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Trump’s and MacArthur’s Failures!

July 18, 2018

President Ronald Reagan’s foreign policy focused on defeat of the Soviet Union, but his lack of attention to detail led to conduct of Reagan Administration foreign policy by Nixon and Bush confidants who did not share the President’s strategic vision. That led to the disastrous “Iran-Contra” scandal. Even the President’s Strategic Defense Initiative was destroyed, not by the Soviet Union, but by his own appointees.

President Trump’s foreign policy is somewhat similar. Hampered by the President’s desire to run the entire government like a family business, what consists of American foreign policy is determined by personal meetings with foreign leaders, and no attention is given to the possible outcomes of those events.

That assures that national security and foreign policy in the Trump Administration will be seen as Trump’s greatest–personal–failure. Though we must complain about the President’s misguided and ignorant “personal” diplomacy and how easily he can be “played” by our adversaries, there is little that can be done to influence the Trump Administration.

In some ways, conditions today are parallel to events in Korea in 1950 and the loss of 33,000 Americans in that war.

General Douglas MacArthur was administrator of occupied Japan–a literal Emperor–and in many ways a real Emperor. At age 70 in 1950, MacArthur was very settled in his ways and methods of control. His staff was composed of sycophants who controlled information and tailored it to what MacArthur wanted to know. His staff estimated that there were 13,000 Chinese military in North Korea when at the time that estimate was transmitted to Washington there were 300,000.

North Korea’s Kim Il Sung sent his troops across the 38th parallel in June 1950, yet MacArthur never spent a night in Korea, choosing to administer his responsibilities from Headquarters in Tokyo.  American officers posted to Korea were not well suited–many were judged incompetent–for a coming war, American troops were poorly equipped and lacked reliable weapons and sufficient ammunition and, after the successful invasion of the north at Inchon, MacArthur pushed American forces toward the Yalu, believing that the Chinese under Mao Tse-tung would do nothing.

In November 1950, Communist Chinese military crossed the Yalu and destroyed the defending American forces. Five months later, President Truman fired MacArthur.

Today, there is no one to “fire” President Trump. GOP leaders are silent and members of Congress are fearful of the President’s retaliation. So, we progress toward what is surely  inevitable disaster.

There is still time, however, if instead of brushing off his duty to appoint talented professionals to top administrative posts in foreign policy, President Trump began to select a small number of conservative professionals for appointment to the Departments of State and Defense, the National Security Council or as Ambassadors to the many Ambassadorial positions he has not, as yet, filled.

Here are the names of nine experts who can design to protect this President’s foreign policy from future mistakes:

Michael Doran, Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute, National Security strategist

Arthur Herman, Ph.D, Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute, Defense strategist

Mike Pilsbury, Director of the Center on Chinese Strategy, Hudson Institute.

Herman Pirchner, founding President of the American Foreign Policy Council with ties to Speaker Newt Gingrich

Michelle Van Cleve, George Washington University, National Security professional

Angelo Codevilla, intelligence expert and political theorist.

Jack Tierney, professor of International Relations at the Institute of World Politics.

William Schneider a former Undersecretary of State for Security Assistance in the Reagan Administration..

Robert Reilly, former head of Voice of America, and a public diplomacy professional


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