Wall Street Journal on March 17, 2016 reported on the foreign policy plans of Trump, Cruz and Kasich. Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump continues to hedge questions about his foreign-policy team even as the advisers to his two challengers are coming into sharper focus.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s campaign have released the names of 23 national-security advisers, including conservative veterans of U.S. and British foreign-policy circles. Among them: former Reagan White House adviser Elliott Abrams, former National Security Agency general counsel Stewart Baker and former Missouri Sen. Jim Talent, who served on the armed services committee.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich previously disclosed more than 30 national-security experts consulting with his campaign, including former Nixon National Security Adviser Richard V. Allen and Alvin Krongard, a former head of the Central Intelligence Agency.
Mr. Trump, by contrast, has announced only one national-security adviser: Alabama Rep. Jeff Sessions.
Mr. Cruz has released the names of his team… The list includes Frank J. Gaffney who served as assistant secretary of defense for international security policy under President Ronald Reagan.
The candidates’ foreign-policy views will face increased scrutiny next week when they address the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, Washington’s most powerful pro-Israel lobby.
Messrs. Cruz and Kasich are forming growing coteries of advisers as they woo supporters of two ex-rivals who emphasized their foreign-policy credentials.
Mr. Trump’s positions, many still unformed, often break with GOP tradition but appear to be resonating with voters who say U.S. diplomatic and trade agreements cater to foreign interests.
He has proposed engaging in trade fights with…China, demanding higher payments for military protection from Japan, Germany, South Korea and Saudi Arabia, and taking oil from Iraq.
He also has urged caution toward intervening in the Middle East…“Trump’s instincts I think have been proven right,” Mr. Sessions said…at a forum sponsored by the American Council for Capital Formation, an economic and environmental policy group. “I think his emphasis on a more realistic, pragmatic foreign policy is good.”
Mr. Sessions defended Mr. Trump’s call to reset relations with Russian PresidentVladimir Putin. “I think an argument can be made that there’s no reason for the U.S. and Russia to be at this loggerheads,” Mr. Sessions said.
For some conservatives, his views toward Mr. Putin have proven the most jarring. Mr. Trump has said he believes he can work well with Mr. Putin, and the two have traded compliments. But the U.S. and Russia have a strained, combative relationship stretching back decades.
“In a fantasy world of foreign policy, we could be good friends with Putin,” said Danielle Pletka, senior vice president of foreign and defense policy studies at the conservative American Enterprise Institute. “Principles get in the way of cozying up with dictators. So does information. But Mr. Trump has found a way around that. He simply has none.”
Mr. Cruz favors a more adversarial relationship with Russia. He has called for developing more defensive weapons, supporting missile interceptor sites in Poland and the Czech Republic, and highlighting human rights abuses.
Mr. Kasich has said the U.S. should work more closely with European allies to halt Russia’s aggression, “repositioning existing U.S. forces” onto the eastern borders of Russia’s neighbors “supported by a new, strong integrated air defense system.”
Most recently, the U.S. objected to Russia’s support for separatists in Ukraine and Georgia who attempted to splinter violently. In 2014, a Russian-made missile brought down a Malaysia Airlines plane over eastern Ukraine, killing 298 people. The Ukrainian government has blamed Russia-backed militants, though Russians have blamed the Ukrainians for bringing down the jetliner.
The U.S. and Russia have also squared off over how to deal with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Russia has supported keeping Mr. Assad in power, while the White House has said he must be removed from power to restore peace to the war-torn country. When Russia sent troops into Syria last year, their first group of targets included U.S.-backed rebels, only later pivoting to launch attacks against Islamic State militants.
NSA Director Adm. Michael Rogers identified Russia on Wednesday as one of the top four countries that are most actively launching cyberattacks. U.S. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley has called Russia as the “only country on earth that has the capability to destroy the United States of America.”
Comment: Russia, China and Iran/Persia are three empires that traditionally have challenged the West. The first mentioned is a colonial empire that has not yet decolonized. The present policy of aggression in Europe and the support for the Iranian backed Syrian president make Russia unsuitable as a partner both for the United States and the European Union. The old Chinese despotism has on the mainland been replaced by a Chinese communist regime that is openly challenging the West and its partners. Persia is in its present form (Iran) ruled by an apocalyptic Muslim sect that openly challenges the West. A leading classical geopolitician, Nicholas Spykman, has observed that the United States twice during the twentieth century entered a World War in order to prevent the domination of the Eurasian rimlands by a single power. That single power is today China. Spykman’s dictum was: who controls the rimland rules Eurasia; who rules Eurasia controls the destinies of the world. It is both reasonable and necessary fo rthe West to engage in the Middle East.