Trump on Foreign Policy
The Russians and Chinese have rapidly expanded their military capability, but look what’s happened to us! Our nuclear weapons arsenal – our ultimate deterrent – has been allowed to atrophy and is desperately in need of modernization and renewal. Our active duty armed forces have shrunk from 2 million in 1991 to about 1.3 million today. The Navy has shrunk from over 500 ships to 272 ships during that time. The Air Force is about one-third smaller than 1991. Pilots are flying B-52s in combat missions today which are older than most people in this room.
And what are we doing about this? President Obama has proposed a 2017 defense budget that, in real dollars, cuts nearly 25 percent from what we were spending in 2011. Our military is depleted, and we’re asking our generals and military leaders to worry about global warming. We will spend what we need to rebuild our military. It is the cheapest investment we can make. We will develop, build and purchase the best equipment known to mankind. Our military dominance must be unquestioned.
But we will look for savings and spend our money wisely. In this time of mounting debt, not one dollar can be wasted. 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. This will ensure that our own workers, right here in America, get the jobs and higher pay that will grow our tax revenue and increase our economic might as a nation. We need to think smarter about areas where our technological superiority gives us an edge. This includes 3-D printing, artificial intelligence and cyberwarfare.
A great country also takes care of its warriors. Our commitment to them is absolute. A Trump administration will give our service men and women the best equipment and support in the world when they serve, and the best care in the world when they return as veterans to civilian life.
Finally, we must develop a foreign policy based on American interests.
Businesses do not succeed when they lose sight of their core interests and neither do countries.
Look at what happened in the 1990s. Our embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were attacked and seventeen brave sailors were killed on the USS Cole. And what did we do? It seemed we put more effort into adding China to the World Trade Organization – which has been a disaster for the United States – than into stopping Al Qaeda. We even had an opportunity to take out Osama Bin Laden, and didn’t do it. And then, we got hit at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the worst attack on our country in its history.
Our foreign policy goals must be based on America’s core national security interests, and the following will be my priorities. In the Middle East, our goals must be to defeat terrorists and promote regional stability, not radical change. We need to be clear-sighted about the groups that will never be anything other than enemies. And we must only be generous to those that prove they are our friends.
We desire to live peacefully and in friendship with Russia and China. We have serious differences with these two nations, and must regard them with open eyes. But we are not bound to be adversaries. We should seek common ground based on shared interests. Russia, for instance, has also seen the horror of Islamic terrorism.
I believe an easing of tensions and improved relations with Russia – from a position of strength – is possible. Common sense says this cycle of hostility must end. Some say the Russians won’t be reasonable. I intend to find out. If we can’t make a good deal for America, then we will quickly walk from the table.
Fixing our relations with China is another important step towards a prosperous century. China respects strength, and by letting them take advantage of us economically, we have lost all of their respect. We have a massive trade deficit with China, a deficit we must find a way, quickly, to balance. A strong and smart America is an America that will find a better friend in China. We can both benefit or we can both go our separate ways.
After I am elected president, I will also call for a summit with our NATO allies, and a separate summit with our Asian allies. In these summits, we will not only discuss a rebalancing of financial commitments, but take a fresh look at how we can adopt new strategies for tackling our common challenges. For instance, we will discuss how we can upgrade NATO’s outdated mission and structure – grown out of the Cold War – to confront our shared challenges, including migration and Islamic terrorism.
I will not hesitate to deploy military force when there is no alternative. But if America fights, it must fight to win. I will never send our finest into battle unless necessary – and will only do so if we have a plan for victory. Our goal is peace and prosperity, not war and destruction. The best way to achieve those goals is through a disciplined, deliberate and consistent foreign policy.