GOP front-runner Donald Trump, marking just the second time in this campaign he's used teleprompters to carefully deliver a prepared speech
, spoke at length Wednesday about the need for a "new American foreign policy." Trump promised a nation that is stronger both financially and militarily if he is elected president.
The speech came one day after Trump swept five states in Tuesday's primary. Trump slammed the "failed policies" of President Barack Obama and Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, and promised a nation of strength should he be elected, including a vow that ISIS will be "gone quickly, very quickly" once he is in the White House.
The address was delivered at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington D.C. at around noon to a small audience consisting mostly of press and his campaign.
"It's time to shake the rust off America's foreign policy," Trump said. "It's time to invite new voices and new visions into the fold, something we have to do. The direction I will outline today will also return us to a timeless principle. My foreign policy will always put the interests of the American people and American security above all else."
After the Cold War, Trump said, the nation's foreign policy veered "badly off course," and as time went by, the nation's foreign policy began to make less sense, and the foreign policy disasters went from one to another.
There are five main weaknesses in the nation's foreign policy, said Trump.
"President Obama has weakened our military by weakening our economy," he said. "He has crippled us with wasteful spending, massive debt, low growth, a huge trade deficit and open borders."
Second, he said, the nation's allies are "not paying their fair share," and look at the United States as being "weak and forgiving and feel no obligation to honor their agreements with us." United States, he said, "has spent trillions of dollars . . . to provide a strong defense for Europe and Asia."
And if they won't pay? "The U.S. must be prepared to let these countries defend themselves," he said. "We have no choice."
Also, the United States' allies believe they can't depend on this country because of Obama, who "dislikes our friends and bows to our enemies, something we've never seen before in the history of our country."
Just one of those times was with the "disastrous deal" with Iran, said Trump, and he promised that under his administration, Iran will "never ever be allowed to have that nuclear weapon."
Obama also allowed China to continue its "economic assault" on American jobs, said Trump, while refusing to enforce trade deals and applying leverage on China to rein in North Korea.
"If President Obama's goal had been to weaken America, he could not have done a better job," said Trump.
Also, America has lacked a coherent foreign policy since the the break up of the Soviet Union, said Trump.
"We're a humanitarian nation but the legacy of the Obama-Clinton will be weakness, confusion, and disarray," said Trump. "A mess. We've made the Middle East more unstable and chaotic than ever before. We left Christians subject to intense persecution and even genocide."
He also carried his attacks to Clinton, who he said like Obama refuses to say the words "radical Islam" while she pushes to allow refugees to come into the United States.
He also slammed her for her "failed intervention" in Libya, and accused her of going home and sleeping rather than taking charge on the night of the Benghazi attacks.
The United States needs a new foreign policy that Trump says will be supported by both Democrats and Republicans.
Trump said first, the nation needs a long-term plan to halt the reach of radical Islam.
"Events may require the use of military force but it is also a philosophical struggle, like our long struggle in the cold war," said Trump, which will require close work with Muslim allies.
Also, Trump said that the nation must "stop importing extremism" through "senseless immigration policies, and said the United States also must be more "unpredictable," when it comes to sending military resources overseas.
"We tell everything," he said. "We are sending troops, we tell them. We're sending something else, we have a news conference. We have to be unpredictable. And we have to be unpredictable starting now."
Trump also called for rebuilding the nation's military, saying that the nation's nuclear weapons arsenal is in need of modernization.
"President Obama has proposed a 2017 defense budget in real dollars cuts nearly 25 percent from what we were spending in 2011," said Trump. "Our military is depleted. And we're asking our generals, and military leaders to worry about global warming."
"But we will look for savings and spend our money wisely," said Trump."In this time of mounting debt, right now, we have so much debt, that nobody even knows how to address the problem. But I do."
He also called for better treatment of the nation's veterans, promising that will happen under his administrations.
"Finally we must develop a foreign policy based on American interests," said Trump. "Businesses do not succeed when they lose sight of their core interests and neither do countries," pointing to attacks in Kenya and Tanzania in the 1990s.
Trump said his priorities include being smart enough to recognize the United States' enemies in the Middle East and "not help them."
In addition, it is time to "tackle our common challenges," he said, including upgrading NATO's "outdated" agenda.
But at the same time, he said he will not hesitate to deploy military force when there is no alternatives, and if America fights, "it must only fight to win."
"I will never send our finest into battle unless necessary, and I mean absolutely necessary," said Trump. "I will only do so if we have a plan for victory with a capital V. Our goal is peace and prosperity and not war and destruction."
At the same time, "our friends and enemies must know if I draw a line in the sand, I will enforce a line in the sand, believe me. However, unlike other candidates for the presidency, war and aggression will not be my first instinct. You cannot have a foreign policy without diplomacy."
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