Can we talk foreign policy now?

… Or Ya know, Governatoring! Donald Trump is the President-elect of the United States of America. Yesterday, I wrote that I disagreed with Hillary Clinton’s neoconservative foreign policy but did not trust (now) President Trump’s temperament:

Whatever negative views I may hold about Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy views, I at least trust her with the nuclear launch codes. I trust her not go on flights of fancy about her ability to railroad and rearrange the world to her liking through sheer force of personality. I trust her to have a plan and to seek sober counsel about the global challenges she will inevitably face; unlike Trump who once claimed that he knows more about ISIS and other issues than the America’s Generals.

I trust Hillary Clinton not to unilaterally end Muslim immigration or denounce Latino immigrants or call to register Muslims SS-style. I trust her not to pick fights with SNL over how she’s parodied. I trust her to respect women.

The world n'atEven if President Trump reigns in the bloviating (heh!), his unilateralist bent and the similarly authoritarian cabinet he is sure to assemble are concerning. Quoth Daniel Larison at The American Conservative:

What we do know is that Trump has surrounded himself with hard-liners and authoritarians, and he is reportedly considering some of them for top Cabinet posts. A Trump administration that includes the likes of Giuliani, Gingrich, Flynn, and Bolton will certainly not be a restrained or realist one, and we can expect increased hostility towards Iran and anyone perceived to be aligned with them. Flynn is one of Trump’s earliest foreign policy advisers, and he co-authored a book with Michael Ledeen, one of the most fanatical Iran hawks of all.

Gingrich, Giuliani, and Bolton have all been boosters of the totalitarian cult and “former” terrorist group, Mujahideen-e Khalq (MEK), which seeks to replace the current Iranian government with its cult leader. Trump has made denouncing the nuclear deal a major part of his indictment of Obama’s foreign policy, and Iran hawks in Congress will be eager to torpedo it. I have a hard time seeing Trump fighting to preserve a signature achievement of a president he loathes, and so it is more likely than not the nuclear deal is going to unravel. That will not only be a bad outcome in terms of nonproliferation, but it will also open the door to war with Iran that the deal at least temporarily closed.

Good gawd, John Bolton?! While Trump’s victory is a fine repudiation of the elite’s neglect of the working classes, from a foreign policy standpoint, it means that Republicans will have learned nothing from the past 16+ years of military adventurism and failure. Trump will try the same types of things that failed Presidents GW Bush and Obama; only his people will believe that he will succeed through sheer force of personality. The Middle East, in particular, is too old, full of memory and anger to cower at the feet of a newly emboldened and naive President Trump simply because he’s screaming his name as loudly as he can.

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