A New Foreign Policy for the United States?

Donald Trump attacked by pouring out hatred through ignorance, racist expressions, classist anxiety and xenophobia, thus accumulating resentment from a large part of the White American populace. He probably thinks the world was created by God in order to be governed by the United States, but in reality, nobody will be able to restore what history has forever changed.

However, in spite of the crisis, one can expect many things from the new president’s understanding of the world and his conflict resolution. For Donald Trump, that past has become his present, and he needs more than rhetoric to manage it. In fact, his language has awakened expectations of change both internally and externally, giving rise to an uncontrollable series of events that will test his promises of control.

The foreign policy apparatus consists of the armed forces, the CIA, the National Security Agency, the Department of State and major segments of other government departments, each one with considerable inertia and controlled by professional experts that have seen many presidents come and go. The White House National Security Council is in charge of coordinating this often chaotic conglomerate of conflicting bureaucratic interests, whose conflicts are accentuated by people of great power within the system and by special interest groups outside of the government.

With Truman and Eisenhower, there were secretaries of state (Dean Acheson and later John Foster Dulles) who acted as assistants and delegates of the president in foreign policy affairs. McGeorge Bundy with Kennedy and Johnson, and later Kissinger with Nixon and Brzezinski with Carter, were national security advisors that returned control of the foreign policy processes to the White House. This has been followed by dramatic changes from strong secretaries of state (Shultz with Reagan, and Baker with Bush senior) with unusually efficient national security advisors.

It is a process complicated by interference from supreme commanders of the armed forces as they direct foreign policy. Franklin Roosevelt fought against the system, and many times against his closest advisors (which was also the case with Kennedy and Johnson). The majority of the citizenry lack the intellectual resources to connect domestic and foreign affairs. There is a feeling of passive futility, the implied belief that it does not matter what the citizenry thinks because it has little or no effect on foreign policy.

For Trump, the immediate foreign policy task will be to adjust his rhetoric and guarantee his allies that the United States’ role in the neoliberal world order will continue. Four finalists are being considered by the president-elect to head the Department of State, one of the most powerful and high profile positions in cabinet.

The list includes the 2012 Republican [presidential] candidate, Mitt Romney, and the ex-mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani. They are also considering the ex-director of the CIA, Gen. David Petraeus, and Tennessee senator, Bob Corker.

The United States is a mosaic of cultures, a nation of Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, non-believers, etc. According to analysts, Trump will not solve any problems: He will worsen those that already exist and will bring about more serious challenges.

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