As of now, I am in control here, in the White House

The Trump Doctrine: Pick up the Cans Clinton, Bush, and Obama Kicked Down the Road

I have an op-ed about President Trump’s foreign policy running on the NBC News website today. Here’s a taste of the piece:

That clattering noise you’ve been hearing for years is the sound of previous U.S. presidents, from Bill Clinton to George W. Bush to Barack Obama, kicking cans down the road for someone else to pick up. Now, a heavyset older man with orange hair has set about collecting them — not to recycle for another president, but to ensure no future U.S. leader will trip over them.

Critics describe President Donald Trump’s foreign policy as a muddledunpredictable collection of impulses, with the one organizing principle being the coddling of like-minded, ruthless dictators. But there is, in fact, a defining diplomatic strategy: He is cleaning up the messes left by his predecessors.

Trump, regularly derided as the most irresponsible of presidents, is actually taking ownership of the most terrifying problems the country faces and trying to solve them in a direct way that his recent predecessors avoided.

Trump is actually taking ownership of the most terrifying problems the country faces and trying to solve them in a direct way that his recent predecessors avoided.

With respect to Iran, China, North Korea and even Russia, Trump is taking tough stances. He is getting cozy with dictators because the man who considers himself an artist of the deal understands that those are the people he must strike bargains with.

I hope you get a chance to check it out.

15 Responses to The Trump Doctrine: Pick up the Cans Clinton, Bush, and Obama Kicked Down the Road

  1. A few months ago Trump was commenting on one of these “kick the can” issues and said, “It wasn’t me who did this…it was our past geniuses.”

  2. IMO, we ain’t seen nothin’ yet from PresidentTrump’s foreign policy agenda. When he wins in 2020, he’ll pull our troops out of Afghanistan, reduce the number of American troops in Europe, squeeze Iran until they cry ‘uncle’, tell China to take a hike off a short pier, and that’s what we want our President to do.
    When Obama went on the ApologyTour, he shamed us and we haven’t forgotten how we felt watching him bow down to foreign dictators.
    We expect our POTUS, no matter who, to acknowledge that we are Top Dog, don’t bow to anyone, anywhere.
    ot: a little
    Biden issued his foreign messed up policy today that would resume the Obama position that America owes every country something -money, apologies,free trade, something.
    That’s not who we are (as they say).

  3. Well Said Keith!
    …pick up the cans from Clinton to Bush to Obama.

    All those stuck-up, arrogant, elitist, know-it-all, pricks who are career State Dept bureaucrats/swamp scum, there’s a major cause of the problems in modern US Foreign Affairs…

    Looking back, I am kinda glad I never passed the Foreign Service Officer Test back in 2003 and was never sucked into that swamp that is the US State Dept.

    • I have always been proud to have served my country as a Foreign Service Officer….And glad I made the decision to get out mid-career (not the norm) even though I was on the fast-track. Most of my colleagues couldn’t believe I would actually do such a thing. Better for me, better for my family.

      • Langley Spook, thankfully I was smart enough to get out. Some of my colleagues had a similar mind-set but not most — especially the Economic and Political Officers who were in many respects glorified newspaper readers.