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posted on 03 May 2016

America's Post-WWII Foreign Policy

Written by

Last Wednesday, April 27, 2016, Trump delivered a major speech on foreign policy (see video in the end). Overall, it was a very good speech, both in style and in substance! Who will be the biggest loser of Trump’s foreign policy in execution? The neo-cons (e.g. war-hawks) and the MIC (Military-Industrial Complex)!

Unfortunately, it was also a partisan speech carefully crafted for his Presidential campaign. For example, for the current chaos in the Mideast, Trump mentioned neither President George W. Bush nor his administration, but slapped the Obama-Clinton team and even President Bill Clinton! As a result, the speech was not only incomplete with some major contradictions (e.g. more spending on military vs. minimal interventionism), but also inevitably misleading, very unfortunately …

While complimenting Trump’s speech, I will take this opportunity to provide a high-level overview of America’s post-WWII foreign policy, in a non-partisan way with political correctness notwithstanding, since I am not soliciting your vote!

1. Overview

America's post-WWII foreign policy can be separated chronologically into four distinct periods:

  1. 1945 - 1991: The Cold War period, throughout which America's foreign policy was largely guided by the Truman Doctrine: defeating communism.
  2. 1991 - 2000: The post-Cold War period. Unfortunately, instead of pursuing world peace, America, the only superpower left on earth, aggressively expanded its global influence, both ideologically (i.e. democracy) and militarily (e.g. NATO), with disastrous results for decades to come!
  3. 2001 - 2008: The Bush II period, which was dominated by the 9/11 attack and the two subsequent wars (i.e. War in Afghanistan and the Iraq War).
  4. 2009 - 2016: The Obama period. President Obama has neither the knowledge nor the skills to handle the complex world he inherited, making a bad situation much worse!

Let me elaborate on each ...

2. 1945 - 1991: the Cold War period

Let me briefly highlight this period in three points:

  1. The Truman Doctrine.
  2. President Dwight Eisenhower.
  3. President Ronald Reagan.

2.1 Truman Doctrine

Here is an excerpt from Wikipedia - Truman Doctrine:

The Truman Doctrine was an American foreign policy created to counter Soviet geopolitical hegemony during the Cold War. It was first[1] announced to Congress by President Harry S. Truman on March 12, 1947 and further developed on July 12, 1948 when he pledged to contain Soviet threats to Greece and Turkey. American military force was usually not involved; instead Congress appropriated free gifts of financial aid to support the economies and the military of Greece and Turkey. More generally, the Truman doctrine implied American support for other nations threatened by Soviet communism. The Truman Doctrine became the foundation of American foreign policy, and led, in 1949, to the formation of NATO: a full-fledged military alliance that is in effect to this day. Historians often use Truman's speech to date the start of the Cold War.

2.2 President Dwight Eisenhower

President Dwight D. Eisenhower will forever be remembered for his farewell address, in which he explicitly warned us against the MIC.

2.3 President Ronald Reagan

President Ronald Reagan will prove, if not already has proven, to be the best American President after WWII. Unfortunately, the MIC grew amok on his watch. Very notably, he has been given too much credit for ending the Cold War. Two points:

  1. Mikhail Gorbachev: He will perhaps eventually be recognized as a traitor by Russian historians! President Reagan was lucky to deal with him! Had the Soviet leader been Vladimir Putin during Reagan’s presidency, the Cold War would, most likely, not have been drawn down as it was! For more, read: Mikhail Gorbachev vs. Deng Xiaoping.
  2. Communism: Democracy did not prevail over communism - Capitalism did! For more, read: Democracy Prevailed over Communism, Really?

3. 1991 - 2000: the post-Cold War period

This is primarily the Bill Clinton period. For a summary of Bill Clinton's Presidency, read: The Myth of The Bill Clinton Presidency. Here is an excerpt:

He failed to significantly adjust the U.S. foreign policy after the Cold War. As a result, America actually became a major source of instability around the world, especially in the Middle East (U.S. Middle East Policy: What's Wrong?). A strong case in point: The seeds for the 9/11 tragedy were sowed on President Clinton's watch. For example, likely due to his own transgressions, President Clinton actually refused Sudan's offer to turn Osama Bin Laden over to the U.S.! Ron Paul has got this one absolutely correct (read: Ron Paul on 9/11: Ask the right questions and face the truth)!

4. 2001 - 2008: the Bush II period

This period was dominated by the 9/11 attack and the two subsequent wars (i.e. War in Afghanistan and the Iraq War). It was a total disaster for America as well as for the world! I have already published extensively on it. Two examples:

  1. What's The Real Cost of The Iraq War?
  2. 9/11 Attack vs. Pearl Harbor Attack.

In short, our reaction to the 9/11 attack was much worse than the attack itself!

Trump's speech has very well covered this period, though without explicitly calling out President George W. Bush.

Bottom line: Bush II was a total disaster, even judged by his own party! Need proof? Consider these two simple facts:

  1. As the sitting President, he was a no-show at the 2008 GOP convention!
  2. As a former President, he was a no-show at the 2012 GOP convention!

He will again be a no-show at the forthcoming GOP convention, guaranteed! What is causing the distance between Bush II and his own party? He has been an absolute liability for the GOP!

5. 2009 - 2016: the Obama period

It is obvious President Obama has neither the knowledge nor the skills to handle the complex world he inherited! Because of that, he has made a bad situation much worse! I have also published extensively on it already. Two examples:

  1. Arab Spring, Four Years Later
  2. The Middle East without America?

Bottom line: both Iraq and Afghanistan are becoming, if they are not already, like Vietnam to America, in which America won [almost] every battle, but lost the war! President Obama has no plan and no end-game! He has been simply showboating, until the next administration takes over! Meanwhile, many more American soldiers will die in vain (Islamic State kills U.S. Navy DEAL in northern Iraq)!

6. Discussion

Simply put, America’s post-WWII foreign policy can be described in two words: “endless war”!

Because of that, America has been, by far, the most “terror county” in the world! Two facts:

  1. America is the only country that has had at least one war for every decade since 1946!
  2. Since 1946, more foreigners, civilian and military combined, have been killed by America than by any other country!

Worst of all for America, it has developed a culture of war at home, which will eventually destroy America from the inside out! For more, read: America: A Culture of War.

Now, let's focus on five main subjects:

  1. ISIS: It is the #1 problem in the world today, especially for the Mideast and Europe, with millions of refugees!
  2. Islam bashing: It is not only totally stupid, but also utterly dangerous!
  3. The MIC: Its out-of-control meddling and spending are the root cause of many problems!
  4. China bashing: It’s a game played by our politicians with little consequence.
  5. Russia bashing: The more we bash Russia, the more we push it toward China, resulting in a close China-Russia alliance that is highly undesirable for America!

6.1 ISIS

Let me be absolutely clear on this: Presidents Bush II and Obama created ISIS in the first place! Specifically,

  1. President Bush recklessly launched the Iraq War on March 20, 2003, at least partially for the sake of his own re-election in 2004, destroying the delicate balance in that region!
  2. President Obama, shortly upon taking office, announced a troop withdrawal timetable and followed through by recklessly withdrawing all American troops from Iraq by December 2011, just in time for his re-election in 2012! Consequently, the fragile new balance in Iraq, reinstated by the Bush administration, was forfeit!

As a result, not only was ISIS born, it has thrived throughout the entire region!

Trump highlighted ISIS in his speech, with a promise to defeat it with his secret plan! Let's give him a chance!

6.2 Islam bashing

Stop blaming Islam for ISIS! Two main analogies:

  1. America did not logically blame Christianity for the KKK!
  2. ISIS has been using Islam as a cover, just like President Bush used the 9/11 attack as a cover for the Iraq War! For more, read: 9/11 Attack vs. Pearl Harbor Attack.

In a nutshell, in America, Islam bashing today is no different from slavery 200 years ago, which is the worst form of race bashing (or racism)!

It took us a civil war to address the slavery issue. It would be foolhardy to start a new one over religion, be it Islam or Buddhism!

Bottom line: no policy or law in America must be based on religion or race! Church and state do not mix!

6.3 The MIC

The MIC is totally out of control, requiring "enemies" to sustain itself. So after communism, terrorism was selected as the enemy! The MIC is the root cause of many of our problems.

The Republican Party is more responsible for the MIC than the Democratic Party!

Trump has shown some promising signs to address the MIC issue. So let's give him a chance! For more, read: Fixing the Military-Industrial Complex!

6.4 China bashing

Trump has been bashing China for a few years, and this speech was no exception. Why so much China bashing? It’s popular and it’s inconsequential (unlike Mexico bashing, for example)! Unfortunately, most points Trump has raised against China are invalid. Two examples:

  1. China steals American jobs! Job migration is a natural progression of globalization. The jobs migrated from America to China would have gone to some other countries, had China remained backward. Additionally, over the past two decades, automation has eliminated more jobs in America than outsourcing!
  2. China is a currency manipulator! America is by far the worst currency manipulator in the world! For example, America has printed more than four trillion Dollars over the past decade, at the expense of Dollar debt holders, of which China is the largest! For more, read: Money and America.

China bashing will not solve America’s problems! The image below highlights the key difference between China and America.

Finally, while the Chinese are amused by Trump as a Presidential candidate, they respect him as a successful businessman. They will also have more respect for him as the President than his two predecessors!

6.5 Russia bashing

America has been way too rough on Russia since 1991, when the Cold War ended. For example, NATO has expanded all its way to Russia’s front door! Russia had to put up with everything until 2014, when the Ukraine crisis occurred. The Ukraine crisis was instigated by the West, and Russia fought back for two main reasons:

  1. Russia regained its economic footing finally.
  2. It was too much for Russia to put up with!

For more, read: Crimea, Ukraine, Russia, and the U.S.

Militarily, however, Russia was never weak. As a matter of fact, today, Russia’s military is even stronger than the former USSR! Two informative readings:

  1. Vladimir Putin: Don’t mess with nuclear-armed Russia.
  2. Russia Now Has More Deployed Nuclear Warheads than the U.S.!

In other words, America has not been the only military superpower left on earth after the Cold War ended in 1991 - not even for a single day!

Why is there such a big impression in America that it has been the only military superpower on earth since 1991? A result of the MIC propaganda!

What, then, should America do with Russia – a new arms race? No - It’s MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction)! Instead, America must learn to share power with Russia (and China). For more, read: Three New Kingdoms.

Unlike many American politicians, who are obsessed with vilifying President Putin, Trump obviously respects him (and vice versa), which is a solid foundation for a healthy America-Russia relationship! For more, read: Top 10 American Misconceptions about Russia.

7. Closing

Back to Trump’s speech ... Once again, overall, it was a very good speech … and the biggest loser of Trump’s foreign policy in execution will be the neo-cons and the MIC! Still wondering why the GOP establishment is so afraid of Trump? Wonder not!

Trump is absolutely correct on this one: “America first”! No, America can no longer afford to save the world, while bankrupting ourselves at home!

Now, just sit back and enjoy Trump's speech in its entirety!

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