Criticizing his predecessors for misguided foreign wars, President Trump promised a break in that approach, but his National Security Strategy report indicates a shift more in rhetoric than substance, reports Dennis J. Bernstein.
By Dennis J Bernstein
President Trump’s recent report on National Security Strategy supposedly reflected his America First “realism” but his approach seems more like old wine in a new bottle, particularly his continued strong support for Saudi Arabia and Israel in the Middle East combined with an even more aggressive U.S. policy in Asia aimed at containing China as well as confronting North Korea.
For more background on Trump’s foreign policy, I spoke to Matthew Hoh. In 2009, Hoh resigned his position with the State Department in Afghanistan in protest of the escalation of the Afghan War by the Obama administration. He previously had been in Iraq with a State Department team and with the U.S. Marines. He is a senior fellow with the Center of International Policy. Hoh is also a member of the advisory boards of Expose Facts, Veterans For Peace and World Beyond War.
Dennis Bernstein: Before we get into Trump’s recent major speech on foreign policy, let’s take a look at Afghanistan, where you were posted by the State Department until you resigned in protest. Your thoughts after over 16 years of a US-waged war there?
Matthew Hoh: For the people of Afghanistan, this war has been going on since the 1970’s, much of it propelled by and supported by outside involvement. It has been eight years now since I resigned. If you had told me back then that this level of tragedy would still be continuing eight years on, there is no way I would have believed you.
It was just revealed by the Pentagon that in the last six months, American and Afghan commandos have conducted more than 2,000 raids in Afghanistan. Americans are still there kicking in doors, raiding people’s homes in the middle of the night, killing them, taking prisoners. This has happened over 2,000 times in Afghanistan in the last six…