A contradictory foreign policy

In his latest forays into US foreign policy, Donald Trump has shown he has vast ground to make up if he is to be credible as the Republican nominee to take on Hillary Clinton, given her experience as a former secretary of state. In a meeting with the Washington Post editorial board, Mr Trump outlined an unashamedly non-interventionist role for the US, reminiscent of its stance in the 1930s. While acknowledging the crises in the Middle East, Mr Trump advocated a light international footprint for Washington that would see the US turn inward and devote its resources to rebuilding domestic infrastructure. The latest terrorist attack in Brussels, however, shows why non-engagement is not an option for any US president.

In a scripted speech to a convention of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee — a rite of passage for all presidential candidates seeking the powerful Jewish vote — Mr Trump was more coherent. But the contradictions again were glaring. Not surprisingly, his previous statements that he intended to be “neutral” in the conflict between Israel and Palestinians caused consternation among American Jews. Now, however, he wants to proclaim himself the best friend Israel has ever had, going to extraordinary lengths to promise that he would “dismantle the (catastrophic) nuclear deal with Iran” as his first priority. He would also “totally dismantle Iran’s global terror network” and thwart its expansionism across the Middle East: “We’ve rewarded the world’s leading state sponsor of terror with $US150 billion (from the lifting of sanctions) and we received absolutely nothing in return.’’ Republican rival Ted Cruz also has pledged to tear up the Iran agreement on his first day in office.

Read full article in The Australian.