Republican frontrunner Donald Trump named part of his foreign policy team on Monday, and much to the surprise of his critics, he is a lot closer the ideology of non-interventionists like Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and his father former Rep. Ron Paul than former President George W. Bush.
Trump met with the editorial board of the Washington Post, which reported that the billionaire questioned bedrock principles of neoconservative foreign policy.
The real estate mogul insisted the U.S. should have a lighter footprint around the world and slammed the Bush doctrines belief in nation building. Trump said he would prefer to spend our valuable resources domestically.
“I do think it’s a different world today, and I don’t think we should be nation-building anymore,” Trump said to the Post. “I think it’s proven not to work, and we have a different country than we did then. We have $19 trillion in debt. We’re sitting, probably, on a bubble. And it’s a bubble that if it breaks, it’s going to be very nasty. I just think we have to rebuild our country.”
Trump also questioned the need for the U.S. to continue its current role in NATO, insisting that American taxpayers are footing the bill for Europe.
“We certainly can’t afford to do this anymore,” the billionaire said. He also added later, “NATO is costing us a fortune, and yes, we’re protecting Europe with NATO, but we’re spending a lot of money.”
According to Haaretz, the billionaire said nations should be paying the U.S. for the military defense America provides, including Israel, though he slightly walked back those statements.
Moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem was also a key position Trump held in respect to Israel.
When it came to Asia, Trump was also skeptical of the heavy cost the U.S. was spending by arming South Korea. He also said that our trade deficits with China have empowered them and renegotiating those free trade agreements would hurt them far more than any military action.
Trump also announced some names of his foreign policy team including former Lt. General Keith Kellogg; former Defense Department Inspector General Joe Schmitz; George Papadopoulos, director an international energy center at the London Center of International Law Practice; Carter Page, expert in economic development in former Soviet states; and Walid Phares, a former Romney advisor on Middle Eastern policy.
Some libertarians were extremely enthusiastic over Trump’s speech and selection. AntiWar.com founder Justin Raimondo praised the billionaire’s courage for wiling to tackle the status quo on foreign policy.
Okay, I'm waiting for the "libertarians" to think up reasons for not cheering Trump's "unabashedly non-interventionist foreign policy."— Justin Raimondo (@JustinRaimondo) March 21, 2016
If anything, the billionaire’s candidacy would certainly switch the political narrative. Hillary Clinton and the Democrats would have to own up to being the party of war, and Trump’s GOP would trade spending money abroad for investments at home.