Some American voters see Donald Trump as the only hope to break the neocon grip on U.S. foreign policy and to put U.S. interests ahead of the Israel Lobby, but that may not be so, says Chuck Spinney.
By Chuck Spinney
Pro-Israel neocons have said they will jump off the Republican ship and vote for Hillary Clinton, because she will continue business as usual with regard to our militarized foreign policy. Apologists for Donald Trump argue that he will pursue a more restrained and less warlike foreign policy, including a more balanced policy toward Israel.
But a recent report by Stuart Winer in the Times of Israel suggests Trump’s bombastic “art of the deal,” at least when applied to pol-mil policy, will turn out to be yet another politician’s distinction without a difference — to wit:
“A senior adviser to Donald Trump said Wednesday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should wait for the presumptive Republican presidential nominee to win the White House before signing a military aid deal with Washington, because Trump would offer a better deal than the Obama administration.
“In an interview with Channel 2 television David Friedman said that a Trump administration would maintain Israel’s military advantage over its neighbors. He said Trump would not reduce defense aid to Israel but ‘in all likelihood will increase it significantly.’
“‘The aid package will certainly not go down in all likelihood it will go up in a material amount because Israel must maintain a technological and military superiority within the region,’ Freidman said. ‘I can’t give advice how Israel should bargain and develop its own strategy.’
“Friedman’s suggestion that Trump would increase aid to Israel apparently ran contrary to the GOP candidate’s call to make Israel pay back foreign aid. In March, Trump said he believed Israel should pay for defense aid it receives from the US.”
Could it be that the choice for President in 2016 will have no effect on America’s militarized foreign policy, and if so, would this be something new and different?
As with most political questions in Versailles on the Potomac, the pathway to answering this question is less one of Ivory-tower policy analysis than a gritty one of following the money — in this case the money flowing through the triangular relations of the Military – Industrial – Congressional Complex.
It is a question that goes to the heart of President Eisenhower’s prophetic warning, “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex.”
Chuck Spinney is a former military analyst for the Pentagon who was famous for the “Spinney Report,” which criticized the Pentagon’s wasteful pursuit of costly and complex weapons systems. [This article appeared previously at http://chuckspinney.blogspot.com/2016/06/trumping-hillary-same-old-pol-mil-game.html]