To the Next U.S. President: Avoid the Folly of Expansive Foreign Policy

President-Elect Update: Donald J. Trump was elected President of the United States in an electoral landslide that soundly defeated his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton.

Below is advice to the next POTUS, more pertinent now than ever as paid professionals and the organized Left begin widespread protests and riots across major urban metropolitan areas of the nation. Instability at home must be dealt with directly. The best way for the POTUS to do that is focusing on the homefront and not the war front. if the next POTUS can create market conditions that allow all Americans to succeed and avoid costly wars abroad, social cohesion can surely be restored at home.

The divisiveness of this cycles Presidential election has been so raw that whether Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump is to be the next U.S. President, America’s domestic tranquility will be an uncertain reality of the next four years. The uncertainty America faces at home must not be a contagion that spreads abroad. To best serve American foreign policy, the next U.S. President must manage Great Power relations, avoid getting bogged down in the Middle East morass, peacefully reprioritize its interests into the Asia-Pacific, and above all else, focus where they are most needed, on the homefront and not the war front. The major challenge for American foreign policy makers in the next White House will be learning to leave it the hell alone.

American foreign policy has been on a precipitous decline. The fall of the Berlin Wall and the peaceful conclusion of the Cold War that was negotiated between former U.S. President George H.W Bush and President Mikhail Gorbachev of the Soviet Union marked the end of an era. Sober calculations necessitated by the hair-trigger alarm of nuclear war between two major superpowers were replaced by a new arrogance in the attitudes of America’s foreign policy elite towards not only other great powers but international law and global institutions.

In the aftermath of the Cold War, America’s elite disregarded international law and much of the institutional framework for a liberal world order that their predecessors had set up and nurtured. Confident that U.S. dominance and a unipolar era would go on in perpetuity, from President Bill Clinton to Barack Obama, reckless foreign policy decisions were made that put American national security and global stability into serious disarray. Here are just  a few of the mistakes made by U.S. foreign policy strategists that have put at risk the United States national interests and the well-being of the American people.

Covert wars that cover half the planet, coups backed by false promises to potential leaders on every continent, color “revolutions” manufactured by billions of dollars in dark money, the expansion of military alliances onto the borders of other great powers, unilateral military actions that overthrew stable governments and replaced them with chaos and fanaticism, and the creation and dissemination of new and uncontrolled methods of warfare from cyber to drones that we have yet to feel the full effect of and have little desire for coming to any rules-based order on which to guide their use.

The American government, particularly our modern-day U.S. imperial presidents, have been so busy playing politics with National Security they have yet to see the incredible damage their policies are having on the United States global standing or it’s internal economic wellbeing. Trillions of dollars have been spent, blood has been spilled from Syria to Libya and Somalia, and innumerable hours of press coverage and bureaucratic preoccupation have resulted in the hollowing out of America; from the vanishing middle class to the uncontrollable power of special interests, the United States has lost its ability to differentiate between the urgent and the important. The most important dilemma the next U.S. President will face is not abroad, but at home. The United States can and in some theaters must continue to have a prominent role in international affairs, but fixing the political and economic mess at home is the only way for America to once again show strength and integrity abroad. The serious problems Americans have had on the homefront have caused it’s politicians to focus their attention on the war front, whether for the promotion of “Democracy” at the barrel of a gun with counterproductive results in Iraq or the escalation of hostilities with Russia to advance a U.S. political agenda that reaches the White House. The United States has not acted like a superpower or a nation interested in preserving global order and mutual respect between powers with competing interests, but a mortal threat to global order and international peace.

If the next U.S. President wants to be of service to their nation, they must reduce the causes for conflict escalation with Russia, disengage from the Middle East morass, and counter America’s steep decline in the Asia-Pacific. Focusing foreign policy on deleveraging ourselves where vital national security interests are not at stake, like in Syria and Yemen, will free us up to engage in rebuilding our domestic power base, which is and has been since WWII our economy. By focusing on the innovations and technology of the future, including virtual reality, machine learning, artificial intelligence, major medical breakthroughs and exploration into space, coupled with redeveloping the American workforce, rebuilding our roads, bridges, and airports, America can be prosperous and great again.

Instead of muddling from one foreign policy disaster crisis to another, the next U.S. President must think strategically about what is important to America’s position in the 21st century. the first two Presidents of the 21st century have been sore disappointments, both divisive and incompetent, escalating wars and the threat of wars everywhere their foreign policy teams turned to. The next U.S. President should seek to understand that although International Relations will continue to have a place in the U.S. portfolio of important things, it cannot avoid the trauma at home by distracting the people with more adventures abroad.

One thought on “To the Next U.S. President: Avoid the Folly of Expansive Foreign Policy

  1. Pingback: 6 Actions That Will Improve US Foreign Policy in Syria | The International Scope

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