Make America Unpredictable Again

Donald Trump's foreign policy plan dumps decades of American leadership.

Donald Trump’s Foreign Policy Plan Dumps Decades Of American Leadership

Earlier today, Donald Trump delivered a speech in Washington, DC to lay out in more detail his vision for American foreign policy. Although the speech was a clear attempt to brand Trump as a more serious general election candidate, it was nonetheless defined by the same inconsistent, erratic, and implausible national security views that we’ve heard before. Trump’s inclination for isolationism and protectionism was once again the central theme of his speech.

One of the most dangerous platforms of Trump’s foreign policy – which he clearly reiterated today – is his deep skepticism of American relationships abroad. He once again complained that American allies “are not paying their fair share,” claimed that American rivals “no longer respect us,” and threw out the possibility of going “separate ways” with China. Relatedly, he made yet another direct attack on Muslim American communities when he said the U.S. “must stop importing extremism through senseless immigration policies.”

The key problem with Trump’s dismissive approach to America’s allies is that it threatens to make the world a more dangerous and unstable place. American alliances abroad have been indispensable in making the world a safer place since the Cold War. To show just one just one example of the ways in which Donald Trump‘s isolationist outlook is mistaken, the Center for American Progress Action Fund conducted a study of major global nonproliferation efforts –a product of international cooperation and allegiances – and has found that, with American leadership, the threat of weapons of mass destruction has been successfully reduced over the past 30 years:


As CAP Action’s analysis explains in detail, the U.S. has been directly involved in international efforts that have successfully limited the proliferation of nuclear weapons. The relatively widespread international consensus on the dangers of nuclear weapons has enabled the construction, over decades, of an international framework based on a series of agreements and treaties dedicated to reducing worldwide nuclear proliferation and its use, either as weapons or through testing. In a testament to their success — and to the absolute absurdity of Trump’s theory of nuclear inevitability — the number of operational nuclear warheads throughout the world has decreased from a high of 64,452 in 1986 to 10,315 in 2015, and there has not been an above-ground explosion of a nuclear weapon since 1980, either from use as a weapon or for a test.

BOTTOM LINE: Despite his best efforts to portray a more serious presidential candidate, Trump’s foreign policy speech only served to reinforce the danger and impracticality of a Trump presidency. His divisive comments, whether about banning Muslims from the United States or ending global alliances, jeopardize years of work and put our national security at risk.

Like CAP Action on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

The positions of American Progress, and our policy experts, are independent, and the findings and conclusions presented are those of American Progress alone. A full list of supporters is available here. American Progress would like to acknowledge the many generous supporters who make our work possible.