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Experts: US foreign policy lacks strategy

China Daily | Updated: 2017-05-01 08:17

WASHINGTON - In his first 100 days in office, US President Donald Trump's foreign policy has been tough, but lacking an overall strategy, US experts have said.

Experts said Trump's election marks a new era for US foreign policy, as he is more willing to use military force and bomb adversaries.

Critics have blasted Trump's predecessor Barack Obama as an ivory tower intellectual who was paralyzed by fear of escalation in some areas and therefore took no real action on pressing foreign policy matters.

By contrast, Trump has shown that he spends less time deliberating and is quicker to take action in certain areas.

Since taking office on Jan 20, Trump has gotten tough on both Syria and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, in what experts see as a break from the previous administration's more diplomatic approach to foreign policy.

Indeed, earlier this month, Trump ordered a surprise missile strike against Syria to send a warning to the Syrian government after a reported chemical weapons attack.

He also ordered the US military to drop the "mother of all bombs" - the most powerful non-nuclear bomb - in Afghanistan, in a bid to send a message that he means business.

At the same time, Trump has declared the end of the so-called "strategic patience" policy over DPRK's nuclear and missile programs, while putting all options, including a military strike, on the table. He even ordered a US carrier strike group to the waters near the Korean Peninsula.

"I think that the crises to date have been managed okay," Michael O'Hanlon, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, told Xinhua.

While some experts said that Trump is faring well in terms of foreign policy overall, others said his recent moves in Syria have backfired, and have been detrimental to US interests.

"Trump's anti-chemical weapons missile strike against Syrian (government) forces caused the Syrians to redouble their conventional bombing of pro-US rebels in non-IS areas of Syria," Wayne White, former deputy director of the State Department's Middle East Intelligence Office, told Xinhua.

On the war against the IS, White said the Trump administration is doing nothing different than Obama.

"Despite promises to crush IS, Trump has done practically nothing different than his predecessor so far," White said.

"A small US troop reinforcement, something the Obama administration already was doing in stages for over 2 years, plus an aerial bombardment mostly unmodified," he added.


(China Daily 05/01/2017 page4)

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