When the year comes to an end and President Trump's foreign policy suddenly moves in the wrong direction with wild and bad steps in Syria and Afghanistan, there is the wish list of a national security columnist for 2019.
Foremost must The President returns to the instincts that convince hawks like Trump's golf buddy Lindsey Graham and many other GOP foreign policy types to do the job and be able to do good in the world.
Also his allies as his constant critics repealed the decision of Syria. All pointed to a line in US Secretary of Defense James Mattis' letter of resignation in which he called for "treating the allies with respect and clarifying both vicious actors and strategic competitors. " I ran. It was Trump who approved the sale of weapons to our ally Ukraine ̵
He also relocated the US Embassy to Jerusalem to greet the US's closest ally, Israel, and join the president of our strongest ally in the US Pacific region, Shinzo Abe of Japan. After all, it was Trump who punished the chemical atrocities of the Syrian regime with an air raid (though he should have done so).
Relations with the ever-moralizing leaders of Europe were exciting, but this alliance did not collapse. In this hemisphere, a renamed NAFTA pact dispersed tension, and now Trump has a new ally in Brazil, a major South American player.
Unfortunately, the decision to betray Kurds, Muslims and Christians who fought alongside us married this promising start. The Israeli defense officials are humming softly. The winner is the Turkish man Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who works with Russia, Iran and Sunni extremists and cultivates regional anti-Americanism. Now Turkey is ready to crush our anti-ISIS allies.
We hope that Trump overturns his national team to direct the Syria decision (a full return would be uncharacteristic). The Goal: Reassure Kurds, help Israel to step up its campaign against Iranian bordering and prevent a resurgence of ISIS.
Trump's deprivation decision may have his reasons, but if he does, then he must better explain them to the Americans in 2019. Why, for example, halve US troops in Afghanistan to end all operations there? And why an immediate redirection instead of limiting announcements to significant progress?
Trumpians warn of "endless wars," but today's military campaigns can not end with clear victories, and they probably should not. They are more like lawn mowing and regularly uproot global weeds. And remember, there is no compulsory draft or national mobilization required. Instead, these wars require patient, continuous attention with relatively small footprints.
Some other wishes:
- Intensify the armaments of Ukraine and persuade Europeans to buy American energy instead of Russian energy. And do this first, before you try to warm relations with Moscow.
- Apply economic pressure on Beijing. The Chinese need us more economically than we need them. Also show the strength of the naval forces in South and East China Seas.
- Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is being pressured to deepen domestic reforms, publicize his Israeli relations, dismantle the Yemen war and decisively end his destructive feud with Qatar.
- Stay on the way to Iran. Avoid looking for a deal that would only strengthen the delicate power of the clerical regime. Avoid any North Korea deal that would benefit the Kim regime while endangering its Asian friends.
- For now, forget about an Israeli-Palestinian "Deal of the Century". Israel has just made an April election, and any movement would be futile before the end of Mahmoud Abbas's four-year term, which strangely began 14 years ago.
- The military budget should definitely be increased while the armed forces for the battlefields of the 21st century are refined. Avoid signaling that you would never use this military power.
- America is the indispensable force for good in the world. Without our active commitment, the world is just as bad as we are. It is to be hoped that Trump will make America the world powers again for the first time in 2019.