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Here Are 5 of the Most Disturbing Foreign-Policy Blunders of the Trump Era

August 10, 2018 in Blogs

By Alex Henderson, AlterNet

The president has had a generally abysmal record on foreign policy.

President Donald Trump has not only used his “draining the swamp” concept in connection with domestic policy—he has applied it to foreign policy as well, denouncing the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations as foreign-policy nightmares. Trump, in fact, has often been quite critical of Bush and his vice president, Dick Cheney, for the disastrous Iraq War and the overthrow of dictator Saddam Hussein. But Trump has hardly been a stellar president on foreign policy. From hiring a Bush-era CIA torture proponent to undermining NATO to embracing war-crazed neocon John Bolton, Trump has had a generally abysmal record on foreign policy.

Here are five of the most disturbing foreign-policy debacles of the Trump era.

1. The Undermining of NATO

As president, Trump has had no kind words for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, which he has painted as a parasite that refuses to pull its own weight. At the G7 summit in Canada in June, Trump asserted, “NATO is as bad as NAFTA. It’s much too costly for the U.S.”—and at the NATO summit in Brussels, Belgium on July 11, Trump described Germany, France and other NATO members as freeloaders who were doing little, if anything, for the United States. Reflecting on Trump’s “incessant attacks on our NATO allies” during an interview with MSNBC’s Brian Williams in July, neocon Bill Kristol even went so far as to say that he feared Trump was actually hoping that NATO would fall apart.

2. Trump Nominates Gina Haspel to Head CIA

As critical as Trump has been of Bush’s presidency, that didn’t stop him from nominating Gina Haspel to head the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Haspel, according to the New York Times, was in charge of Bush-era CIA activities in a secret prison in Thailand—and one of the prisoners, Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri (who was suspecting of heading al-Qaeda operations in the Persian Gulf), was subjected to severe waterboarding, locked in a box and slammed against the wall. Torture is not only immoral—it …read more


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