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Do campaign statements and tweets add up to a Trump foreign policy strategy?

Mark Dubowitz
10th January 2017 - Quoted by Karen DeYoung - The Washington Post

Amid the cacophony of campaign riffs and post-election tweets, two central themes have emerged as apparent pillars of Donald Trump’s foreign policy vision: ending Islamist terrorism, and constraining China.

In some ways, Trump is not so different from modern presidential predecessors whose early ambitions were focused on a few big ideas in response to the world as they saw it.

Ronald Reagan wanted to defeat the “evil empire” of Soviet communism, promote capitalist democracy and reinvigorate U.S. global dominance. Bill Clinton sought to reposition America for the age of globalization and maintain leadership of strong international alliances. Barack Obama promised to take America off a “perpetual war footing,” seek normal relations with old adversaries, and work with global partners on big issues, such as climate change.

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“I’m not of the view that Trump is operating by the seat of his pants without a kind of foreign policy vision,” said Mark Dubowitz, executive director of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Beyond counterterrorism, “a rising China is both a national security and economic threat. Trump’s perceived closeness or sort of unfathomable comments on Russia are actually part of a deliberate strategy,” Dubowitz said.

Trump “believes in a strategic approach with Russia, not on core interests but where our core interests are more closely aligned — where Russia would be a helpful partner in confronting radical Islam and constraining the rise of Chinese power,” Dubowitz said.

Still, he said, Trump is “going to operate under what we used to call the FUD principle — create fear, uncertainty and doubt. I’m calling the emerging Trump Doctrine the FUD Doctrine.”

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Tags

foreign-policy, trump