An Open Letter to Donald Trump on Foreign Policy

Dear President-Elect Trump, your surprise election as president will do more to shake up the political landscape than any other event in the post-World War II period, with the possible exception of Ronald Reagan’s selection as president in the November 1980 election. The impact of the 2016 election may well be greatest on matters of foreign and military affairs.

Your predecessor’s mistakes in office have left you with two major deficits. The first of these is a weakened military establishment incapable of working in multiple theaters at the same time. But no diplomatic effort will be credible unless the United States has some military presence to back it up. Keep the military weak, and it is more likely that provocations by others will be called into action. The second deficit is the total loss of credibility with our allies based on our systematic inability to back threats with action.

The policy principles should help guide the selection of the key leaders needed for the restoration of American credibility in foreign and military affairs. The stakes are too high to permit serious blunders.

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