Three Cheers for Trump’s Foreign Policy

What the Establishment Misses

Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 U.S. presidential election heralded nothing less than certain catastrophe. At least, that was and remains the firm belief of “the Blob”—what Ben Rhodes, a foreign policy adviser in the Obama administration, called those from both parties in the mainstream media and the foreign policy establishment who, driven by habitual ideas and no small amount of piety and false wisdom, worry about the decline of the U.S.-led order. “We are very probably looking at a global recession, with no end in sight,” the New York Times columnist Paul Krugman forecast after Trump’s victory. Others prophesied that Trump would resign by the end of his first year (Tony Schwartz, the co-author of Trump: The Art of the Deal), that he would be holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in six months (the liberal commentator John Aravosis), or that the United States might be headed down the same path that Germany took from the Weimar Republic to the Third Reich. That last warning came from former U.S. President Barack Obama last December at the Economic Club of Chicago, where he invoked the specter of Nazi Germany. “We have to tend to this garden of democracy or else things could fall apart quickly,” he said. “Sixty million people died, so you’ve got to pay attention—and vote.”

So far, the world has not come to an end, far from it. A year into Trump’s first term, the Islamic State, or ISIS—a fascist organization, by the way—had been virtually defeated in Syria and eliminated from all its havens in Iraq, thanks to the Trump administration’s decision to equip the largely Kurdish militia fighting ISIS in Syria and give U.S. ground commanders greater latitude to direct operations. All the while, Trump has continued the Obama doctrine of avoiding large-scale conventional wars in the Middle East and has succeeded where his predecessor failed in enforcing a real red line against

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