Politics

President Trump’s First 500 Days in Office: Foreign Policy

As President Trump celebrates 500 days in office, he has taken the opportunity to publicize the accomplishments of his administration. On Twitter and in a statement issued by the White House, he proclaimed that his administration has reached “500 Days of American Greatness.”

The President has advanced an “America First” foreign policy. The statement released earlier this week outlined how the Trump administration has advanced military budget increases, combated threats to national security, and taken action to protect Americans abroad.

Strong Words, Stronger Actions

The White House opened the celebratory list by outlining how “President Donald J. Trump led America’s return to leadership on the international stage, while prioritizing America’s interests.” The President’s foreign policy can be characterized as one of action, in particular…action to put American interests first.

In his first 500 days in office, President Trump claims to have created policy that “has led to the near total destruction of ISIS’ self-declared caliphate, including the liberation of all Iraqi territory from ISIS control.” In addition to territory, additional sanctions and domestic screenings have been part of Trump’s plan to combat terrorism.

The US led a coalition of international partners who have worked to stop terror in Syria, another accomplishment he is celebrating as a win for America. Along with Syria, the President points to the strong stance he has taken on the relationship with North Korea and South Korea, as well as recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel by moving the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Securing the release of Americans held by foreign powers has also been important to President Trump and a win that the White House chose to include in its statement. 17 Americans, including 4 just in the month of May, have been returned to the United States under Trump’s presidency.

President Trump also “terminated the United States’ participation in the defective and one-sided Iran deal.” The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with Iran was an agreement between the United Nations Security Council nations, including the United States, Germany, the European Union and Iran to greatly reduce that country’s ability to develop nuclear capabilities.

The deal was made in 2015 under President Obama and terminated by President Trump in May 2018. Calling the deal “one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into,” President Trump is now working to find a more permanent solution to denuclearization in Iran.

The President has “restored the credibility of America’s word on the international stage,” the White House said.

American Military Might

One of President Trump’s most celebrated accomplishments has been to increase military funding for the next two fiscal years. He signed a bill which increases military spending from just under $600 billion in 2017 to $700 billion in 2018 and $716 billion in 2019.

The Trump administration also approved a 2.4% pay increase for military members. This is the largest pay increase since President Obama signed for a 3.4% increase in 2010. The pay increase for military personnel is influenced by increases in private-sector wages and salaries, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

G7 Summit

The announcement of Trump’s accomplishments on the foreign stage comes as he represents the United States at the G7 Summit of world leaders.

Attending the summit in Charlevoix, Quebec were Canadian Prime Minister and G7 President Justin Trudeau, French President Emmanuel Macron, United States President Donald Trump, United Kingdom Prime Minister Theresa May, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, as well as President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker and President of the European Council Donald Tusk, both representing the European Union.

“The nations of the G7 are bound together by shared values and beliefs,” Trump said at a press conference following the summit. “That came out loud and clear. Each of our nations is totally unique with our people and our own sovereign obligations. But we can coordinate together and achieve a common good—a good for all.”

Among the topics discussed were trade, immigration, the nuclear threat of Iran, and terrorism. One of the most important issues to President Trump was protecting American trade and creating deals that were advantageous to American companies, goods, and workers.

On June 12, President Trump will be in Singapore to facilitate talks with North Korean leaders.

President Trump has shown that he is interested in displaying American might and strength to our international partners. It is no surprise that when it comes to his foreign policy, he has chosen to highlight the instances where he advanced American interests broadly and boldly on the international stage.

The opinions expressed here by contributors are their own and are not the view of OpsLens which seeks to provide a platform for experience-driven commentary on today's trending headlines in the U.S. and around the world. Have a different opinion or something more to add on this topic? Contact us for guidelines on submitting your own experience-driven commentary.
Katie Begley

Katie Begley is a US Naval Academy graduate and former Surface Warfare Officer. In addition to being a military spouse, she is a freelance writer specializing in travel, education, and parenting subjects. Katie has worked in numerous communications roles for volunteer organizations and professionally for a local parenting magazine.

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