America’s adversaries are increasingly coordinated, posing potential challenges to the isolationist foreign policy stance championed by Donald Trump ahead of a potential second term, a former adviser to his administration has warned.
“A big difference from the past is this axis of disruptors: Russia, China, Iran, North Korea,” Nadia Schadlow, who served as deputy national security adviser for strategy in the Trump administration, told Congress. Wall Street Journal.
‘They are functioning as a much more cohesive coalition than in the past. That’s a new dynamic that I would have to manage,” added Schadlow, who is currently a principal investigator at the Hudson Institute.
Trump, the likely Republican candidate for the 2024 presidential election, has in recent days doubled down on his stance that the United States should move away from global issues and focus on domestic problems.
Earlier this week, he appeared to encourage Russia to attack NATO allies that don’t meet their defense spending quotas, demanding European allies “Pay up!” to match US military aid to Ukraine.
In recent days, Trump has doubled down on his stance that the United States should step away from global issues and focus on domestic problems.
Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) in 2019. US adversaries are forging closer ties and cooperation, former Trump adviser warns
“His mentality is that if he wants us to defend him, he has to spend money,” Schadlow told the Journal.
Voter fatigue with foreign wars and the United States’ perceived role as the world’s policeman helped propel Trump to victory in 2016, when he also promised tougher conditions for allies and fewer foreign entanglements.
He is now strengthening that posture, but Schadlow warns that it comes at a time of increasing coordination between American adversaries.
US officials say North Korea is now supplying weapons to Russia. Moscow has also sought closer ties with China and Iran as it continues its war against Ukraine.
Trump campaign spokesman Steven Cheung told DailyMail.com in a statement: “Corrupt Joe Biden has allowed this disaster to happen, and that’s why we need President Trump back in the White House.”
On Iran, Trump says he would continue the tough policies of his first term, when he suspended an Obama-era deal to curb Tehran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.
Regarding China, Trump has promised even tougher stances on trade, talking about revoking normal trade relations and imposing sanctions of up to 60 percent.
But he has also praised Chinese leader Xi Jinping, calling him a “brilliant guy” at a rally earlier this month.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un looks at what he says is an intercontinental ballistic missile the country test-launched at Sunan International Airport in Pyongyang, North Korea.
Trump has also been vague about whether he believes the United States should defend Taiwan, the self-governing island over which Beijing seeks to establish control.
“If I answer that question, I will put myself in a very bad negotiating position,” he said on Fox News last summer when asked whether the United States should defend Taiwan.
“That said, Taiwan took all of our chip business,” he added, referring to Taiwan’s leadership as a producer of advanced semiconductors.
Trump has said little about his plans for North Korea and its leader Kim Jong Un, after exchanging “love letters” with the dictator in his first term.
In December, Trump dismissed as “fake news” reports that he plans to reach a deal that would allow Kim to keep his nuclear arsenal but would ease sanctions if he stops developing new warheads.
Tensions on the Korean Peninsula are at their highest point in years. Kim is believed to be accelerating his nuclear and missile program and has enshrined in law his nation’s right to launch preemptive strikes.
During his first term, Trump proposed withdrawing US troops from South Korea, Germany and other countries.
He has said he would push for greater military spending in a second term, to deter adversaries from challenging the United States or starting new wars.
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi listens to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov during their meeting in Tehran, Monday, October 23, 2023.
Last weekend, Trump was widely condemned for claiming he would encourage Russia to attack NATO members who didn’t “pay up.”
Among those condemning the former president were the White House, which called his comments “unhinged,” and a former communications aide who said Trump was emboldening Vladimir Putin, amid fears he could even trigger World War III.
The former president made the alarming promise to rile a cheering crowd that took to the streets outside his rally in Conway, South Carolina, on Saturday.
‘The president of a big country stood up and said, “If we don’t pay and Russia attacks us, will they protect us?” I said you didn’t pay, are you in default? He said, “Yeah, let’s just say that happened.”
‘No, I wouldn’t protect you, in fact I would encourage them (Russia) to do whatever they want, you have to pay! You have to pay your bills.