Roger L. Simon

Donald Trump's Foreign Policy for Dummies

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Let me get this straight.  Two weeks ago Donald Trump said we shouldn’t have gone into Afghanistan, that it was a “terrible mistake” and now he says he was misunderstood?

Uhuh.

Sounds remarkably like the same dude who mixed up Hamas and Hezbollah and claimed he was hearing the word Kurds when Hugh Hewitt was asking him about the Quds force. Or the know-nothing who sloughed off his lack of knowledge of terror leader names  because, he insisted, they’d be gone before he took office, when the likes of Hasan Nasrallah have been around for decades. Fool me once, as they say…

Anyway, here’s CNN on the subject.  Yes, I know it’s CNN but read the transcript:

Donald Trump claimed Wednesday that he has consistently supported the decision to invade Afghanistan and that his earlier comment calling the war there a “terrible mistake” was a result of him misunderstanding the question he was asked.

In a statement provided by top aide Michael Cohen, Trump referred to a “misunderstanding” that he had during his interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo.

“I have always been in favor of going into Afghanistan because it sits next to Pakistan which has nuclear weapons. I have not been in favor of going into Iraq,” he said. “When I made the statement about not going into Afghanistan, I thought Chris was referring to Iraq.”

But a review of the transcript from his October 6 interview with Cuomo makes clear that Trump was indeed labeling Afghanistan a mistake, since he was comparing the situation there with that in Iraq.

But a review of the transcript from his October 6 interview with Cuomo makes clear that Trump was indeed labeling Afghanistan a mistake, since he was comparing the situation there with that in Iraq.

Though Trump and Cuomo were initially discussing the situation in Iraq and Syria, the host switched gears to talk about Afghanistan, mentioning the country by name twice.

“I understand your position on Syria, that you’re taking a wait-and-see approach there with the Russians. What about in Afghanistan?” Cuomo asked. “President Obama just said — not because of what just happened in Kunduz with the hospital you referred to, but (with) the instability of the situation vis-a-vis the Taliban and other terrorist entities there — he believes that a force should stay there and fight. Do you believe that American boots should stay on the ground in Afghanistan to stabilize the situation?”

Trump’s answer: “I wouldn’t totally disagree with it except, you know, at some point, are they going to be there for the next 200 years? You know, at some point what’s going on? It’s going to be a long time.”

He continued, “We made a terrible mistake getting involved there in the first place.”

Then he compared Afghanistan to Iraq.

“We had real brilliant thinkers that didn’t know what the hell they were doing. And it’s a mess. It’s a mess. And at this point, you probably have to, because that thing will collapse about two seconds after they leave. Just as I said that Iraq was going to collapse after we leave,” Trump said.

Cuomo then referred to Afghanistan again.

“On Afghanistan, you’re saying that you’re with the president. For now, you leave the troops there and see what the time horizon is?” he asked.

“I would leave the troops there, begrudgingly,” Trump replied. “I’m not happy about it, I will tell you, but I would leave the troops there begrudgingly, yes.”

The Trump campaign declined to comment further.

I can see why. Let’s face it, Trump fans: your boy needs a copy of Foreign Policy for Dummies and fast. If it doesn’t exist, someone should write for him. I have bad news. Hillary Clinton is going to eat his lunch on this one and it opens the door for the rest of those bonehead comments on the Middle East. You better hope the FBI gets her, but even Bernie Sanders would have a field day.

To be honest, Trump sounds like a guy who paid about as much attention to foreign policy until now as I have to building golf courses.  Even the reason he gives in his statement for going into Afghanistan in the first place sounds weird and made up.  It wasn’t Al Qaeda, 9/11 or Bin Laden, but because Pakistan had nukes?  Pakistan had nukes years before that.   On foreign affairs, Trump makes about as much sense as Professor Irwin Corey.

Trump is an entirely reactive human being.  This works fine when hurling barbs on Twitter, but is less appealing when walking around with the nuclear football.

If this sounds like I’m worried, I am. I don’t want a President Clinton.  Perhaps it’s time to ask some serious questions of Dr. Carson about foreign affairs… or take a second or third look at Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Carly Fiorina.  It’s a safe bet they know the difference between Hamas and Hezbollah.