Wed, Mar 23, 2016 - Page 7 News List

Trump opens up on his foreign policy positions


Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump on Monday confronted doubts about the depth of his knowledge of world affairs, delivering a sober speech to a pro-Israel crowd and outlining for the first time his team of foreign policy advisers.

In a lengthy interview with the editorial board of the Washington Post, Trump outlined a distinctly non-interventionist approach for the US in the world.

“I do think it’s a different world today, and I don’t think we should be nation building anymore,” Trump told the newspaper.

He stressed instead the need to invest in infrastructure at home.

“At what point do you say: ‘Hey, we have to take care of ourselves’?” he said. “So, I know the outer world exists and I’ll be very cognizant of that, but at the same time, our country is disintegrating, large sections of it, especially the inner cities.”

Trump has largely avoided policy details during his campaign, focusing instead on boldly stated goals and saying last week in an interview with MSNBC that his “primary consultant is myself.”

During the interview, Trump stumbled when questioning the US role in assisting Ukraine in its conflict with Russia.

“They’re not doing anything. And I say: ‘Why is it that Germany’s not dealing with NATO on Ukraine? Why is it that other countries that are in the vicinity of Ukraine, why aren’t they dealing?” he said.

In fact, since the Ukraine crisis erupted more than two years ago, US President Barack Obama’s administration has refused to provide the new, pro-Western government in Kiev offensive military equipment to use against Russian-backed separatists. And while a ceasefire that started in February last year helped reduce the worst of the violence, Germany and France led that mediation effort. The US was not directly involved.

Trump has also drawn concerns from Jewish leaders for saying he would attempt to be “neutral” in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Trump said he is “a lifelong supporter and true friend of Israel.”

Trump was followed on stage by rival Ted Cruz, who opened his speech by pointedly noting Trump’s use of the term “Palestine.”

“Perhaps to the surprise of the previous speaker, Palestine has not existed since 1948,” the senator said.

Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton also addressed the conference, questioning Trump’s readiness to guide the nation through international entanglements.

“We need steady hands,” Clinton said. “Not a president who says he’s neutral on Monday, pro-Israel on Tuesday and who-knows-what on Wednesday because everything’s negotiable.”

Israel’s security “is non-negotiable,” she said.

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