What’s The Plan For Securing America? We Don’t See One.
The Republican National convention is kicking off today with a night dedicated to national security and immigration. The plan? The Republican Party will sell their vision to “Make America Safe Again.” But so far we have yet to see anything close to a real national security plan from the Trump campaign. And if tonight’s speaking lineup offers any hints of what’s to come, we expect the evening will offer little more than the same empty and reckless rhetoric that’s defined the Trump campaign and its foreign policy to date.
More details about how GOP foreign policy is being formed this campaign cycle came from the Washington Post’s Josh Rogin today. According to insiders on the campaign, this is how Republicans are forming foreign policy in this election cycle: “Trump’s foreign policy aides wait for him to say something in public about an international issue and then craft a policy around whatever he said. The details of how Trump utterances fit into his overall international vision are worked out after the fact.” What’s even more alarming is that Trump, himself, just recently admitted to having no foreign policy experience whatsoever.
What this all boils down to is that Trump and the GOP have no real plan for how they will “Make America Safe.” Rehashing the already litigated five-year-old tragedy of Benghazi is not a plan. Neither are the following proposals, which have been a central part of a Trumped-up foreign policy platform to date:
1. A One-State Solution: This year, the RNC Platform committee approved an amendment that dropped support of a two-state solution for Israelis and Palestinians, a recommendation that both Democrats and Republicans have supported for decades. Now, we see the RNC embracing a stance that could alienate our Muslim allies and make peace-making efforts in the region more difficult.
2. The Muslim Ban: Donald Trump’s call to ban Muslims from entering the U.S.—his go-to response to recent terror attacks that he repeated last night—is not a plan. Responding to security threats with baseless, fear mongering, Islamophobic rhetoric is as damaging as it is offensive, and plays directly into the hands of our opponents.
3. Torture: Both Trump and his running mate Pence said they would reinstate the use of extreme interrogation techniques on terror suspects, promising to “bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding” if elected. Apart from being both illegal and immoral, relying on torture for intelligence is widely agreed to be both ineffective and often counterproductive.
4. Build a Mexico-U.S. Wall and Deport All Unauthorized Immigrants: Like with the Muslim Ban, Trump’s approach to dealing with the immigration challenges in our hemisphere is a cop out. It’s also hugely costly: Deporting all unauthorized immigrants currently living in the U.S. would cost at least $114 billion, and every day that goes without comprehensive immigration reform means the country forgoes an average of $37 million in additional revenue. Beyond being economically unfeasible and morally reprehensible, Trump’s proposal crucially overlooks the fact that the U.S. has much to gain from thoughtful immigration reform.
BOTTOM LINE: Our national security is a serious issue. And at a time when our nation is concerned for its safety, the Republican Party, now led by Donald Trump, is failing to present serious policy solutions to deal with these challenges.