Trump’s Challenge to the GOP Foreign Policy Consensus and Why It Matters

Trump’s Challenge to the GOP Foreign Policy Consensus and Why It Matters
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump during a campaign rally, Aug. 9, 2016, Fayetteville, N.C. (AP photo by Evan Vucci).

On Monday, 50 Republicans signed a letter denouncing the party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, as a “risk” to America’s “national security and well-being.” These aren’t any ordinary Republicans. They are some of the party’s leading national security and foreign policy voices, people like Michael Chertoff and Tom Ridge, who both served as secretary of homeland security under former President George W. Bush; Michael Hayden, who previously headed both the CIA and National Security Agency; Eric Edelman, who worked for former Vice President Dick Cheney; and Richard Fontaine, who was a foreign policy adviser to Sen. John McCain.

They were merciless in their criticism of Trump. They described him as having “little understanding of America’s vital national interests, its complex diplomatic challenges, its indispensable alliances, and the democratic values on which U.S. foreign policy must be based.”

“He weakens U.S. moral authority as the leader of the free world,” they said, and “would be the most reckless President in American history.”

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