Tensions have been brewing for long between the Washington foreign establishment and Donald Trump. It became apparent when Mike Rogers, a former U.S. congressman, decided to leave the transition team.
His sudden ouster from the team came four days after Vice President-elect Mike Pence was made the head of the transition team replacing New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. The apprehensions are that his foreign policy may result in a trade war with China, or may even push the U.S. into a real war-like scenario, and cause a deeper crisis in an already chaotic world.
The optimists, however, would like to believe that the sane elements among his advisors, Congress, and the bureaucracy would manage to infuse some sense of responsibility in Trump and force him to rethink his foreign policy.
Senator Rand Paul, the re-elected member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has made apparent his disapproval of U.N. ambassador John Bolton and former New York City mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani as nominees for secretary of state. Senator Paul’s justification for not willing to accept the two names, being circulated the most for the position, is simply because they are advocates of war.
According to the senator both Giuliani and Bolton support the idea of bombing Iran. He is reported to have said in an interview on Nov 15, “It’s important that someone who was an unrepentant advocate for the Iraq War, who didn’t learn the lessons of the Iraq War, shouldn’t be the secretary of state for a president who says Iraq was a big lesson.”
Some of Trump’s controversial policies with regards to foreign affairs are:
* He has said during his campaign that he would cut ties with security alliances which include NATO and defense treaties with Japan and Korea.
* He has, in a way, encouraged nuclear proliferation by saying that more countries should become nuclear capable rather than depend on America for help.
* He has shown his inclination towards Russia and open admiration for Vladimir Putin and suggested that the U.S. should join hands with him and his ally, President Bashar-al-Asad of Syria in their civil war.
* He has threatened to impose high tariffs on Chinese goods which could lead to a trade war with China, if not a real war.
* He has promised to build a wall on the Mexican border to protect the influx of illegal immigrants into the U.S and force Mexico to incur the costs.
* He has spoken about pulling out of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and termed the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) deal, “the single worst trade deal ever signed in this country.”
No one knows for sure which direction his foreign policy would take. The controversial statements on foreign policy may just have been campaign talk with no intent of implementation.
One will have to wait and see what transpires once President-elect Donald Trump takes the presidential oath on January 20, 2017. For now, we can keep on debating and speculating.