Admiral Dennis Blair | Trump's Foreign Policy is Preferable to Obama's (3/6) | Oxford Union

Admiral Dennis Blair | Trump's Foreign Policy is Preferable to Obama's (3/6) | Oxford Union

I now look to Admiral Dennis Blair to continue the case for the proposition ladies and gentlemen Madam President I I must begin by taking issue with the proposition before the house as any New Yorker would tell you better than President Obama you got to be kidding me why not goat greatest of all time after all as the President himself confide it to us late last year he's already blown Ronald Reagan away but I must deal with the resident with the resolution as it is not as Robbie tried to define it all aspects of psychoanalysis of our president but I need only convince you that the last two years of American foreign policy has have been better than the previous eight and those previous eight years such a low point such a low point it is not simply that the Obama administration failed to achieve its goals it is also that they set those unachieved goals so very low the president himself once explained that the guiding principle of his foreign policy and I will use the bowdlerized phraseology here don't do stupid stuff not a bad starting point not a very good ending point and a baseball metaphor he explained that his foreign policy was to hit singles and doubles you do understand baseball goodness but if I may push the metaphor further what he really did was try to bunt every time and then when the fastball came in hard and high the way it does in international relations he pulled away consider the Middle East increased the troop numbers in Afghanistan and announced they will leave soon support the Arab Spring in some countries but don't talk about it in other countries withdraw all the troops from Iraq and then put them back in draw a red line in Syria and then take no action fail to enforce it bomb Libya with no intent or plan to do anything about the easily foreseen consequences of that action support Iran as a near nuclear power and do nothing about its aggressive activities throughout the region East Asia policy was little better announced a pivot to Asia and then rename it a rebalance and then take no concrete actions there to follow up the policy dispatch a former Oxford student Bill Clinton to Pyongyang to escort home a pair of American journalists who had recklessly wandered across the Yellow River into North Korea thereby embolden in North Korea to sink the South Korean frigate Chonan and do nothing to North Korea thereafter or for the rest of your term in office do a little more than lecture Chinese leaders settle for token concessions often quickly reversed examples include the militarization of the illegal expanded islands in the South China Sea or the promise not to conduct industrial espionage against international companies in short it's just not a very high bar that I have to clear to convince you to support tonight's proposition but first first I must deal with the rhetoric issue it is true that the current president limits his policy announcements to the 280 characters allowed in a tweet message and these tweet messages are neither notable for the restraint nor their consistency now his predecessor preferred 45 minutes of soaring rhetoric loved by oxford students and their tutors but seldom relevant to the current conditions that actually on the ground and followed by little subsequent action I know because I was in that administration and those speeches were often a surprise to those of us who served in the administration as they were to the world at large no we have to look beneath the rhetoric and look to the reality and let's start with the Middle East now Middle East policy has to start with the basic proposition that the most powerful countries there are all ruled by thugs mb/s and Saudi Arabia seized yuneisia if they're alone in Turkey come in a in Iran and the major American interests and I would argue the major Western interests in that entire part of the world are only three oil Israel and combating terrorism so the only sane American policy is to choose our thug and protect our interests with the least expenditure of blood and treasure and the Trump administration has chosen its sub the House of Saud thereby securing at least one of the three major interests and by the way it has maintained interests with the leaders of the other three countries which is a prudent thing to do in that part of the world the administration has minimized the troops that it deploys to the region and they act in an advisory role this gives the United States leverage but it keeps the responsibility with the host governments themselves and it keeps pressure on terrorist groups in Afghanistan Iraq and Syria and this administration has pursued vigorous negotiations with the Taliban to end the fighting in Afghanistan which is the only long-term solution to that country's decade-long and tragic ordeal now let's turn to the Middle East for eight years the Obama administration did little more than admire the problem of North Korea the Trump administration must be given credit for a new and very active approach time will tell what the result will be but it's unique and energy diplomatic and military approaches have increased the chances for progress have opened up potential new avenues to make progress and China the Obama administration treated China as a growing adolescent then needed to be lectured on polite manners the hope was that as China who older more mature more wealthy these lectures would guide it to a grateful and cooperative place in the modern economic and political system that the United States and its allies had created alas alas rather than becoming a refined member of the club it became an aggressive lout who swaggered into the place demanded to be elected an officer at reduced dues stolen to silver cheated at cards and then complained about the service in the South China Sea it expanded and then it militarized claims to which it had no legitimate right as ruled by the permanent Court of Arbitration a couple of years ago and it bullied the other claimant countries the second largest economy in the world it took advantage of the international economic system for its own ends it ignored or sought to change those aspects of the system there were not to its benefit it pursued ruthless mercantilist policies at the expense of international companies doing business in China it favoured domestic companies in its own market and abroad and it used the information technology revolution to steal intellectual property and to repress its own people in a highly sophisticated way the Trump administration for the first time since 10 months Square has imposed penalties on China through tariff increases the United States has created leverage leverage for negotiating changes in this behavior but the Trump administration has not cut off engagement or relaunch another cold war it favors doing business with China it looks for cooperation on issues such as Korea the Middle East it engages at many levels China now there are many other foreign policy issues to be discussed but my time is running down so let me make a final point president Trump himself is often outrageous provocative in his pronouncements on foreign policy you know the problem here in Europe is that when the tweets come out you guys are wide awake having lunch and ready to be outraged take a look at Asia the tweets arrive in the middle of the night they're asleep by the time they get up the next morning it's past and they can evaluate it from a more realistic way so yeah tweets and our president often contradicts her changes his pronouncements but there's a more point important point here and I'll finish with this president Trump has shaken the foreign policy shibboleths that deserve to be shaken he is questioned inherited wisdom that deserves to be re-examined the unconventional approaches he has taken have not yet resulted in the quick victories that he himself predicted however neither did the prior policies we have not started a nuclear war and president Trump's initiatives have opened up new avenues that may well lead to real successes two long-standing problems in the Middle East oil continues to flow to the world at reasonable prices Israel remains secure the Islamic state has been eliminated in Iraq and in Syria Iran is despite its recent gambits adhering to the nuclear agreement and under economic pressure from the United States is reconsidering the costs and the benefits of its regional aggression in the Far East North Korea is engaged and on the defensive and China has been restrained in its actions in the South China Sea and it's engaged in negotiations on these mercantilist policies which hurt all of the other countries of the world so to return one last time to a baseball metaphor not a bad score card not a bad score card thank you you

7 thoughts on “Admiral Dennis Blair | Trump's Foreign Policy is Preferable to Obama's (3/6) | Oxford Union

  1. Watch the full debate here:

  2. tiresome twts who think they are far cleverer than they really are. Trump has in fact an intellectual capacity head and shoulders above this lot…they are just so conceited they don't realise it.

  3. I also think it's easy to criticise obama's foreign policy because he attempted to do many different things from the previous administration yet paving the road for Trump's successes. However, trump's policies are really the adjunct of what the obama administration had tried to do using a hardball open negotiating style in comparison with obama's nice guy style and avoidant style of dealing with foreign policy.

  4. Don't get easly manipulated by the "racist" spell.

    The spell often used by those with intent to hide truth, who wish to lie, cheat, and steal.

    Polished word, politeness requires a presequisite.. a good intention.
    Evil intention can be expressed in polite way, polished way, yet it won't change the fact that it is evil intention.

    Trump may not polished, may not polite, yet compare to Obama I can see that his foreign policy is much better, to say much better is understatement, comparing good as better than evil.


  5. Trump is exactly like Obama and Bush. He's fully aligned with the military industrial complex. Supports Saudis even vetoing the stop arming them bill while they commit genocide in Yemen. He's as much a war mongerer as recent previous presidents. As an American who voted for him…seeing him install a bunch of Bush era neocons and allowing them to destabilize countries, I see he's the same ol same ol. Nothing special.

  6. Bush and Obama: Appeasing dictators with American tax dollars, apologizing for American greatness, setting false and moving red lines, overthrowing world leaders, drone attacks, sending troops to countries who never asked for assistance, sending tax dollars to build infrastructure in countries who hate the west, importing unvetted people from countries incompatible with American values, making excuses for Islamic terrorism, building up China with American tax dollars, appeasing the globalist UN, on and on and on. We the American people are sick of our leaders who want war, we are sick of funding the wars of other countries, we are sick of appeasing dictators, we are sick of immigrants who have no intention of embracing our culture. ENOUGH! TRUMP 2020🇺🇸🇺🇸

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