J.D. Hall
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The president-elect will, in all likelihood, have trouble pushing his domestic agenda. That's not new -- practically every president since Johnson have had problems with Congress following his lead. But when it comes to foreign policy, despite a few deviations, Congress has backed the president when it comes to international dealings, alliances, and treaties.

It will interesting in light of what Donald Trump said on the campaign trail to see how much he will follow his own words, whether or not they were just campaign rhetoric, and how much Congress will back him.

Consider his statements on Russia and NATO. For practically all my life, and 14 years before that, the US was firmly committed to stopping Russian/Soviet aggression in Western Europe. There were disagreements among the allies to be sure, but there was no question the US would be there if the Soviets crossed the border. And while the US and its allies negotiated with the Soviets over arms control and nuclear weapon reductions, there was little question the Soviet Union was the enemy of western liberal democracies in Europe.

Trump has called that into question. He has spoken favorably of Russian President Vladimir Putin, almost to the point of admiring him. Indirectly, he appears to have given tacit approval of Russia's takeover of Crimea and its claims to Ukraine. More interestingly, he has indicated that it may be time for the Europeans (it's now Eastern and Western Europe in the alliance) to look to their own fences, that the US may withdraw from an alliance that has lasted 71 years. Naturally, this has caused nervousness among Europeans, particularly the Baltic states and those who share or who are close to Russia's western border.

On the Middle East, he has condemned the policies of President Obama as weak, but what he has offered as an alternative seems to mirror what the US is already doing -- with the exception of the Islamic Republic of Iran. In this, he tends to hew to the line drawn by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyhu. Already he appears to be mulling slapping Iran with new sanctions and has called for the nuclear weapons agreement signed by the Islamic Republic and the six nations that negotiated the deal. He also advocated (briefly) the bombing of terrorists' families' homes and endorsed, ahem, enhanced interrogation techniques (torture) on suspected terrorists.

In Asia, Trump offhandedly said he believes our allies, Japan and South Korea, arm themselves with nuclear weapons, and again advocated a partial withdrawal of military assets from Asia's Pacific Coast. His repudiation of various trade agreements with the People's Republic of China and his animosity towards the PRC has been consistent and frequent.

In the Western Hemisphere, his suggestions on how to deal with illegal immigration (build a wall on the Mexican border, deport criminal illegal aliens) are well known, as well as his distaste for the North American Free Trade Act.

To sum up my opinion, Trump's intentions appear to be to reset America's relationship with the entire world, militarily and economically, changing course from more than half a century of established US policy.

This is incredibly dangerous and a massive misreading of America's relationship with the rest of the globe, encouraging our adversaries and discouraging our allies. Economically, it might lead to a global depression, certainly it would lead to trade wars.

I understand and agree that Trump and a very rightwing Congress might do significant damage at home. Stress on the word "might." His actions on the world stage, however, would be a disaster, not only for the US, but for our allies and many, many non-aligned states.

Your comments are welcome.
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In Time
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Many feel the things you listed are good.. especially the Iran deal and Netanyahu support. As far as Europe goes they have gone the direction many nationalist don't want to go (by becoming a European Union) and thus don't seem like a ally as much as a globalist agenda. It's not that they dislike or don't support any particular European country just that they don't want the U.N. or any type of globalization structure in place..

Some of the reasons seem logical and others fearful. One reason many dislike the UN is the Voting block is constructed unfairly/ unattractively

http://www.humanrightsvoices.org/EYEontheUN/un_101/facts/?p=...

You notice non-democracy countries get just as much power and can at times overwhelm the vote in the UN.. this is very unattractive to many
 
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Les Marshall
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Brexit and now the election of Trump show the power of a surging nationalism. Such forces in Europe may well be further emboldened and may place even more pressure on a weakening EU to disband. Absent common cause and nationalistic rule in one or more countries, Putin will have a freer hand to intrude on eastern European autonomy and have greater power to pressure Europe. Could easily see more resources diverted to national defense which would be a detriment to the economic productivity of all of our trading partners (though arms sales should have anise boost).

Of course, a more nationalistic Europe without strong economic ties might well dissipate US influence with the spheres of Russia and China actually gaining influence. The Middle East will continue to be a political football with even more players exerting influence and driving even more rationales for extremism.

When you have a president who understands profit/loss statements and very little else, such thoughts must be considered by those who surround him. If he isolates himself, as Bush did, and this time with Breitbart type people we could easily get 30's style isolationism which would be bad for both world trade and security.

It's hard to prognosticate until you see the cabinet.
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Wendell
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Alexandria (temporarily)
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Essentially the entire professional foreign policy cadre of the Republican Party (John Bolton a notable exception, but Bolton is a true idiot) refused to support Trump because they said he would be a danger to American interests and American national security. This includes people like Bush's deputy secretary of State, Rich Armitage, and Paul Wolfowitz and a bunch of neocons. Many of them (like Max Boot) urged a vote for Clinton.

Similarly, this year a group of former American ambassadors signed a letter making the same case.

Both of these actions have no precedent in American politics.

What do they know that we don't? They're just foreign policy experts. Shoot, I'm sure this guy with poor impulse control and his nose so far up Putin's ass that it's coming out of Putin's ears will be JUST FINE in protecting American interests.

Because ultimately, that's what we do with these alliances with the NATO countries and Japan/Korea and Australia and the rest. We do it to protect American interests. I don't think Trump understands that, and that's one of the many things about him as president that scares me. I was no fan of George W. Bush, but I wasn't AFRAID when he got selected, and I was pretty sure he wouldn't be a traitor.
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Wendell
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JustinT1 wrote:


You notice non-democracy countries get just as much power and can at times overwhelm the vote in the UN.. this is very unattractive to many


Not where it counts, in the Security Council. We can and do stop anything there that we don't like. The rest of it is just hot air.
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In Time
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wifwendell wrote:
JustinT1 wrote:


You notice non-democracy countries get just as much power and can at times overwhelm the vote in the UN.. this is very unattractive to many


Not where it counts, in the Security Council. We can and do stop anything there that we don't like. The rest of it is just hot air.
i hope your right
 
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Wendell
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JustinT1 wrote:
wifwendell wrote:
JustinT1 wrote:


You notice non-democracy countries get just as much power and can at times overwhelm the vote in the UN.. this is very unattractive to many


Not where it counts, in the Security Council. We can and do stop anything there that we don't like. The rest of it is just hot air.
i hope your right


I am. The UN can't do anything meaningful without full buy-in from the United States. Psst... we designed it that way.
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Moshe Callen
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Jerusalem
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With respect, it is not "the line hewn by Netanyahu". The entire Middle East things Obama has lost his mind and the US too for going along with it. The whole "Bibi must want war then!" shtick is and always has been absurd as is the pretense Bibi's speech in Congress started Obama acting like a petulant child. (Yeah, yeah "Europe was involved too"; please, the grown-ups are talking here.)

The US media has been parroting one of the stupid smear campaign it ever sold the American people. Supposedly the man who has done more for peaceful cooperation across the Middle East than anyone in the history of the State-- all through diplomacy-- is a warmonger while the guy sending attack drones everywhere isn't. Like most Israelis, I was against Bibi when he first took office (yeah, minority based coalitions will do that) but he's surprised all his critics.

The idea that Obama pushed that it's this horribly bad deal of literal war with no possible in-between is the kind of absurd ultimatum-based thinking that Obama should have left behind in the schoolyard. What the US needs to do in relation to Iran is start listening to all the Middle Eastern countries instead of dictating to them. Broker deals as an outside entity rather than trying to force them down people's throats.
 
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J.D. Hall
United States
Oklahoma
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Good points, whether I agree in part or whole. I certainly agree we need to get back to consensus building in that part of the world. I would like to see the US serve as an impartial mediator in the area, with the understanding we have, will, and always will back Israel. Unfortunately, I think we share a distrust of the Arab nations in the area (as well as the Persians and Turks) to actually reach sane agreements.

And thanks for being kind enough not to smack me for spelling Netanyahu incorrectly. Chalk up to my old age, you young pup of 31!
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