Donald Trump, republican candidate for the American presidency, said in a speech that if he became president, military intervention would only be a last resort. He expanded on the Trump doctrine and he seems to do it in a less controversial manner.
By Laurens Bammens*
At a gathering in Washington D.C., Donald Trump explained what his foreign policy would be if he became president. For someone who has made many controversial statements regarding foreigners, it was interesting to say the least.
Trump did not deliver his speech like he normally does, harsh and direct. Instead, he read his speech from an autocue in front of a calm ball room. It is possibly a way to show the people he can be ‘presidential’.
‘America first’ is what Trump said in his speech. He will place the United States before all other countries. Trump continued by criticising the Obama administration and its foreign policy. Calling it a complete and total disaster.
Trump added that military intervention in foreign countries should be the United States’ absolutely last resort. Saying that his goal is peace and welfare, not war and destruction. This statement is an absolute U-turn from previous Republican doctrine.
Trump mentioned his plan for ISIS. He wants to weaken ISIS by cutting off their access to oil. Unfortunately, Trump also has some other ideas. He mentions in his speech that he does not shy away from waterboarding terrorists. A technique by which people get suffocated by plastic while water gets poured on them, simulating drowning which basically is a torture technique. He talked about other strong interrogation means, though he did not expand on it.
For stopping radical Islam, Trump wants to work together closely with US allies in the Middle-East. Although it is a bit surprising that he thinks there are still allies left in that region. In December of last year, Trump said he would call for a shutdown of any Muslims entering the United States. He said there is great hatred towards Americans by Muslims. Whether he is right or not, it is probably because of statements like these.
For once, the polarised media in Turkey agreed on one thing. Trump’s attack on every Muslim in the world was bad. Many people and media accused him of being comfortable with Islam, as long they made him richer. Trump has built a worldwide emporium of which the Trump Towers in Istanbul are a result.
Trump wants new negotiations about the North-Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). Mostly about structure and finances. He complains about how the United States has invested billions in its army to defend Europe and Asia. Yet their NATO allies did not pay their part according to Trump.
How much those allies should put into their armies is not clear. The United States spends about 40 per cent of its taxes on the military according to Democracy Now. If Trump expects the same of the US’ NATO allies, he will most likely get disappointed.
Trump is risking of undermining the West’s policy towards Russia. In his speech, he said he would like to find out if the Russians are really that unreasonable. While the anti-Cold War mentality is a welcome change in international politics, it can be dangerous. If the United States would suddenly take a favourable stand towards Russia, then what about the Ukraine crisis? It would be dangerous if the United States used its influence to force Europe into weakening its position in Ukraine.
One thing Trump and Russia already agreed upon was the assumption that Turkey is siding with ISIS. Russia and Turkey relations have been tense since a Russian jet was shot down on the Syrian border by Turkey late last year. Trump had apparently received data that oil from ISIS enters Turkish territory.
The American presidential elections will be held in November of this year. Nominees will be announced for both democrats and republicans in July. Donald Trump is ahead in the polls for the republicans. For the democrats, Hillary Clinton seems closest to the presidential nomination although Bernie Sanders seems to be favoured by the people.
**Laurens Bammens, PXL Journalism student and he is Dağ Medya Intern during the 15 February – 3 June 2016