Editor: Trump’s foreign policy record trumps that of uni-party establishment

by WorldTribune Staff, August 24, 2020

Democrats, RINOs and Republican never-Trumpers want their foreign policy back.

And they believe they have found the vessel in Joe Biden to sail them back to “a Glorious Restoration,” a columnist noted.

‘For the foreign policy establishment, it’s hard to stomach that a dilettante’ like Trump has been so effective.

Several dozen national security officials from recent Republican administrations took out a full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal last week to pledge their support for the Democrat candidate.

“For these luminaries, many of whose golden credentials have been burnished by comfortable stints in consulting firms and think tanks, the past four years apparently have been a catastrophic break with the strategic progress” for which they believe they were responsible for in the post-Cold War era, Gerard Baker, editor-at-large for the Wall Street Journal, noted in an Aug. 24 analysis.

“For those of you with deficient memories, let’s review this strategic record of the two decades before President Trump took office: the ascent of Al Qaida and 9/11; the catastrophe of Iraq and the messy, bloody stalemate of Afghanistan; the collapse of U.S. authority in the Middle East in the face of civil war in Syria and Libya; the rise of Islamic State; a resurgent Russia gorging itself on Eastern Europe; and the inexorable, unchallenged rise to superpower status of China,” Baker noted.

For the foreign policy establishment, Baker continued, “it’s hard to stomach that a dilettante” like Trump has been so effective.

“Whatever you think of the president, his inconsistencies, his curious taste for the world’s autocrats and his bombast, his efforts have proved more consequential than those of the bipartisan foreign policy establishment that came before him. On the three biggest strategic challenges the U.S. confronts — the Middle East, China and the Western alliance — the president has radically reoriented U.S. policy.”

In the Middle East, Trump dispensed with all of his predecessors failures. “No enforced rapprochement for Israel with recalcitrant Palestinians, no American blood shed to build neoconservative sandcastles of democracy, no illusory engagement with the mullahs,” Baker wrote.

With China, those who came before Trump favored engagement with “the assumption that it would bring China into alignment with the global economic system,” Baker wrote. “Trump — to general lamentation in Washington — discarded that assumption. He demanded accountability from Beijing for abuses of the latitude past U.S. administrations had given it, and he inaugurated a period of toughened realism in challenging the Communist Party’s global ascent.”

In Europe, “Trump has again been savaged for his evident indifference to the supreme importance of transatlantic unity. The recent removal of U.S. forces from Germany has been condemned as a breach in the fabric of the alliance of liberal democracies,” Baker wrote. “But all U.S. presidents since Richard Nixon have complained that collective defense has for too long been one-sided.”

Baker added: “It’s too soon to assert with confidence that this Trumpian tripod of strategic innovation has irrevocably advanced America’s objectives. But at the very least it represents a sharp break from years of bipartisan failure.”

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