US President-elect Doanal Trump promised a “new era of peace” on Thursday night — claimed he would to end the US’s regime-change policies of the past.
Addressing a rally in Cincinnati, Ohio, at the start of a “USA Thank You Tour 2016” for his supporters in the Midwestern swing states that secured his win last month, the president-elect hinted at co-operation with Syria, Iran and Lebanon.
“We will partner with every nation that is willing to join us in the effort to defeat Isis and radical Islamic terrorism.”
“We will destroy Isis. At the same time, we will pursue a new foreign policy that finally learns from the mistakes of the past.
“We will stop looking to topple regimes and overthrow governments, folks.
“Our goal is stability, not chaos because we want to rebuild our country. It’s time.”
Mr Trump announced that he is to name General James Mattis as his defence secretary.
“We are going to appoint ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis as our secretary of defence,” he told the crowd.
“They say he’s the closest thing to General George Patton [World War Two commander] that we have.”
Gen Mattis is, in some ways, a curious and controversial choice. Before he serves as defence secretary Congress will have to waive a rule that says militiary personnel have to be out of uniform for seven years before he or she can serve in that role. Gen Mattis has been retired for only three years. Congress has done this before: Army General George Marshall received a congressional waiver to serve as President Harry Truman’s defence secretary in 1950. He had previously served as President Truman’s Secretary of State.
Whilst Gen Mattis has been an outspoken critic of Obama he also has points of differences with Donald Trump. Gen Mattis shares Tump’s suspicion of Iran describing that country as the “single most enduring threat” in the Middle East.
Like Turmp he’s been strongly critical of the Iran nuclear deal, but in a speech to the Center for Strategic and International Studies in April, he said there’s “no going back” on the agreement – which Mr Trump has said he wants to “dismantle”.
He has warned that Washington has not taken seriously enough Russia’s military moves against its neighbours – annexing Crimea and backing separatists in Ukraine – and also criticised Mr Trump’s view that Nato is “obsolete” as “kooky”, and challenged his suggestion that some Nato allies are not paying their fair share.
Gen Mattis may prove a controversial choice because of his membership on the board of directors at discredited blood testing firm Theranos.
Before leaving the military, Gen Mattis lobbied to have Theranos’ products approved for use on the battlefield.
He joined the firm’s board after leaving the US military in 2013 and Theranos’ technology was later found to be fraudulent.
The Third Way view: The US does pay more than a fair share into Nato.There are good reasons for Trump to renegotiate the American relationship with the body or withdraw. We would like to see better relations with Russia (as it appears would Donald Trump). We don’t accept that Iran is a threat and would like better relations with that country. In that we differ with both Trump and Mattis. The Iran nuclear deal should be maintained.Israel is a big problem that needs to be addressed if there is to be lasting peace in the Middle East. Donald Trump’s non-interventionist instincts and a desire to defeat Salafist terrorism would be good for the US and the world, if followed.
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