Surprise! Russia and China Don’t Like Trump’s “America First” Policies

We have been remiss in not writing more about President Trump’s National Security Strategy. It is an excellent document that puts a Trumpian stamp on what is basically a Reaganite foreign policy. It begins this way:

An America that is safe, prosperous, and free at home is an America with the strength, confidence, and will to lead abroad. It is an America that can preserve peace, uphold liberty, and create enduring advantages for the American people. Putting America first is the duty of our government and the foundation for U.S. leadership in the world.

A strong America is in the vital interests of not only the American people, but also those around the world who want to partner with the United States in pursuit of shared interests, values, and aspirations.

This National Security Strategy puts America first.

All of this is anathema to the New York Times, which headlined: “Russia and China Object to New ‘America First’ Security Doctrine.” Of course they do!

Officials in Russia and China pushed back on Tuesday against the characterization of their countries as threats to the United States in a new national security doctrine published by the White House a day earlier.

A spokesman for the Kremlin criticized Mr. Trump’s foreign policy strategy as having an “imperialist character” while the Chinese Embassy in Washington suggested that the document’s theme of “America First” reflected “outdated, zero-sum thinking.”

Implicitly, Russian and Chinese officials are contrasting President Trump’s policies with those of his predecessor, Barack Obama, who did not put America first. Unsurprisingly, they much preferred the Obama approach.

The Russians, at least, knew what they were getting in Barack “After my election I have more flexibility” Obama–a president who was more likely to sell out America than protect our interests. That is why Gennady Zyuganov, the head of Russia’s Communist Party, hailed Obama’s election enthusiastically:

All Republican presidents have always defended national interests, ignoring the interests of other countries of the world. The new US president cannot but understand that it is impossible to seek and find answers to many global issues without the participation of such a great country as Russia.

This is why I think the claim by politicized intelligence officers that Russia wanted Donald Trump to win the 2016 election is implausible. If there was one thing everyone knew about candidate Trump’s foreign policy, it was that he intended to “defend national interests.”

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