Donald Trump delivered a major foreign policy speech today, one of the only pre-scripted speeches he’s delivered on the campaign trail. Trump promised to strengthen America, improve the economy, and pledged to use 3D printing and artificial intelligence to accomplish those goals, leaving some commentators confused.
The foreign policy speech delivered by Donald Trump today outlined his foreign policy platform and gave supporters a preview of the brand-new presidential Trump hinted at last week by campaign strategist Paul Manafort. Trump stood up in a Washington, D.C., hotel and delivered the speech, appearing uncomfortable, according to observers, reading a teleprompter instead of delivering his usual off-the-cuff remarks.
“America first will be the major and over-riding theme of my administration,” said Donald Trump during his foreign policy speech.
Commentators on CNN lauded Trump’s America first platform but claim the idea fell apart over the course of the speech. Fareed Zakaria in particular called the speech “bizarre” and “incoherent,” stating that Trump contradicted himself several times throughout the speech. Trump called for an end to U.S. nation-building but also stated that the U.S. should create stability and promote western civilization abroad – two core aspects of nation-building.
“It was populist, nationalist, protectionist – that was all familiar. But he expanded – it was sort of rambling to the point of being incoherent. He contradicted himself several times, saying ‘our allies can rely on us,’ but ‘we need to be unpredictable,'” said CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, calling into question the content of Donald Trump’s foreign policy speech.
Donald Trump’s foreign policy platform outlined in today’s speech suggests that the Republican front-runner would prefer a return to American leadership abroad, but he also stated several times that he intends to hold other nations accountable and vows to get out of the business of nation-building. Further, a cornerstone of the Trump foreign policy speech seemed to be Trump’s assertion that the United States needs to play its cards closer to the chest.
“Their days are numbered. I won’t tell them where, and I won’t tell them how. We must as a nation be more unpredictable. We are totally predictable,” Trump said during the speech, reports Talking Points Memo.
Donald Trump hit on familiar points during the speech — trade deals, border protection, and Israel — but some analysts are looking into new details Trump alluded to today that could have far-reaching impacts. David E. Sanger of the New York Times stated that Trump’s policy today echoed the “Powell Doctrine” of the Bush presidency, that America should only engage in military conflicts if it intends to see them through to the end — “If America fights, it must only fight to win.” Far from a throwaway line, Sanger claims that this single change to American foreign policy could have huge ramifications in the long term.
Not sure who is advising Trump on foreign policy but I can understand why he’s not revealing their names.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) April 27, 2016
“The Powell Doctrine gave way, in the past two presidencies to more selective use of surgical force – including special operations forces. This would be a big reversal – one that would require a very large standing military,” said Sanger for the New York Times.
One of the strangest parts of the speech came near the end when Donald Trump queued up a few applause lines hammering home familiar points – pledges to increase the number of available jobs and strengthen the economy. Trump paused for applause then continued, stating that the United States needs to use its technological superiority in order to defeat its enemies.
“This includes 3D printing, artificial intelligence, and cyber warfare,” Donald Trump said without further elaboration. “A great country also takes care of its warriors.”
Still, the Washington Post reiterates that while the Trump foreign policy speech may have been light on details for policy analysts, it delivered on familiar points that have thus far won Trump a great deal of support from the Republican base.
[Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]