Trump's foreign policy views becoming more heretical

How ignorant is Donald Trump about foreign policy?

Here's Mr. genius on China:

In an interview with The New York Times, Trump even suggested that he would not rule out going to war with China in order to show the country that he’s serious about trade negotiations.

“I would use trade to negotiate. Would I go to war? Look, let me just tell you. There’s a question I wouldn’t want to answer. Because I don’t want to say I won’t or I will or – do you understand that, David?” he said, addressing Times reporter David Sanger.

“That’s the problem with our country. A politician would say, ‘Oh I would never go to war,’ or they’d say, ‘Oh I would go to war.’ I don’t want to say what I’d do because, again, we need unpredictability.”

What is he talking about? Can he name one responsible candidate for president who has ever - ever - said they would or would not go to war? Does he really believe he's the only candidate who has ever kept his options open?

It gets worse.

Mr. Trump’s views, as he explained them, fit nowhere into the recent history of the Republican Party: He is not in the internationalist camp of President George Bush, nor does he favor President George W. Bush’s call to make it the United States’ mission to spread democracy around the world. He agreed with a suggestion that his ideas might be summed up as “America First.”

“Not isolationist, but I am America First,” he said. “I like the expression.” He said he was willing to reconsider traditional American alliances if partners were not willing to pay, in cash or troop commitments, for the presence of American forces around the world. “We will not be ripped off anymore,” he said.

In the past week, the bombings in Brussels and an accelerated war against the Islamic State have shifted the focus of the campaign trail conversation back to questions of how the candidates would defend the United States and what kind of diplomacy they would pursue around the world.

Mr. Trump explained his thoughts in concrete and easily digestible terms, but they appeared to reflect little consideration for potential consequences. Much the same way he treats political rivals and interviewers, he personalized how he would engage foreign nations, suggesting his approach would depend partly on “how friendly they’ve been toward us,” not just on national interests or alliances.

At no point did he express any belief that American forces deployed on military bases around the world were by themselves valuable to the United States, though Republican and Democratic administrations have for decades argued that they are essential to deterring military adventurism, protecting commerce and gathering intelligence.

Trump's views are not only uninformed, they ignore the facts in favor of bombast and bluster. 

Taken together, Trump’s comments about foreign policy often hinge on the idea that the U.S. should withdraw from much of the world and negotiate a “better deal” before reengaging. In addition to casting doubts on alliances, he has also been a prominent opponent of the 12-nation Pacific Rim trade deal. 

“At the basis is this sense that we’ve been suckered by the world,” said Kathleen Hicks, director of the international security program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Hicks said the arrangements that Trump decries are beneficial to the United States.

“We are on the good end of the deal when it comes to why do we have alliances. Sure, we like to help other countries, but it’s for entirely selfish reasons,” she told The Hill.

“Why do we have military bases in Asia? We have used military bases in Asia because we want to be able to deal with threats far from our shores rather than close to our shores,” she added. “That’s smart and it’s actually a lot cheaper.” 

Both South Korea and Japan pay us to position troops in their countries. Japan pays 100% of troop costs while South Korea - depending on what critieria you use - pays up to 50% of troop expenses. Does Trump know that Japan is prevented from sending troops overrseas by their constitution? Obviously not.

From Europe, to the Middle East, to East Asia and beyond, Trump's call for "unpredictability" is raising the anxiety level of national leaders. Unpredictability is not all it's cracked up to be - especially when the powers that can't predict what Trump is going to do are nuclear powers with thousands of warheads aimed at America. Since the atomic age began, no matter how hot the cold war got, there was always an element of predictability to our relations with the Soviets and the Chinese. Without it, a first strike against America takes on a certain logic that would make the world an incredibly dangerous place.

Trump's ignorance might blow up the world. His unformed, nearly illiterate worldview would make the US a pariah state, destroy alliances that have served us well for 70 years, and make us a laughing stock as our clownish president blustered his way across the globe. 

The absolute worst aspect of a Trump presidency would be that no one would take him or the US seriously. That could lead to war as easily as if Trump got mad at a leader and started a nuclear war because he felt insulted.