Former U.N. Ambassador and AEI Senior Fellow John Bolton looked ahead to the Trump administration’s foreign policy on Thursday’s Breitbart News Daily with SiriusXM host Alex Marlow.
“As you look toward the foreign policy of a Trump administration and you look at the difficulties that Britain has encountered from European Union members who want to impose a punitive exit negotiation, I think one thing: it’s certainly not the entire gamut of foreign policy, but one thing that’s going to emerge here is a much stronger U.S. – U.K. relationship,” Bolton predicted.
“Unlike Obama saying that if Britain had the temerity to vote itself out of the European Union, it would go to the back of the queue in terms of trade negotiations, I think this a potential for Trump to score a real win,” he said. “Let’s make a deal with Britain, maybe with Canada, as well, on a trans-Atlantic trade agreement that would benefit the Brits, benefit us, benefit Canada if they want to be in on it, and let’s show what conservative government can do.”
Bolton highlighted a few things Trump said during his campaign that would be central to his foreign policy.
“The most important point he made on national security issues is his determination to rebuild the military, which has suffered beyond calculation because of the budget cuts of the Obama administration,” he said. “During an eight-year period where the budget for every other federal agency went through the roof – entitlement spending, domestic spending, regulatory spending, you name it. Defense went down, by different calculations, from the last Bush administration defense budget as a baseline, and I’d leave out the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but the estimates range between $100 billion and more of cuts that are going to mount up to something, year by year, over a trillion dollars of cuts below the Bush administration baseline.”
“That leaves us with feeble capabilities all over the world, with bombers and aerial refueling tankers that are older than the pilots flying them,” he noted. “I tell you, even though we should look to diplomacy to be our principal tool of international behavior, you’re never a better diplomat than when you’re backed by the strength of the American military.”
“Obama has eviscerated military budgets, as I say, for eight years. So for Trump to say we’re going to rebuild America’s military – and I would add, and I assume it’s implicit in what he’s saying, our intelligence capabilities as well, particularly human intelligence – everything changes as the perception of American power around the world changes,” he explained.
If we had a Navy comparable to the levels we need – not one equal to the strength of the Navy in 1916, but one closer to Reagan’s Navy – I don’t think the Chinese would be doing what they’re doing in the South China Sea,” Bolton said. “I don’t think the middle east would be so close to descending into anarchy. I don’t think Putin would be harassing the independent states formerly part of the Soviet Union. I mean, there’s a long list here of things that Obama has done and the consequences that have flowed from them because he has sapped American strength.”
“This is the essence of the Reagan philosophy of peace through strength,” he added. “We’re not looking for conflict by building up our military. We’re doing precisely the opposite. We’re trying to dissuade and deter our adversaries. And they are dissuaded and deterred when they think we’re strong. By contrast, when they see us as weak, they’re gonna try and take advantage of us.”
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