Farewell to the West


December 7, 2016

Farewell to the West

by Joschka Fisher@Project Syndicate

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Now that Donald Trump has been elected President of the United States, the end of what was heretofore termed the “West” has become all but certain. That term described a transatlantic world that emerged from the twentieth century’s two world wars, redefined the international order during the four-decade Cold War, and dominated the globe – until now.

The West shouldn’t be confused with the “Occident.” While the West’s culture, norms, and predominant religion are broadly Occidental in origin, it evolved into something different over time. The Occident’s basic character was shaped over centuries by the Mediterranean region (though parts of Europe north of the Alps made many important contributions to its development). The West, by contrast, is transatlantic, and it is a child of the twentieth century.

When World War I began, it was a European conflict between the Central Powers and the Entente of Britain, France, and Russia. It became a true world war only in 1917, when the US entered the fray. This is the moment when what we now call the West began to take form.

The West can be said to have received its birth certificate during World War II. In August 1941, after Nazi Germany had invaded the Soviet Union, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and US President Franklin D. Roosevelt met on a warship off the coast of Newfoundland and signed the Atlantic Charter. That agreement would later develop into NATO, which, for four decades, enabled an alliance of independent democracies with shared values and market economies to withstand the Soviet threat – and which has safeguarded Europe to this day.

More fundamentally, the West was founded on an American commitment to come to its allies’ defense. The Western order cannot exist without the US playing this crucial role, which it may now abnegate under Trump. As a result, the future of the West itself is now at stake.

No one can be certain what Trump’s election will mean for American democracy, or what he will do when he takes office. But we can already make two reasonable assumptions. First, his presidency will be highly disruptive to American domestic and foreign policy. Trump won the presidency by flouting virtually every unwritten rule of American politics. He beat not only Hillary Clinton, but also the Republican Party establishment. There is little reason to think that he will suddenly abandon this winning strategy come January 20.

We can also safely assume that Trump will stick firmly to his pledge to “Make America great again”; this will be the foundation for his presidency, come what may. Former President Ronald Reagan also promised this, but he did so while the US, still engaged in the Cold War, could take an imperial approach. Thus, Reagan pursued rearmament on such a large scale that it ultimately led to the Soviet Union’s collapse; and he paved the way for an American economic boom with a massive increase in the national debt.

Trump does not have the luxury of an imperial approach. On the contrary, during the campaign, he heaped criticism on America’s senseless wars in the Middle East; and his supporters want nothing more than for the US to abandon its global leadership role and retreat from the world. A US that moves toward isolationist nationalism will remain the world’s most powerful country by a wide margin; but it will no longer guarantee Western countries’ security or defend an international order based on free trade and globalization.

The only remaining questions now concern how quickly US policy will change, and how radical those changes will be. Trump has already pledged to scrap the 12-country Trans-Pacific Partnership – a decision that amounts to a gift to China, whether he realizes it or not. He could also bestow upon China another gift: reducing US engagement in the South China Sea. China might soon find itself the new guarantor of global free trade – and probably the new global leader in combating climate change, too.

With respect to the war in Syria, Trump might simply hand that devastated country over to Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iran. Practically speaking, this would overturn the balance of power in the Middle East, with grave consequences well beyond the region; morally, it would be a cruel betrayal of the Syrian opposition and a boon to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

And if Trump defers to Putin in the Middle East, one wonders what he will do with respect to Ukraine, Eastern Europe, and the Caucasus. Should we expect a Yalta Conference 2.0 to recognize Putin’s new de facto sphere of influence?

The new course Trump will chart for the US is already discernible; we just don’t know how quickly the ship will sail. Much will depend on the opposition (Democrats and Republicans alike) that Trump encounters in the US Congress, and on pushback from the majority of Americans who did not vote for him.

But we should not harbor any illusions: Europe is far too weak and divided to stand in for the US strategically; and, without US leadership, the West cannot survive. Thus, the Western world as virtually everyone alive today has known it will almost certainly perish before our eyes.

So what comes next? China, we can be certain, is preparing to fill America’s shoes. And in Europe, the crypts of nationalism have been opened; in time, they will once again release their demons upon the continent – and the world.

https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/goodbye-to-american-global-leadership-by-joschka-fischer-2016-12

Fidel Castro: A revolutionary, an icon for the Third World and a ‘genuine friend’ to India


November 29, 2016

Fidel Castro: A revolutionary, an icon for the Third World and a ‘genuine friend’ to India

By Muchkund Dubey

http://www.firstpost.com/world/tribute-to-fidel-castro-a-revolutionary-an-icon-for-the-third-world-and-a-genuine-friend-to-india-3126252.html

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Fidel Castro’s Legacy: “In spite of his continuing struggle for his country’s survival against the crippling measures imposed by the neighbouring imperialist power, what he achieved for Cuba during his lifetime has remained unachieved in the rest of the Third World. He established an educational system in his country of which there is no parallel in any developing country and in a number of developed countries. The quality health system under his leadership, accessible to every Cuban virtually without charges, has no match even in developed countries. He failed in his plan to industrialise Cuba, but that was in large part due to the trade embargo maintained by the United States. For, a small country like Cuba cannot set up viable industries without being a part of the regional and global economic system, which was persistently denied to Cuba”Dubey

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Fidel Castro, the great Cuban revolutionary and the icon of all those who have over the last half a century struggled for national liberation, freedom from colonial and capitalistic exploitation, and the establishment of a just and equitable world order passed away on Friday in Havana at the age of 90.

At the time of his death, he had become outdated just as the instrumentalities that he had chosen for his epic struggle, that is, the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), Group of 77 (G-77) and Third World, had become anachronistic. He had remained merely a symbol of his strivings and achievements during his life time. He rode like a colossus in the global arena during the best part of the second half of the 20th century.

He was the only leader in the post-Second World War period who was vilified and adored both in a fairly large measure. He was constrained and crippled by a group of countries led by the United States. At the same time, he endeared himself to a much larger group of countries and among vastly wider sections of the world population. Coming from a tiny country, he was better known among the common people the world over and particularly in the Third World, than most of the great leaders of his era.https://dinmerican.files.wordpress.com/2016/11/ba368-moscow2bcuban2bembassy2bpeople2bmourn2bfidel2bcastro.jpg?w=545

Fond Farewell –“Hasta Siempre!”

In spite of his continuing struggle for his country’s survival against the crippling measures imposed by the neighbouring imperialist power, what he achieved for Cuba during his lifetime has remained unachieved in the rest of the Third World. He established an educational system in his country of which there is no parallel in any developing country and in a number of developed countries. The quality health system under his leadership, accessible to every Cuban virtually without charges, has no match even in developed countries. He failed in his plan to industrialise Cuba, but that was in large part due to the trade embargo maintained by the United States. For, a small country like Cuba cannot set up viable industries without being a part of the regional and global economic system, which was persistently denied to Cuba.

Under Fidel’s leadership, Cuba emerged as a great exponent of all that Third World stood for, that is, anti-colonialism, anti-imperialism, anti-Zionism, disarmament and development. There is hardly an example in recent history of a nation punching so unimaginably above its weight.

One of the greatest legacies of Fidel was the leadership both at the political and administrative level left behind by him. I have found Cuban politicians and diplomats among the most skilled, astute and far sighted negotiators in the world. They admirably combine their quest of national interest with concern for the world order and rule of international law.

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Given its overwhelming reliance on the Soviet Union for its survival, Cuba’s foreign policy remained tilted during the Fidel era towards the Soviet Union and socialist outlook of the world. However, I found the Cubans under Fidel’s leadership never missing the opportunity of using the narrowest of space available to them for manoeuvre for promoting the wider cause of humanity.

I cannot claim to have personally known Fidel or of having come close to him, but I indeed feel blessed to have been born, lived and pursued my vocation of diplomacy in the world, during the era coinciding with Fidel’s life. I met him twice in the second half of the 1970s at delegation level in closed doors meetings to review and give impetus to our bilateral relations. I found him to be a genuine friend of India, entertaining legitimate expectations of cooperation with our country mainly in the economic field but somewhat disillusioned because of our not being forthcoming in our response and because of our propensity to hold a balance in pursuit of what we perceived to be a policy of genuine non-alignment. Those days, preventing Cuba from tilting the Non-Aligned Movement towards the Soviet direction was regarded as an important part of our diplomacy. At times, we went too far in this direction at the cost of our own enlightened self-interest.

I saw Fidel at the prime of his authority nationally and prestige internationally as the Chairman of the Non-Aligned Summit in Havana in 1979. One of our major concerns at that time was to get the oil producing exporting countries (OPEC) committed to a dual pricing system for oil.

In this endeavour, Cuba extended its full support without, however, rocking the boat. Obviously as a host country, their primary objective was to get a Havana Declaration and Plan of Action unanimously agreed and they eminently succeeded in this even though it involved their walking at the razor’s edge in the negotiations on several fronts.

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At the time when the nuclear arms race had acquired ominous proportions and the threat of a nuclear winter seemed to be at our doorstep, Cuba took the initiative of getting convened in Havana a special Non-Aligned Conference on Disarmament. I had the privilege of steering the negotiations on the document that emerged out of this Conference, which was inaugurated by Fidel. Thanks to the highly positive, balanced and constructive attitude of the Cubans, we came out with one of the best documents on nuclear disarmament ever adopted in a large international forum like NAM.

And finally, I had the privilege of seeing from a distance this giant among the world statesmen when he came to New Delhi to hand over the Chair of the Non-Aligned Movement to Indira Gandhi in the NAM Summit in 1982.

I bow my head in gratefulness to all that Fidel has done for Cuba, developing countries and the world.

(The author is a former Ambassador and former Indian Foreign Secretary. Views expressed are personal.)

First Published On : Nov 27, 2016 08:14 IST

 

Ignominious ‘Victory’ for Najib and Zahid


November 22, 2016

Ignominious ‘Victory’ for Najib and Zahid

 by Lim Teck Ghee

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As to be expected, the combined forces of UMNO and some BN leaders adept at political spinning are crowing that they have won a famous victory by their ‘success’ at containing the BERSIH protest rally on 19 November. And some ‘independent’ officially linked media commentators and analysts are playing ball to this fiction by claiming that the peaceful nature of the assembly was because of “the steps taken by the authorities” to ensure that there would be no untoward happening.  

On which planet are these people living? Every possible provocation and trick was tried by UMNO and the authorities beholden to their political master to prevent Bersih protestors from converging and exercising their right of peaceful assembly and lawful dissent. The preferred weapon of de-legitimization and demonization of BERSIH was the Malay media and JAKIM-controlled mosques. This propaganda artillery was principally targeted at the Malay community.

 Closely following the blatant attempt at compelling the Malay community to view the rally through racial lenses was the high level strategy aimed at undermining the larger public’s confidence and participation. This strategy included the initial demands, which rapidly escalated to harsh warnings, by the Inspector General of Police; admonitions and ultimatums from UMNO’s leaders; threats of punishment directed against civil servants and university students who may have contemplated participating; instigation of UMNO-friendly traders to use the court of law to stop the BERSIH rally; and a myriad of other dirty tricks, including the resort to over the top scare mongering implying the possibility of violence and bloodshed should the rally proceed.   

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Jamal Yunos and his Red Shirts were supposed to be UMNO’s trump card in ensuring that the BERSIH rally would not take place. Hence the turning of the official blind eye and refusal to act against him and his supporters, despite his numerous hate speeches, calls for the shedding of innocent blood, and various intimidatory actions directed at the BERSIH convoy during its seven-week roadshow to promote the BERSIH 5 rally.

When it became clear with each passing day closer to the rally that BERSIH organizers and supporters would not be cowed into surrendering their right to dissent, a change in the UMNO game plan was needed. UMNO members were given the go-ahead to join Jamal’s band of political rempits. Surely a force of 300,000 troopers – promised by Jamal on the eve of the rally – confronting BERSIH’s supporters and the promise of violence and ‘flying parang’ would impress on BERSIH’s supporters to stay at home.  And wouldn’t a crowd of 300,000 in their red shirts marching in counter protest also be the most potent image of UMNO’s hold over the Malay masses?

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 So when the rally finally took place was it such a clear victory for Najib, Zahid and the status quo; and a defeat for BERSIH and others seeking reform and change?  Unofficial media accounts estimate the number of BERSIH participants at more than 50,000 with thousands more unable to reach the main convergence areas due to Police road closures and barricades put up.

The thinly-veiled plot to label it as a Chinese-orchestrated and Chinese-dominated rally also fell flat. Malays made their way to the rally in large numbers from different parts of the country and some of the most fiercely anti-Government rhetoric and arguments for a change of government were by Malay participants.

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 The contrast between Malay participation in the Redshirt and BERSIH rallies could not have been more striking. Redshirt participants – even with UMNO’s blessing and strong support – probably did not exceed 8,000. It was certainly a smaller number compared with their yellow shirted counterparts.

 It is not from size alone that one can draw deductions. Many among what appears to have been a participant-for-rent grouping lacked the stamina and fortitude to press their demands on the BERSIH participants and made their way home quickly when they were not allowed to bully or pick up fights. BERSIH participants on the other hand were a much more determined and clearly not-for-sale group, committed to their cause and staying on until the end.

The presence of so many young Malays concerned for their own future as well as that of their community’s and challenging UMNO will be the main reason for the nightmares and sleepless nights that UMNO’s leadership must now be experiencing after BERSIH 5.

 What this group of young Malays has experienced will be widely shared in social media and the Malay heartland. No amount of counter propaganda from UMNO can take away their sense of accomplishment at passing this test of moral courage or detract from the brave way in which they stood up for clean government and clean elections while rejecting the crude racist and religiously-bigoted accusations hurled at Bersih’s leaders.

What Do Foreigners Really Think of Government And BERSIH?

 Besides the national constituency, there was one other audience that Najib and Zahid wanted to impress – that of foreign governments and businesses whose continued support the BN Government is increasingly reliant for survival.

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 Some years from now when the foreign despatches sent from Kuala Lumpur are revealed over Wikileaks or some other whistle-blowing outfits, I wonder what the Ambassadors and envoys to this country will have written to their governments about the state of democratic freedom in Malaysia under these two leaders and this particular episode.

Among other questions, I am sure that they must be puzzled – as with many Malaysians – why it was not possible for our Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister to direct the Police to ensure that the Red Shirts movement hold their counter rally at a different time or a different location to prevent them from clashing with Bersih supporters. Would this no-brainer instruction be seen as interfering with the freedom of assembly of Jamal and his men?  Or perhaps the Home Ministry could not issue this directive since the Police are an ‘independent force’ acting without any interference whatsoever from their political master? 

 Or could it be that the two top leaders did not have the national interest, or even BN’s, at heart – only UMNO’s – when they engineered this ignominious victory for Najib’s survival and UMNO’s right wing.   

 

The Banality of Change–David Brooks


November 6, 2016

Why Hillary as the Next POTUS? David Brooks’ answer:

“…Clinton does possess the steady, pedantic skills that are necessary for governmental change: the ability to work doggedly hard, to master details and to rally the powerful. If the Clinton campaign emails have taught us anything, it is that she and her team, while not hugely creative, are prudent, calculating and able to create a web of interlocking networks that they can mobilize for a cause.”

 

A few weeks ago I met a guy in Idaho who was absolutely certain that Donald Trump would win this election. He was wearing tattered, soiled overalls, missing a bunch of teeth and was unnaturally skinny. He was probably about 50, but his haggard face looked 70. He was getting by aimlessly as a handyman.

I pointed to the polls and tried to persuade him that Hillary Clinton might win, but it was like telling him a sea gull could play billiards. Everybody he knows is voting Trump so his entire lived experience points to a Trump landslide. He was a funny, kind guy, but you got the impression his opportunities had been narrowed by forces outside his control.

One of the mandates for the next president is to help improve the life stories of people like that.

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Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton back in The White House–a Powerful Combination

Trump speaks to this man’s situation and makes him feel heard. But when you think practically about which candidate could improve his life, it’s clear that Clinton is the bigger change agent.

Let’s start with what “change” actually means. In our system, change means legislation. It starts with the ability to gather a team of policy experts who can craft complex bills. These days, bills often run to thousands of pages, and every bad rookie decision can lead things astray.

Then it requires political deftness. Deft politicians are not always lovely, as Lyndon Johnson demonstrated, but they are subtle, cunning and experienced. They have the ability to work noncontentiously with people they don’t like, to read other people’s minds, to lure opponents over with friendship, cajolery and a respectful nudge.

Craftsmanship in government is not like craftsmanship in business. You can’t win people with money and you can’t order people around. Governance requires enormous patience, a capacity to tolerate boredom and the skill of quiet herding. Frustrations abound. When it is done well, as a friend of mine in government puts it, each individual day sucks but the overall experience is tremendously rewarding.

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Can the millennials make the difference as America chooses the next POTUS on Tuesday, November 8, 2016?

Change in government is a team sport. Public opinion is mobilized through institutions — through interest groups, activist organizations, think tanks and political parties. As the historian Sean Wilentz once put it, “political parties have been the only reliable electoral vehicles for advancing the ideas and interests of ordinary voters.” To create political change, you have to work within groups and organize groups of groups.

Now, if you wanted to design a personality type perfectly ill suited to be a change agent in government, you would come up with Donald Trump: solipsistic, impatient, combative, unsubtle and ignorant.

If you wanted to design a personality type better suited to getting things done, you might come up with James Baker, Robert Gates or Ted Kennedy, but you might also come up with Hillary Clinton.

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It is an Uphill Catch Up for Donald J. Trump with 2 days left

None of us should be under any illusions. Wherever Clinton walks, the whiff of scandal is always by her side. The Clintons seem to have decided that they are righteous and good, and therefore anything that enriches, empowers or makes them feel good must always be righteous and good. They surround themselves with some amazing people but also some human hand grenades who inevitably blow up in their faces.

But Clinton does possess the steady, pedantic skills that are necessary for governmental change: the ability to work doggedly hard, to master details and to rally the powerful. If the Clinton campaign emails have taught us anything, it is that she and her team, while not hugely creative, are prudent, calculating and able to create a web of interlocking networks that they can mobilize for a cause.

Clinton was at her best in the Senate. She worked very well with Republicans (and not just the amenable ones like John McCain and Lindsey Graham). She was an operations person, not a publicity person. Whereas Barack Obama sometimes seemed to see his fellow politicians as objects to be studied, Clinton got on with them as an equal. Her accomplishments — post-9/11 funding for New York, saving Army bases in upstate New York — were concrete.

Passing legislation next year is going to be hard, but if Clinton can be dull and pragmatic, and operate at a level below the cable TV ideology wars, it’s possible to imagine her gathering majorities behind laws that would help people like that guy in Idaho: an infrastructure push, criminal justice reform, a college tuition program, an apprenticeship and skills program, an expanded earned-income tax credit and a bill to secure the border and shift from low-skill to high-skill immigration.

Many of us disagree strongly with many Clinton policies. But any sensible person can distinguish between an effective operating officer and a whirling disaster who is only about himself.

The thing about reality TV is that it isn’t actually real. In the real world, the process of driving change is usually boring, remorseless and detail oriented, but the effect on people out there, like the guy in Idaho, can be profound and beautiful.

Book Review: Kurt Campbell’s The Pivot


September 16, 2016

Book Review: Kurt Campbell’s The Pivot

by Francis P Sempa

http://www.asianreviewofbooks.com/pages/?ID=2673

A frequent reader of the American foreign policy journal Foreign Affairs will feel right at home reading Kurt Campbell’s The Pivot. The author was the Obama administration’s principal architect of the US pivot or “rebalance” to Asia, and beyond the abundance of conventional wisdom, offers some important insights into the emergence of what many are calling the “Asian Century”.

Campbell, currently Chairman and CEO of the Asia Group, a strategy and capital advisory firm based in Washington with an office in Hong Kong, served as Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs from 2009 to 2013, and he draws upon that experience, which included many visits to the region, in explaining the need for the United States to “reorient its foreign policy to a rising Asia even in the midst of punishing and inescapable challenges” in other parts of the world.

The meaning of the pivot or rebalance is simple. “Asia,” he writes, “should be placed more centrally in the formulation and execution of American foreign policy.” It is the details, however, that are difficult. The United States has limited resources (including declining defense budgets) and worldwide commitments, is exhausted by two seemingly endless wars in the Middle East and Southwest Asia, and continues to battle Islamic jihadists at home and in other parts of the world. Meanwhile, America’s foreign policy bureaucracies remain largely Eurocentric, a legacy of shared culture, World War II (“Europe first”) and the long Cold War.

Campbell reviews the history of US interaction with Asia, and contends that the region was long considered a “secondary theater” in American foreign policy. One reason was geography: the United States was Atlantic-oriented until it completed its Manifest Destiny by expanding across the North American continent in the late 19th century. It was only after the swift victory in the Spanish-American War (1898) that the US became an Asian power with the appropriation of the Philippines, Guam and other previously Spanish possessions.

Another reason was cultural: early Americans were of European origin and this reinforced an Atlanticist worldview. To be sure, Campbell notes, there were “moments of concentrated focus on Asia,” but these were “rare and transient.”

Interestingly, Campbell is highly critical of FDR’s neglect of Asian affairs in the early-to-mid 1930s, and President Truman’s early postwar disengagement from Asia, especially with respect to China. America stood-by, he notes, as its Nationalist Chinese allies were defeated in a civil war. “Even Mao,” he writes, “was shocked by the lack of American reaction to events in China.” Campbell approvingly references President Eisenhower’s remark that “the loss of China was the greatest diplomatic defeat in [US] history.”

The author praises President Obama’s efforts to begin implementation of the pivot to Asia (even grudgingly assigning a modicum of credit to President George W Bush), and has extravagant, indeed excessive, praise for his former boss, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. (The book begins and concludes with fawning praise for the current Democratic candidate for President). But, he counsels, more needs to be done.

He proposes a plan for the pivot that has ten core elements: “clear and authoritative declarations of US Asia strategy”; “a focus on strengthening ties to our Asian allies”; “embedding China policy within a larger Asia policy framework”; “increasing ties with long-standing partners like Taiwan and New Zealand, as well as new partners including India, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Pacific island states”; “integrate the Asia-Pacific both regionally and internationally through the expansion of free trade agreements and economic interaction”; “helping build trans-Pacific institutions and capacities over pan-Asian groupings”; “update and modernize its military capabilities in the region”; “support Asia’s transitional states on their democratic journeys”; “strengthen people-to-people ties”; and  “more integrated transatlantic approach to the region’s challenges”.

There is nothing controversial or provocative there. But his approach to the pivot is largely based on a progressive outlook that emphasizes multilateral solutions and views nationalism as a tragic holdover from the 19th century.

For example, throughout the book Campbell urges US policymakers to persuade Asia’s leaders to abide by “twenty-first-century rules”, to adopt “twenty-first-century values”, and to conduct themselves according to “twenty-first-century principles”, in spite of the evident fact that state-based politics are, if anything, strengthening in East Asia. He writes about the need to include Asian states in “global governance”, and time and again identifies climate change as the greatest security threat to America and the world in the twenty-first-century.

He recognizes the tension inherent in China’s challenge to US predominance in Asia and the world, and notes the potential flashpoints in East Asia and the Pacific Rim that could lead to open conflict. But he believes that a more “subtle” and “nuanced” US policy can persuade China to compete according to twenty-first-century rules, values and principles. Yet subtlety and nuance would not have stopped Russia in the Crimea, and it is unlikely to affect China’s actions in the South China Sea. As Henry Kissinger once wrote about Asia’s rise in this century, “despite the mantra of globalization, there are geopolitical realities that overwhelm fashionable reveries about universality.”

 Francis P Sempa is the author of Geopolitics: From the Cold War to the 21st Century and America’s Global Role: Essays and Reviews on National Security, Geopolitics and War. His writings appear in The Diplomat, Joint Force Quarterly, the University Bookman and other publications. He is an attorney, an adjunct professor of political science at Wilkes University, and a contributing editor to American Diplomacy.


The Pivot The Future of American Statecraft in Asia, Kurt Campbell (Twelve, June 2016)

Donald J. Trump: Major Foreign Policy Address


May 10, 2016

Donald J. Trump: Major Foreign Policy Address

https://www.donaldjtrump.com/press-releases/donald-j.-trump-delivers-major-foreign-policy-address

In a major address today, Republican presidential candidate and GOP  presumptive nominee for President of the United States, Donald J. Trump detailed his views on critical foreign policy issues, making it abundantly clear that he is committed to prioritizing America first in national security, international diplomacy and global trade.  “Today, our foreign policy is a complete and total disaster,” Mr. Trump said. “There’s no vision, no strategic purpose, no direction, no consistency.”

In his speech before The National Interest Magazine and its parent institution, The Center for the National Interest, and invited guests, Mr. Trump articulated five important criticisms of American foreign policy: the nation’s resources are overextended; many of our allies aren’t paying their fair share; our friends fear they can’t depend on us; our rivals no longer respect us – and the country doesn’t have clear foreign policy goals.

“All of this is going to change when I am President,” he said. “America is going to be strong again. America is going to be a reliable friend and ally again.”

As President, he would ensure the defeat of ISIS as a major foreign policy goal. “I have a simple message for ISIS: Their days are numbered. I won’t tell them where and I won’t tell them how. We must, as a nation, be strong and resilient. They’re going to be gone.”

The presumptive nominee also pledged to rebuild America’s military and the national economy – two vital pillars of a peaceful and secure world. “We will spend what we need to rebuild our military. Our military dominance must be unquestioned,” he said. “We are also going to have to change our trade, immigration and economic policies to make our economy strong again – and to put Americans first again.”

After criticizing the “reckless, rudderless and aimless foreign policy” of President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Mr. Trump outlined a more coherent international vision.

“Our foreign policy goals must be based on America’s core national security interests,” he said. He pledged to defeat radical Islam in the Middle East and to focus on stability in the region, not nation-building. Recognizing the differences America has with China and Russia, he also vowed to “seek common ground based on shared interests.”

“My goal is to establish a foreign policy that will endure for several generations centered on prioritizing America first. Under a Trump Administration, no American citizen will ever again feel that their needs come second to the citizens of foreign countries,” he said.

Mr. Trump’s prepared remarks can be viewed here: https://www.donaldjtrump.com/press-releases/donald-j.-trump-foreign-policy-speech