Halting radical Islam must be major foreign policy goal, says Donald Trump

Washington: Donald Trump on Thursday said that halting the spread of radical Islam would be a "major goal" for the US if he is elected president, as the Republican presidential front-runner laid out the vision of his foreign policy asserting that the days of ISIS are "numbered".

In a speech outlining his foreign policy, Trump did not mention about India, and said that his administration would seek to improve ties with Russia and China.

"I'd like to talk today about how to develop a new foreign policy direction for our country, one that replaces randomness with purpose, ideology with strategy, and chaos with peace," Trump said, asserting that it is time to "shake the rust off" America's foreign policy.

In his first major foreign policy speech, a day after he declared himself as a "presumptive nominee" when he won primaries in all the five States, Trump said, "Containing the spread of radical Islam must be a major foreign policy goal of the United States and indeed, the world."

"Events may require the use of military force, but it's also a philosophical struggle, like our long struggle in the Cold War. In this, we're going to be working very closely with our allies in the Muslim world, all of which are at risk from radical Islamic violence, attacks and everything else. It is a dangerous world, more dangerous now than it has ever been," he said.

"We should work together with any nation in the region that is threatened by the rise of radical Islam. But this has to be a two-way street," he said.

The real-estate tycoon underlined that sending troops overseas would be his last option and would depend on diplomacy and the country's economic power.

"To our friends and allies, I say America is going to be strong again. America is going to be reliable again. It's going to be a great and reliable ally again. It's going to be a friend again.

"We're going to finally have a coherent foreign policy based upon American interests and the shared interests of our allies," he said.

"We're getting out of the nation-building business and instead focusing on creating stability in the world. Our moments of greatest strength came when politics ended at the water's edge. We need a new rational American foreign policy," he said.

On the ISIS, he said that the dreaded terror outfit's days are "numbered".

"I have a simple message for them (Islamic State). Their days are numbered. I won't tell them where and I won't tell them how. We must as a nation be more unpredictable. We are totally predictable. We tell everything. We're sending troops. We tell them. We're sending something else. We have a news conference. We have to be unpredictable. And we have to be unpredictable starting now," Trump said.

A file photo of Donald Trump. AFP

A file photo of Donald Trump. AFP

"They're going to be gone. ISIS (Islamic State) will be gone if I am elected president. And they'll be gone quickly. They will be gone very, very quickly," he said.

He said in the Middle East the US' goals must be to "defeat terrorists and promote regional stability, not radical change."

"We need to be clear sighted about the groups that will never be anything other than enemies. And believe me, we have groups that no matter what you do, they will be the enemy," he said.

Trump said that if he is elected president his administration would seek to improve ties with Russia and China.

"We desire to live peacefully and in friendship with Russia and China. We have serious differences with these two nations, and must regard them with open eyes, but we are not bound to be adversaries. We should seek common ground based on shared interests," he said.

"I believe easing of tensions, and improved relations with Russia from a position of strength only is possible, absolutely possible. Common sense says this cycle, this horrible cycle of hostility must end and ideally will end soon. Good for both countries," he said.

"Some say the Russians won't be reasonable. I intend to find out. If we can't make a deal under my administration, a deal that's great — not good, great — for America, but also good for Russia, then we will quickly walk from the table. It's as simple as that. We're going to find out," he cautioned.

Fixing US relations with China is another important step, he said.

"China respects strength and by letting them take advantage of us economically, which they are doing like never before, we have lost all of their respect," he said.

"We have a massive trade deficit with China, a deficit that we have to find a way quickly, and I mean quickly, to balance. A strong and smart America is an America that will find a better friend in China, better than we have right now. Look at what China is doing in the South China Sea. They're not supposed to be doing it," Trump said.

Trump said if he is elected president he would call for a summit with the NATO allies and a separate summit with Asian allies.

"In these summits, we will not only discuss a re-balancing of financial commitments, but take a fresh look at how we can adopt new strategies for tackling our common challenges," he said.

"For instance, we will discuss how we can upgrade NATO's outdated mission and structure, grown out of the Cold War to confront our shared challenges, including migration and Islamic terrorism. Our goal is peace and prosperity, not war and destruction," the Republican front-runner said.

Trump said he would not hesitate to deploy military force when there is no alternative.

"But if America fights, it must only fight to win. I will never sent our finest into battle unless necessary, and I mean absolutely necessary, and will only do so if we have a plan for victory with a capital V," he said.

Demanding that allies contribute more to global security, he said, "the whole world will be safer if American allies do their part to support its common defence and security."

Outlining his foreign policy, he said "under Trump administration, Iran will never, ever be allowed to have nuclear weapon."

"Our friends are beginning to think they can't depend on us. We've had a president who dislikes our friends and bows to our enemies, something that we've never seen before in the history of our country.

"He negotiated a disastrous deal with Iran, and then we watched them ignore its terms even before the ink was dry. Iran cannot be allowed to have a nuclear weapon, cannot be allowed. Remember that, cannot be allowed to have a nuclear weapon," he said.

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Updated Date: Apr 28, 2016 16:46:12 IST

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