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Since Donald Trump entered the 2016 presidential race, it has been difficult to determine if life is imitating art or if art is imitating life.
In either case, the Republican presidential front-runner’s foreign policy plan, which was released by The New York Times over the Easter holiday, is a dead ringer for something that could have been released by his transgressive political double on Netflix: Frank Underwood, the fictitious president on House Of Cards, who is played by actor Kevin Spacey. In season three of House of Cards, Underwood developed a failed jobs plan called “America Works.”
Trump, the former Celebrity Apprentice star who has come under fire for a lack of foreign policy experience, calls the plan “America First” because, well, it does just that, he says. He discussed the plan as he edges closer to the Republican nomination, which is scheduled to come at the party’s convention in July in Denver, Colorado–that is, if it isn’t contested.
Depending where you are in Season 4 of the series, neither candidate, real or pretend, has a foreign policy plan. But Trump has changed all of that with his proposal – sort of. Here are some key elements of Trump’s plan:
Block Oil Purchases From Saudi Arabia
Criticizing Saudi Arabia and other Arab allies for failing to “commit ground troops to fight against the Islamic State,” or ISIS, Trump told The New York Times during a 100-minute interview on foreign policy that he would require them to “‘substantially reimburse’ the U.S. for combatting the militant group, which threatens their stability.” He said the country would not be around if not for American military protection.
Allow Japan and South Korea to Build Nuclear Arsenals
Arguing that “Japan and South Korea should take more responsibility for their defense, including possibly developing their own nuclear weapons,” Trump talked about unraveling decades-long mutual defense treaties.
He said he would be open to “withdrawing American forces from Japan and South Korea if those countries were not willing to pay more to keep those forces stationed in their countries. ‘I would not do so happily, but I would be willing to do it,’” he told the news outlet.
NATO is Obsolete
In the aftermath of terror attacks in the U.S. and around the globe, Trump has not minced words about his thoughts on NATO, whose members, including the U.S., Belgium, France, U.K, and Germany, agree to mutual defense in response to an attack by any outside parties.
Noting how much the U.S. spends on military defense for other countries, Trump called the agreement “economically unfair to the U.S.” But he is open to “an alternative organization focused on counterterrorism. He argued that the best way to halt China’s placement of military airfields and antiaircraft batteries on reclaimed islands in the South China Sea was to threaten its access to American markets.”
The Times notes that Trump’s thoughts “appeared to reflect little consideration” for how much his plans would upend an already delicate military balance around the globe, especially in the face of terror attacks by ISIS, Boko Haram, and Al-Qaeda. But then again, life is not a reality show or Netflix series. What are your thoughts? Sound off in the comments.
SOURCE: The New York Times | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty | VIDEO CREDIT: Inform