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A New Era of Feckless Foreign Policy Leadership

Trump Foreign Policy
Written by Sam Stevens

Republican members of Congress were not shy about criticizing President Obama during his presidency, and foreign policy critiques were among their favorite lines of attack.

In many respects, Obama, a professorial intellectual not prone to “tough guy talk,” made himself an easy target. There were unmistakable foreign policy blunders during the Obama administration that Republicans were right to call out.

Most notably, his critics argue that it was Obama’s bungled backtracking on the “red line” threat to Syria’s Bashar al-Assad that further destabilized the Middle East and emboldened ISIS. The resulting leadership vacuum in war-torn Syria opened the door to Russia and allowed them to gain a foothold in the Middle East, after Obama had written them off previously as just a “regional power.”

Republicans in Congress are more than eager to turn the page on what they believe are many failed foreign policy decisions during the Obama administration. Unfortunately for them, the first two weeks of the Trump administration make it seem like the Obama administration will be looked at as the golden years of stable foreign policy.

Let’s just catalog the foreign policy blunders Trump has caused – or made worse – in his two short weeks as president.

Few imagined that Trump was going to have an especially cozy relationship with Mexico – a long-time U.S. ally – given his labeling of Mexican immigrants as “rapists” and “criminals,” along with his insistence that Mexico will bankroll the much-heralded border wall. However, I doubt many thought that Trump would blow up relations with Mexico as swiftly as he has.

It is customary for a new U.S. president to meet with the Mexican president shortly after taking office, in a show of solidarity between these traditionally friendly allies. Such a meeting was in place between Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto and Trump during the early days of the Trump presidency.

The meeting was, however, abruptly cancelled by Peña Nieto after the two got into a Twitter spat over whether or not Mexico would, indeed, pay for the border wall.

In a subsequent phone call between the two, Trump further disparaged Peña Nieto and threatened to invade Mexico and have the U.S. military handle the “bad hombres down there.” Yes, I’m serious.  

Next up, another one of the United States’ staunchest allies – Australia.

Trump recently had a phone conversation with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in what should have been an easy layup of a conversation.

All Trump had to do was exchange pleasantries, talk about kangaroos, koalas, the nice golf courses in Australia, along with the other empty diplomatic platitudes that are typical of congratulatory calls between new leaders.

Instead, Trump berated Turnbull throughout the call for adhering to an Obama administration agreement to accept 1,250 refugees from Australia and boasted about his 2016 campaign win. The caustic conversation was reportedly ended early by Trump, but not until after Trump told Turnbull that the call was the worst of the four that he had had that day with a foreign leader, including a call with Vladimir Putin.

The call was such a diplomatic disaster that the ever-present thorn in Trump’s side, Sen. John McCain, had to call Turnbull to clean up Trump’s mess, and reiterate the unwavering support that the United States has for Australia.

Then there was Trump’s first sanctioned military mission as commander in chief. The elite Navy Seal Team 6 unit carried out a covert attack just days after Trump’s inauguration on a compound in Yemen, where suspected al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants were hiding out.

The mission did not go smoothly.

According to U.S. officials, Trump approved the mission “without sufficient intelligence, ground support, or adequate backup preparations.” The hastily carried out mission resulted in one dead Navy Seal, six injured U.S. military personnel, a crashed $70 million U.S. aircraft, and several civilian casualties – including women and children.

And I haven’t even touched upon Trump’s Muslim ban, his Russian appeasement or his apparent disregard for the NATO alliance.

Republicans who were giddy to rid themselves of the supposedly ineffective foreign policy of the Obama administration should be careful of what they wished for. Trump’s quick temper, inexperience, and lack of historical perspective have ushered in a new era of brainless, wayward foreign policy that few of them could have thought possible.


Sam was raised in our nation’s capitol and, for as long as he can remember, has always been an avid political junkie. In a former life, he worked as a staffer to a U.S. Senator. He now works as an economic development consultant in Atlanta, but moonlights as a freelance political writer as a way to scratch his political “itch.” He is a regular contributor to Political Storm.


  • I am totally sorry that I voted for Mr. Trump. He is alienating us from some of our best Allies, he needs to use his brain before he opens his mouth and not let his ego do his thinking for him. He should also check on things “thoroughly” before he makes some of his “dumb” statements that he usually says concerning things that he has no idea what is what. I will once again say hat I only voted for him because my first choice didn’t make it, and, Hillary was out of the question.


  • Most comments here, are the result of ignorance that is paved by misinformation from the corporate news media. Most Americans are ignorant of what really is taken place in our country. Please seek the truth and pass it on. Our enemy is the Washington establishment; the Washington establishment is a shadow group that work in Collusion with the corporate news media, some members of our congress, the senate, some especial interest organizations and some rich private individuals who are exercising a huge power behind the scenes; they are the forces that select and promote the candidates to be place in office so they be the subservient to the shadow government who are the true executive power that control our country. The election of Donald Trump was their biggest failure they want Hillary Clinton in the White House; now they want to destroy Donald Trump by any means.

  • I totally agree, he is the largest disgrace of the century for the United States, questioning when will the word and action called “impeachment” be activated against this unqualified person of interest “Donald Trump”?

    • Trump is more than a disgrace to America he is out of his mind & is taking this country down the wrong path. He thinks he can run the country the same way he ran his business & that isn’t the case. He screwed over too many in his business life & is doing the same as POTUS. Wake up America & get rid of the A–hole.

  • I totally agree, he is the largest disgrace of the century for the United States, questioning when will the word and action called “impeachment” be activated against this unqualified person of interest “Donald Trump”?

  • As a member of Republican corporate America Trump’s foreign policy has me shaking in my boots, not simply because of the economic threats his fecklessness cause but for the security risks that are piling up. We have to put the pressure on Corker, Rubio,Rand Paul, -all of the Republican Senators on the Foreign Relations Committee to do their job!

  • How did this disaster happen to America, our great country? Not only is Trump not qualified to be president, he is a LIAR, AN UNREGISTERED SEX OFFENDER, ET AL. NO president of the United States has ever uttered “I grab a woman by her pu*** and have sex with her because I am rich.” He made these disgusting comments ON TAPE while his wife was five months pregnant, and yet the IMBECILES who voted for him GAVE him the presidency. I am working with a national group to have the Electoral College declared illegal so this will never happen again. And although Trump would have lost the election by over three million votes for Hillary Clinton, he LIES AND LIES AND LIES and calls this MEDIA LIES. I shudder to think how America will be embarrassed when Trump shows up at the NATO Summit and makes one of his stupid speeches.

    • I for one am totally sorry that I voted trump in. It was only done because my first choice didn’t make it. And, Hillary was not an option. If I would have known that trump was going to end up isolate us with his egotistical rants, he would never have even made to my last choice.

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About the author

Sam Stevens

Sam was raised in our nation's capitol, and for as long as he can remember has always been an avid political junkie. In a former life, he worked as a staffer to a U.S. Senator. He now works as an economic development consultant in Atlanta, but moonlights as a freelance political writer as a way to scratch his political "itch."