Trump’s Foreign Policy Speech Was Self-Contradictory, Ignorant

Donald Trump will be the Republican Party’s nominee for president this year barring an act of God. Also barring a similar act, he will lose the general election. That is something the entire human race should celebrate. His speech yesterday on foreign policy was an embarrassment of self-contradiction and wishful thinking that could easily result in international catastrophe. For forty minutes, he spoke in inadvertent support of the thesis that he is unsuited to be president.

If Mr. Trump believes that the speech was about foreign policy, then the idea of what makes up policy is foreign to him. A list of silliness is the easiest way to debunk his positions (if that is what they were).


  • He alleged that the Obama administration has let the UN nuclear arsenal atrophy when in fact the administration is spending $20 billion not only to maintain but also to modernize it.

  • His claim that the American trade deficit with China has seriously weakened America was contradicted by his claim that the US has enormous economic leverage with China which can be used to rein in North Korea.

  • He said that the US would be a reliable and dependable ally, and he also said that he would only work with nations that “appreciate what we’ve done for them.”

  • For the US to be good to others, “they also have to be good to us.” And he wants to improve relations with Russia, which is a country “not good to us.”

  • He said that Iran has violated the nuclear agreement it made with the P5+1 powers. This is untrue, or some evidence would have been all over the last three dozen Republican debates.

  • He added that because of the deal Iran has become “a great, great power,” which will come as news to the mullahs who are complaining that the US sanctions remain in place in some areas, and where the sanctions have been lifted, they can’t get deals with the west.

  • Mr. Trump said that he Obama administration has “snubbed” Israel, when the truth is the Israeli security community says he’s been the best president from their point of view in decades.

  • He claimed that he opposed the Iraq War from the beginning, when in fact, he was all for it when the shooting was going on.

  • Ignorant of history, he has labeled his approach “America First,” the slogan of the American isolationists of the 1930s, who quickly and quietly went away after Pearl Harbor.


Mr. Trump made the mistake of saying these things in public in an era in instantaneous global communications. That means that the people with whom he must work were he to be president heard it all. Former South Korean Vice Foreign Minister Kim Sung-han, who now teaches at the Korea University in Seoul, stated, “Saying the U.S. will no longer engage in anything that is a burden in terms of its relationships with allies, it would be almost like abandoning those alliances. It will inevitably give rise to anti-American sentiment worldwide.”

Xenia Wickett, head of the US and Americas Program at Britain’s Chatham House think tank, said the speech “suggests Trump would make America’s allies less secure rather than more. He talked about allies being confident but all of his rhetoric suggested that America should be unpredictable and that America’s allies needed to stand up for themselves.”

Mr. Trump is not qualified to be a participant in a mock United Nations let alone president