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Will Trump’s Defense Picks Back-Up Trump’s Anti-War Policies?

Just prior to the election our friend Ron Maxwell posted a pro-Trump op-ed “The war candidate vs. the peace  Trump militarycandidate” as part of a point-counter-point series in the Rappahannock News. 

As President-elect Trump narrows his choices for key national security and defense positions in his administration we think it is worth reviewing Mr. Maxwell’s wise counsel:

If you believe that it is the duty and responsibility of the United States to be the policeman of the world, to spread democracy by military force in every corner of the globe, to forcibly remove dictators everywhere, to intervene militarily in foreign civil wars, to take sides between religious sects or deep-seated ethnic feuds, to use the American military to enforce a utopian world order by means of regime change and nation-building, then Clinton is your candidate. 

If on the other hand, you believe the U.S. armed forces should be used only in defense of the United States and its national security (including its closest allies), then Donald Trump is your candidate…. 

In speeches and policy papers Trump has stated he will not use the American military for regime change, nation-building or intervening in foreign civil wars. He is surrounded by foreign policy experts, former government officials and retired military who share this point of view; who collectively have the experience, sophistication and know-how to back it up. Altogether it’s a return to a realistic foreign policy which puts America first. 

Maxwell, an expert on the American Civil War and director of the acclaimed Civil War films “Gettysburg,” “Gods and Generals” and “Copperhead” also had this observation about the Middle East and American involvement in its endemic wars:

The way civil wars end is by one side winning. Pouring tons of lethal arms into a civil war or an insurrection does not lessen the bloodshed. It adds to it. In the case of Syria, what was the end game? A victory of jihadists to topple Assad? Yet another failed state? Who designated Syria as the enemy of the United States? Could it be the same cabal that designated Iraq as the enemy of the United States; that is currently demonizing Russia as the enemy of the United States? 

Mr. Maxwell was right about Hillary Clinton and her cynical “why have an Army if you don’t use it” approach to foreign policy. 

The problem President-elect Trump now faces is, can he put together a national security team that shares his vision of an America First national security strategy? 

Signs on that are at best mixed at this point. 

Trump’s choice of LTG Michael Flynn as National Security Adviser is encouraging, but his consideration of the perhaps brilliant, but definitely flawed, David Petraeus for Secretary of State and General James “Mad Dog” Mattis as Secretary of Defense demonstrates just how difficult it will be for Trump to find senior officials who share his views. 

General Mattis was forced out of his job at Centcom in 2013 after a series of disagreements with the Obama White House over Iran. He argued — unsuccessfully — for a tougher military posture designed to deter Tehran from backing its proxies in Yemen and elsewhere in the region, a view shared less vocally by many others at Centcom. 

General Mattis’s recognition of the Iranian threat is in line with Donald Trump’s view of the Iran nuclear deal. But does engaging in active confrontation with Iran, when others, such as Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States, have a more immediate and proximate interest fit with Trump’s America First view of the Middle East? 

General Mattis is also very much in line with some of Trump’s criticism of social engineering in the military. In a book published this year about civilian-military relations co-edited with Foreign Policy contributor Kori Schake, Mattis warned of the danger of civilian leaders with a “progressive agenda” imposing “social change” on the military. 

“We fear that an uninformed public is permitting political leaders to impose an accretion of social conventions that are diminishing the combat power of our military,” Mattis and Schake wrote. 

Personnel is policy. 

There were many compelling reasons that tens of millions of our fellow conservative – populist citizens voted for Donald Trump, but one of the most compelling is his exemplary and courageous willingness to rethink foreign policy. 

It's important that all who join Trump’s team share his vision and commitment to change course from the disastrous foreign policy of the recent quarter century. However, to find senior officials who share his views President-elect Trump may have to look beyond obvious choices who, though undoubtedly talented, have a long association with the failed policies he has promised to rethink. 

Click the link to read Ron Maxwell’s “Why Donald Trump: The war candidate vs. the peace candidate”.

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Challenges of National Security

The new incoming admin will have it's hands full reinvigorating the military, the intel gathering and the furbishing of tools cyber defense, offensive and defensive tools and upgrades to sustain active battle on more than two fronts, definitely a challenge of magnitude to design a new defense budget and get worth of the cost.....We now have space as a battle front and the amount of DARPA, humanint, cyber protection skills and tools will be awsome and imposing......If we can regain the engine of capitalism as a choice for fun, profit and the investment tools of energy, GNP and export, we can and will put Yankee Ingenuity to work to meet the task to protect our representative Republic, our freedoms and upward mobility.....

Donald Trump is a peace

Donald Trump is a peace through strength president. A super strong America will not be confronted militarily. Nations have a tendency to talk rather than attack strong nations. That is not necessarily true with weak nations like obama has made America. It is true obama screwed up everything he touched and I mean everything. Even his main success the ACA is self destructing right before our eyes. It is certainly true he does not have the “Midas Touch.” There is a lesson here and I for one hope America has learned it and never makes a mistake like obama again. It appears, since we were able to elect Donald, obama will not be able to complete his fundamental transformation into what ever he had in mind, and never explained, very likely communism. However, obama it seems was a community agitator rather than organizer. Or don’t Americans still remember 2007 and before.

Donald J Trump ran for president to get America back on track and make her great again, safe again and prosperous again. obama ran for vacations and cheers every time he walked out on a stage. Those cheers fed his ego and narcissistic personality. He will be leaving office in about 50 days and he is still on OJT. I don’t think that ever happened before.