Defense advisers: Trump plans ‘peace through strength’ and a realistic foreign policy that will shore up alliances

by WorldTribune Staff, October 31, 2016

Donald Trump will rebuild the “degraded” United States military and put “American interests first” while restoring U.S. alliances, two of the top military advisers to the GOP candidate said.

“Trump’s views are that the United States should advance peace through strength,” Sen. Jeff Sessions, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, who has been widely mentioned as the leading candidate to become secretary of defense, told Defense News.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. /Reuters
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. /Reuters

“We should focus on core national interests that includes rebuilding our alliances, and new friends and a more realistic foreign policy that does not seek to achieve things that won’t work, and end up making things worse, and costing lives, and treasure. That is kind of a philosophy that I appreciate. I think we have attempted a lot of things at great cost that haven’t benefited us or the people we tried to help.”

A second Trump adviser, Rep. Randy Forbes, told Defense News that “with a President Trump, you’ll see him coming out literally within the first few days saying that we are going to have an international defense strategy that is driven by the Pentagon and not by the political National Security Council. That’s a clear game changer.

“Because if you look around the globe, over the last eight years, the National Security Council has been writing that. And find one country anywhere that we are better off than we were eight years [ago], you cannot find it,” Forbes, considered a possible contender for secretary of the navy, said.

Sessions went on to say that Trump’s first commitment militarily will be “the destruction of ISIL. He said he would have his military produce a plan within 30 days. It would involve military action, cyber, financial, ideological and diplomatic efforts to focus on the destruction of ISIL. Because ISIL represents a direct threat to the United States. They have announced that unequivocally, and have said they intend to attack us. They celebrate people who do attack us. They are an enemy that just has got to be confronted and defeated.”

Forbes noted that “the big difference between a President Trump and a President Clinton is that President Trump is going to return the direction on our capacity and capability so that president has more options. If you take Ms. Clinton at her word where she said she is going to basically continue what President Obama has done, then I ask you this – do we really want to continue in a situation where we have gone from, in 2007, meeting 90 percent of the needs our combatant commanders had for ships of the Navy, until this year where we will meet 42 percent of our needs? Do we really want the oldest and smallest Air Force in our country’s history, which is what we have had? Do we really want the Army carried down to the direction it is headed to 450,000 troops? And do we want the Marine Corps headed to where they’re going?”

Sessions added that U.S.-Russia relations have “deteriorated dramatically under this administration and during the time Hillary Clinton was secretary of state. This is a colossal disaster. Can it be turned around? I don’t know. But we need to attempt to. China is also asserting itself dramatically. The Japanese have been having to launch aircraft to intercept Chinese aircraft. They are very close to Japan on a regular basis at record levels. The major world powers also are causing great concern.”