The deep state/foreign policy establishment, not to mention most of Congress, has been in a dither the past few days about President Donald Trump’s decision to pull U.S. troops out of Syria.
How could the president trust Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Islamist thug who famously said, “Democracy is like a streetcar. When you come to your stop, you get off”?
Well, who’s to say that Trump does? As is the president’s bent, he’s using his businessman’s approach to foreign policy, applying economic pressure (tariffs, etc.) to control the likes of Erdogan.
Trump lifts tariffs in return for a ceasefire, making clear that he can reapply—even significantly extend—them if necessary. So far, it seems to be working. He can be polite, even complimentary, to the Turkish leader in public. What he thinks in private is best left there.
And now, we have that “permanent” ceasefire on the Syria border. How long it will hold is anybody’s guess. This is the Middle East. But, after decades, at least a new approach is being tried. American personnel are under less threat; some of our men and women are coming home or are being taken out of harm’s way. Less of our wealth is being spent on endless wars with no visible conclusion.
The rap on Trump is that he has no coherent foreign policy strategy. Au contraire. It couldn’t be clearer. Build your military strength to the hilt so it’s less likely that you will have to use it, then apply economic pressure first to make change and save lives (ours and theirs). He does this consistently, with the minor—and most likely useful in the symbolic sense—exception of sending some cruise missiles into Syria.
We’ re in a better position than ever to utilize this economic power, since we no longer have to rely on the region’s oil—and they know it. Again, this is due to Trump.
Compare his well-defined strategy to the previous president’s actually incoherent foreign policy. It began with Obama apologizing for excessive U.S. power—before he went after Moammar Gadhafi to destroy the Libyan strongman, even though Gadhafi had already given up his nuclear weapons. The result has been enduring chaos in that country.
You can’t get more incoherent than that—except for the Iran deal that resulted in bankrolling the mullahs’ murderous activities and terrorist support across the Middle East. They are still doing this with impunity, although they’ve been constrained somewhat by the severe sanctions applied by the Trump administration.
Nevertheless, Trump Derangement Syndrome mandates that Trump is the one with no coherent foreign policy. He can’t be good at foreign affairs because he’s not an “expert” in it. He’s just a real estate man who shoots from the hip.
Yet the whole concept of the foreign policy expert is questionable. When you read such people or watch them on television, they are remarkably alike, conformist in their views that are aimed at keeping their jobs—deep statists to the core. Rarely do you hear an original thought or a new approach.
That’s been left to the businessman Trump. He’s the one charting a different direction after decades of failure. No wonder he’s reviled.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.