On this program, Rob Taub, a TV commentator and writer for The Huffington Post and bestselling author and New York Times writer, James Bradley tell us what they think is going to happen.
Neither guests can define what exactly will happen, however Rob Taub expresses that he is not panicking and is confident that Trump will be able to put a decent team together. There seems to be a big difference between the exuberance and perceived extremism of policy statements made during Trump’s election campaign and the realities of carrying out foreign policy when surrounded by experts and capped by committees. Already, Rob indicates, Trump seems to be adopting a more measured tone. James Bradley put Trump’s foreign policy statements in the context of what he views as aggressive actions by the Obama administration, such as the number of refugees created, which he says is greater than the number of refugees after WWII. James sums up Trump supporters' views on foreign policy saying: “Trump fondles women; Hillary Clinton kills them.”
As regards Syria, James Bradley indicates that Trump will look at the situation more as a business situation; that is, that Assad wants to get rid of Daesh, so do we, and therefore Trump will stop distinguishing between good terrorists and bad terrorists. In that context, James says that America would not be following Russia’s stance (as indicated by the program’s host) but common sense. Both guests agree that it is not crystal clear that U.S. policy will actually change towards Syria, however Rob indicated that there will likely be some changes.
Possible change in the dismal state of U.S.-Russia relations were discussed. James expressed hope that America will reassess its current demonizing, McCarthyite attitude towards Russia.
Regarding China and implementation of the ‘Pivot to Asia’ current U.S. policy, neither speakers are aware of any information which could clearly mean that there will be in a change in policy. James Bradley only indicates that Trump has failed to be drawn on China, and Trump had only been expressing that China and the South China Sea is a long way away and we have our own problems to sort out. James also expressed that Trump is more likely to see the situation as a businessman and not get caught up in a militaristic showdown scenario. Host John Harrison suggests that Trump, as a businessman could make a lot more money if he moved over to support the military industrial complex. James indicates that militarization of the economy has been tried in the U.S. since 1950, and the economy is suffering the consequences of that. John Harrison points out that there is a contradiction in what Trump has said about increasing spending on the military and engaging in a new, more business-like approach to foreign affairs, which he seems to be saying, will involve less U.S. interventionism.
Trump’s pledge to reduce U.S. support of NATO is doubted by Rob Taub, who expresses that this is nothing but political posturing, based on the fact that Trump, Rob indicated, does not understand the elements of strategic policy making. James Bradley takes the opposite stance and questions the very reason for the existence of NATO, which he describes as being an extension of the U.S. military, and part of the “let’s go to war Neocon craziness…”
As regards the most important issue, of how many changes Trump will actually be able to make, given the difficulties that Obama for example had in this respect, Rob Taub indicates that just because the Republicans control both the Senate and Congress, doesn’t mean that Trump will be able to act with impunity. James raised the interesting point that the executive does not have control over the military, because Obama has ceded power to them. James points out that Trump’s ability to change U.S. foreign policy will depend on his ability to stand up to the military industrial complex.
In summary, James states that he has heard a Russian saying, that Hillary stands for war and Trump for peace. But he follows on his statement by saying that he does not know whether anything will change, “call me again in four years, who knows.” Rob more or less agrees, indicating that Trump is a political neophyte and that it is really hard to predict what is going to happen.
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