Americas

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, pictured on March 15, 2016 in West Palm Beach, Florida, has been eyeing the White House for nearly 30 years
Trump says Gulf States need to contribute more to Middle East defense, in cash or troop commitments

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump on Friday said that, if elected, he would consider freezing oil purchases from Saudi Arabia and other Arab allies unless they "substantially reimburse" the US for its role in combating the Islamic State, either financially or by committing ground troops of their own.

“If Saudi Arabia was without the cloak of American protection I don’t think it would be around,” he said.

According to a report by the New York Times, Trump's comments were made as part of a 100-minute phone interview on his foreign policy.

The New York Times coined Trump's foreign policies as "America First," to which Mr. Trump agreed.

“We will not be ripped off anymore,” Trump said, adding that he would be willing to reconsider traditional US alliances if its allies were not willing to reimburse the US for its defense support around the world.

Trump's complaint that America's Arab allies often turn to the US to support stability in the region without committing their own troops are shared even among some in the Obama administration, the Times reports.

"We defend everybody,” Trump said. “When in doubt, come to the United States. We’ll defend you. In some cases free of charge.”

Rhona Wise                      (AFP)

Trump said economic bargaining is the key to re-establishing the United States' positioning as a central world power. 

“The reason we’re in the Middle East is for oil, and all of a sudden we’re finding out that there’s less reason to be there now,” Trump said, arguing that under his leadership the US could withdrawal from the region if not reimbursed for its defense activities.

Asked about his "Take the Oil" campaign slogan, referencing Islamic State-controlled oil fields, Trump said the US should have seized the oil during its occupation of Iraq between 2003 to 2011.

"We should’ve taken it, and we would’ve had it,” Trump said, “Now we have to destroy the oil.”

Trump, the New York Times says, made no mention of the possible consequences of a US withdrawal from the Middle East, including the impact on Israel's defense, American intelligence gathering, or potential for Iranian domination of the region.

With regards to Israel, Trump initially hesitated to put forth a position on whether he supported a one- or two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, before later re-asserting the position he outlined at last week's AIPAC Conference.

“Basically, I support a two-state solution on Israel,” he said. “But the Palestinian Authority has to recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state.”

AFP Photo/Saul Loeb

With homeland security a top concern on the campaign trail in the wake of deadly terror attacks in Paris, Istanbul, and most recently in Brussels, Trump said his diplomatic approach with foreign nations would in part depend on “how friendly they’ve been toward us.”

Trump criticized German Chancellor Angela Merkel's handling of the migrant crisis, saying "Germany is being destroyed by Merkel’s naïveté, or worse." If elected, he suggested constructing "safe zones" in Syria for refugees, the expense of which would be absorbed by Germany and Gulf nations.

Trump also criticized the Obama administration's negotiations of the Iran nuclear accord, saying “it would have been so much better if they had walked away a few times.”

He was particularly critical of $150 billion released by the US to Iran, which he points out is not being spent on American markets, although sanctions still prevent most American businesses from commerce with Iran.

“Did you notice they’re buying from everybody but the United States?” he said. “So, how stupid is that? We give them the money and we now say, ‘Go buy Airbus instead of Boeing,’ right?”

Brendan Smialowski (AFP)

Turning to the Pacific, Trump said that he would be open to allowing Japan and South Korea to develop their own nuclear arsenals in order to reduce reliance on US protection from North Korea and China.

He added that he would also consider withdrawing US troops from the countries if they did not step up their support towards their housing and food expenses, like he is demanding of America's Arab allies.

Trump said that if elected to office he would possibly seek to renegotiate fundamental treaties with US allies.

He described a 56-year-old security pact with Japan as one-sided, the New York Times says, while calling the NATO agreement economically "unfair" to the US.

Trump rebuked reports that he was having trouble recruiting advisers to a future foreign policy establishment, and sought to reassure voters who have doubts about his understanding of international affairs.

“I do know my subject,” Trump said.

(Staff with agencies)

2 Comments

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  • David Francis
    March 26th 2016 - 11:56pm

    NOBODY BUT DONALD TRUMP?

    Don't advise me there is no complicity between speaker of the House Paul Ryan and the Obama administration. The GOP Rino's surrendered to the Democrats, when they passed the Omnibus budget of $$$2.2 Trillion dollars giving this President full authorization to spend taxpayer's money on:


    1. Obamacare (Next year will rise premiums to 81% to fund the Affordable Care Act.
    2. Planned Parenthood (With funds for even more abortions)
    3. Climate Change (which Hillary Clinton says is unavoidable in killing hundreds of thousands of jobs in the coal industry; closing down coal mines and thereby raising the prices of electricity throughout our country.
    4. Funds for Amnesty for 5 million illegal aliens, stealing jobs from less fortunate Americans on the lower pay scale.
    5. Funding Sanctuary Cities for criminal illegal aliens, where unsuspecting citizens and legal immigrants live and the local governments refuse to enforce federal immigration laws. Learn the consequences of open borders at http;//www.illegalaliencrimereport.com / YOU WILL NOT READ ABOUT THIS APPALLING ISSUE IN THE PRESS.
    6. Funds to settle 65, 000 Syrian Refugees that are infiltrated by butchering jihardists.
    7. Funds for millions of American Freeloaders, who prefer to live like viruses on their own people.


    Keep an open mind on the polling, the mainstream media, and any confusion relating to Trumps losses in winning the presidency? Forget about the Super PAC's as they are a bunch of habitual liars, just as Hillary and Ted? It's carefully planned by both parties, in the public thinking that they will refrain for voting and using there vote to push Ted Cruz, John Kasick or even Hillary Clinton Bernie Sanders or an immense array of hungry money lawmakers into focus to corrupt the White House procedure.


    You are never, ever seeing a change with either the Democrats, who believe handing out freebies to 'human parasites, who thinks 'WORK' is a term that doesn't fit in their limited vocabulary. The Profession class politicians in the Republican Party whose major stance is cronyism and selling their votes to wealthy entities, whose lobbyists who are incessantly hanging around Washington. But that doesn't mean that Democrats are not open to corruption as well, as they to have the lobbyists that are crowding DC.


    Very few politicians are not susceptible to the affluent activities of donors, who are mostly in Congress to represent their campaign contributors as precedence, and the American people second. We have seen this with the open border crowd, and don't care how much funding the foreign invaders get, as long it's agreeable to the cheap labor factions. One individual had the audacity to state illegal aliens are better workers than average Americans? This promotes serious concerns, when no matter this insipid insinuation does foreign nationals have any priority over an American--born and raised, or a legitimate immigrant?



    I always thought we were a nation of laws, although immigration enforcement has been spat upon by this legal potentate who reigns in high office and who has made his prior coronation 7 years ago into a travesty. But President Barack Obama has used every means possible to thwart Constitution--Article 1, He has overreached his authority to cause a massive surge in unknown proportions of illegal aliens/ migrants to reach our soil, then because of Obama's stealth ruling the US Border Patrol is not allowed to turn them away, but by his orders process them for criminal histories, then dump them on our depleted social services and programs for the populations poor, sick and old.


    The Republicans had the absolute nerve to cut back Senior Citizens (COLA) payment, yet they have funds for healthcare, food stamps, and low income housing and cash payments for the illegal alien families?


    Breaking news: Militant Socialist-Communist billionaire George Soros has funded Presidential nominee John Kasich in pledging to legalize 11 million illegal aliens.



    Absolutely I am voting for Donald Trump for all his minor faults, because I speculate that he is the ONLY politician who will enforce our immigration laws by building a massive wall, enforcing immigration law by implementing an internal mandatory E-Verify that not only pursues illegal aliens in the workplace, buy the business owners who employ them. That Trump will regenerate our army, navy and air force and the equipment they need to enforce the peace. Trump will end the obnoxious Politically Correctness, which has been cleverly infested our sovereign nation by the dismal Liberals, which has inundated our laws to blemish Christian teachings, so it's an immoral act to say Merry Christmas. If the atheists want to live in their gloomy world let them, but stay away the framers philosophy. Go and suck your poison eggs somewhere else the same with the failing indoctrination of the absurd environmentalists, as thousands of your rules and regulations have killed jobs and robbed America of thriving businesses.


    Guns will be back in the hands of honest citizens, who want to protect their families and homes. We all know by now that Political Correctness forced on us by this administration, to give up our weapons. Just ask the dead that haunt San Bernardino, CA, Paris, France, or Brussels Belgium. If several individuals carried a hidden pistol they could have perhaps some of the life's--not all, but some?


    If Cruz becomes President there will be limits, to what he is allowed to do by his Special Interests demands and a spouse associated with Goldman Sachs who slyly passed a 1 million dollar loan as a campaign contribution. Same with Hillary Clinton, who is also must genuflect to her wealthy cronies and with all people in any hierarchy of government, will walk away free from her history of criminal activities and her pandering to any new issue that arises through the general election. Trump has a ton of endurance, and will not be panicked by foreign adversaries as Obama. Weak people should not be in the Oval Office, specifically smelled Obama's tail in removing troops from Iraq. Trump will not play games with Iran or the genocide of Christians as ISIS. They will be blown off the face of the earth.


    You cannot help but wonder who is investing money in the Mexican auto industry, who stole our jobs and manufacturing base, just as China, India and other countries. This is probably why jokers as Bill Maher and his cronies hate the Trump voters? The well-heeled people, celebrity and well-known people don't care about Mr. & Mrs. average who don't have a portfolio full of stocks and investments, as long as Wall Street is building a huge 'Ivory Tower'' for them somewhere?


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  • AreYouKiddingMe
    March 26th 2016 - 10:24pm

    I hope his attitude toward deadbeat allies is going to extend to the EU and NATO, Specifically, germany, who not only never spends anywhere near the 2% gdp spending requirements of being a nato member but has the gall to reduce their military spending. And on top of that, their military is one of the most broken down, useless militaries of western europe. Why not move Ramstien Air Base to somewhere more stategic, like Poland or a NATO ally that actually pulls their weight.


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