position of strength rather than putting the allies there.

I agree they need us too.  But he is a complete idiot if he thinks we don't need them as well.

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Just now, toshiba said:

I agree they need us too.  But he is a complete idiot if he thinks we don't need them as well.

A very wise negotiator explained how to win a negotiation to me this way: "He who wants it least, wins." That's the strategy being adopted here.

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2 minutes ago, bueno said:

There is a deal in place. Not written down, but there is a deal.

Not only is there no deal in place, there is also no equipment in place to carry out the non-existing deal

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4 hours ago, msommer said:

Not only is there no deal in place, there is also no equipment in place to carry out the non-existing deal

You do realize that your opinion is in the minority right?

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6 hours ago, bueno said:

You do realize that your opinion is in the minority right?

Not really. there are more people in the EU than in the US

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Here's something new - 

 

Trump tells the State Department to withdraw $200 million in aid to the Palestinian Authority that was originally planned for programs in the West Bank and Gaza, a State Department official said

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Saudi Arabia, North Korea, Armenia, EU caving to his tariffs, United Kingdom, pulled out of the Iran Deal and the disastrous TPP plus  Nafta renegotiations almost omplete.

Good relations with both China and Russia.

America respected around the world again.

He is doing a darn good job.

 

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Imagine going to a football game. There’s a drunken loudmouth fan behind you, yelling at the team. He knows nothing about Xs and Os, but that doesn’t stop him from shouting his opinion. He wants them to be more aggressive. He calls for the bomb on every offensive play. He calls for a blitz on every defensive play. He always wants them to go for it on 4th Down. And he constantly yells for the QB on the bench to come in and replace the starter.  

Now imagine that guy was suddenly made head coach of the team. And there you have it. 

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3 minutes ago, timschochet said:

Imagine going to a football game. There’s a drunken loudmouth fan behind you, yelling at the team. He knows nothing about Xs and Os, but that doesn’t stop him from shouting his opinion. He wants them to be more aggressive. He calls for the bomb on every offensive play. He calls for a blitz on every defensive play. He always wants them to go for it on 4th Down. And he constantly yells for the QB on the bench to come in and replace the starter.  

Now imagine that guy was suddenly made head coach of the team. And there you have it. 

He’s also banging all the cheerleaders and paying them off with the concessions money.

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30 minutes ago, The General said:

He’s also banging all the cheerleaders and paying them off with the concessions money.

Jealous a bit.

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Just to follow up on a point that MT made in the silver linings thread, yes, we are thankful that Trump has not entered any wars. Thank goodness.

However on the whole this is how I see things:

  • NK is riskier. It has expanded its weapons program and continues testing.
  • Palestine and Jordan are at risk of exploding from the one state solution proposal, it could be radicalizing for the whole Arab world.
  • Iran is on Israel's border, and if no one has noticed Israel has on occasion bombed their positions.
  • Iran is again expanding its missile program and is free to exit the JPOA if it wants to legally.
  • Europe has increased nationalist forces and gains in elections.
  • The UK's democracy is fracturing.
  • Russian bombers and paramilitary advisers are in Venezuela.
  • China is increasingly aggressive and has moved towards Russia.
  • Nuclear technology has been shipped to KSA.
  • KSA/UAE, Qatar and Iran are at greater risk of conflict.
  • Yemen is a humanitarian disaster.
  • Increased populism in Mexico.
  • Russia is out of the INF.
  • Russian aggression in Ukraine is unabated and RU has turned the Sea of Azov into a private lake and is now moving to essentially bring in the two provinces as essentially old school soviet style republics. Same thing is happening in Transdniestra in Moldova though it is hardly noticed.
  • The SOD and NSA leadership is now Shanahan and Bolton, whereas at one point it was Mattis and McMaster.
  • US leadership is viewed as bullying, risky and using disconnected demands - like tying trade and military domestic policy concerns - together, which is a diplomatic no-no.

It's true, no new wars, but our risk is way, way up.

Edited by SaintsInDome2006
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On 8/20/2018 at 1:40 PM, bueno said:

Trump handles others like a businessman, not a diplomat.

Russia: while appearing to cozy up to Russia by not criticizing them (which never did any good anyway), he also replaced the missiles in Eastern Europe that Obama removed and struck a deal with the EU on LNG (which will take a while to completely fulfill as the EU has to build LNG terminals.

He did a carrot and stick approach with the EU calling them names while at the same time reaching a deal to sell them LNG and soybeans in return for not putting a tariff on autos (which would have devastated EU automobile industry). This will be his blueprint for winning the trade war - buy American and I won't destroy your industry.

The jury remains out on North Korea, but I can't fault him for trying to make a deal. He got further with them than anyone else has.

I don't like the guy, but I can't fault his foreign policy. It does put America first, which is what a President should do IMO.

Trump is a one-trick pony and tariffs are his thing and foreign leaders have figured this out.  If you can wait him out or concede something trivial he will cave on the tariffs.   

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