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Former GOP Senator Lugar blasts Trump policies as 'simplistic'

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Former U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana blasted many of President Trump’s stated foreign policy goals are “simplistic, prosaic and reactive,” in remarks made this week at an event hosted by the Foreign Policy Association in Washington, D.C.

Lugar--the Republican former chair and ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee who served for 36 years in the Senate--suggested that Trump’s foreign policy is characteristic of “a selfish, inward looking nation that is being motivated by fear, not a great superpower with capacity to shape global affairs.”

If President Trump were fully to implement his stated policies for trade, immigration and international alliances, Lugar predicted, “the net effect. . . would be an economic and geopolitical disaster.”

Lugar added that President Trump is relying too much on beefing up the military while “squandering America’s international leverage.”

“We cannot bomb our way to security,” Lugar said.

Lugar--who currently serves as president of The Lugar Center, a D.C.-based think tank focusing on foreign policy issues and bipartisan governance--emphasized that, for the benefit of the country, he wants Trump to succeed as a world leader. And he dismissed many of the administration’s early foreign policy missteps as the result of an incomplete foreign policy team and a new chief executive who “has not yet found his footing.”

But Lugar did say, in his remarks, that President Trump’s “campaign-driven foreign policy themes . . . are fundamentally contradicted by centuries of world history.” Thus, for instance, the President’s protectionist trade agenda ignores the powerful impact of technology on job displacement, and “attempting to isolate a nation from trade competition is a self-defeating strategy that will hurt those at the bottom of the economic ladder before anyone else,” Lugar said.

“On immigration, we are mired in a debate of distraction,” Lugar said. “In a world where dampening the rise of new terrorists is as important as dealing with existing ones, the ban on entrants from Muslim countries represents the most obvious recruitment tool against the United States since Abu Ghraib. . . . The ban has been a steep net loss to U.S. national security.”

Lugar, a strong supporter of NATO throughout his Senate career, also expressed concern about Trump’s willingness to question U.S. commitment to our allies as he seeks to wring more contributions from them. “Such ambiguity is not clever,” Lugar said. “It is dangerous and can lead to deadly miscalculation.”

 

 

Posted 4/13/2017

 
 
 
 

 

 

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