If you let the media tell it, Trump is guaranteed to start World War III – or worse, full-out nuclear war – if he becomes president
But is that really true? Would Trump really “push the button”?
It's not likely.
We can't predict the future of course, but based on Trump's stated foreign policy stances and his track record as an international businessman, he's actually the least likely candidate to cause large-scale conflict.
Let's take a look at the facts.
The Truth About Trump's Foreign Policy
Here's the big picture regarding Trump's previous statements on US military actions throughout the world.
On the Middle East
As you probably know, the Middle East has been a hotbed of fighting and conflict for decades. And the US has played a major role in much of it.
What are Trump's ideas on the matter?
For one, he has criticized the invasion of Iraq, mainly for turning a bad situation worse. When you consider that the fall of Saddam Hussein allowed room for ISIS to form, you realize that he was actually the lesser of two evils in that situation.
Sure, he wasn't very nice, but at least he was holding the region together for the time being.
Same story in Libya and now Syria, two more conflicts that Trump disagrees with. The truth is, Libya is a lot more volatile now than it was with Gaddafi at the helm, and Syria's president Assad is one of the few forces making a real effort against ISIS.
To recap, Trump is not cool with America's constant involvement in the Middle East. He wants the region to be stable.
Why are we being told this guy is so dangerous again?
The only people who have to fear Trump is ISIS. He's called for a combined and concentrated effort against the extremist group, eliminating them once and for all.
On Our Allies
We looked at Trump's opinions on our enemies. But how about our “allies”?
Well, there's Saudi Arabia, who the US continues to support militarily despite their record of promoting terrorism and violating the human rights of their citizens.
Why exactly do we continue to ally ourselves with a government that regularly beheads people over small crimes?
And if we are going to fight their battles, shouldn't they be paying their fair share? The truth is, they don't. Neither of these issues have been lost on Trump, who's criticized Saudi Arabia on several issues.
You'll notice a theme regarding Trump and his insistence that countries pay their way. Why should the US be responsible for funding the bulk of NATO? Not only is the program obsolete (it was created to counter the Soviet Union during the Cold War), its other members are rich European countries who could certainly afford to chip in more than what they do.
Then there's Japan and South Korea. For quite some time, both of these countries have relied heavily on the American military to protect them.
But they're rich countries, as Trump has pointed out. They could easily field their own military. And if they're not willing, shouldn't they foot the bill for America's help?
Obviously the thought of pulling American troops from Europe, Asia, and the Middle East is going to ruffle some feathers. But many of these agreements do not serve our interests. They also make it a lot more likely for the US to be embroiled in another World War, were it to happen.
On the other hand, Trump has questioned the vilification of Russia by the US and Europe.
If WW3 goes down, it's likely going to involve Russia. Easing the tensions between our two nations would go a long way to alleviating that threat. Especially considering they share plenty of mutual goals with America, like defeating ISIS and stabilizing the Middle East.
On Our Military
Wait, hasn't Trump boasted how strong he's going to make our military? That's right. He even said it'd be so big and powerful that “no one will mess with us”.
Surely that means he's a brutal warmonger focused on world domination?
Not really. As we saw above, the US military has a lot of responsibilities. We have bases all over the world, decades of ongoing conflicts throughout the Middle East, and obligations to dozens of different countries.
Being stretched that thin, trying to be in a million places at once, weakens our military as a whole.
When viewed in conjunction with the rest of Trump's foreign policy proposal, you'll see that a “strong military” means one that's more focused and defensive, rather than the interventionist mess we have now.
We have more than enough military power to protect the country. Where it gets shaky is when we've got troops in South Korea, fighter jets in Syria, and money going to Ukraine.
Another major problem in the US military is inefficiency. Many projects – whether it's a new piece of technology or toilet seats – end up way over-budget and past schedule.
This has been one of Trump's strengths as a businessman – getting things done on time and without spending too much. It's an area he's prided himself on for decades.
That doesn't mean he's cheap. The man spares no expense on many of his building projects. But he doesn't overpay. He doesn't waste.
Cutting that wasteful spending out of America's military budget would help us get the most out of what we have.
In fact, between more efficient spending and less foreign intervention, it's not a stretch of the imagination to believe that Trump's proposed policies could actually cut the military budget – while at the same time making the military itself stronger as a whole.
By the way, less meddling in the affairs of other countries would leave our potential enemies with less reason to attack us – or “mess with us” – in the first place.
Trump's Experience with Foreign Leaders
The American citizens are tired of corrupt, ineffective politicians who do a lot of talking but not much solving. That's one of the reason Trump is so appealing to tens of millions of people.
But his detractors hold this lack of political experience against him. They also claim his sometimes brash nature will rub foreign leaders the wrong way.
Let's take a step back and re-examine.
The Trump Organization – the company that holds most of Trump's assets – operates not only all over the United States, but in dozens of other countries around the globe.
That includes real estate from Uruguay to South Korea, hotels from Panama to Azerbaijan, and golf courses in Scotland, Dubai, and more.
With experience doing business internationally for years and years, do you really think Trump doesn't know a thing or two about dealing with people from other countries?
Of course he does. He may insult his competition during the election cycle, but there's no reason to expect he'd do the same to the president of China or Russia. If he did, it would've been a problem by now.
And do you really think the world “liked” every one of our past presidents? Of course not.
When it comes to geopolitics, it's less about being liked as a person and more about your policies. And we've already seen how Trump's policy would put the US in a lot safer place than they are today.
Trump Will Keep the Country Safe
Compare that to the other candidates. Hillary had a hand in many of the conflicts we talked about, including Iraq and Libya. She even called for a no-fly zone over Syria recently to stop Russia's bombing of ISIS. Talk about trying to start World War III!
People have criticized Trump's comments on waterboarding, yet Hillary actually oversaw the torture of hundreds of prisoners during her run as Secretary of the State. She's already done worse than Trump could ever do.
Ted Cruz wants to “carpet bomb” ISIS, which would undoubtedly lead to thousands of civilian casualties. He's yet another hawkish politician – just like the one's we've grown sick of. And Kasich wants to arm Ukrainian rebels against Russia.
Trump's policies are quite conservative by comparison. And more importantly, they put the interest of America and its citizens first.
That's why you should vote Trump in this year's election. He'll keep the country safe.