John Feehery: Speaking Engagements


When Donald Trump Campaigned Against the Iraq War: A Deep Dive

Posted on August 17, 2023
When Donald Trump campaigned against the Iraq War in South Carolina during the 2016 election, he not only won the hearts and minds of the Republican base, but also rattled the staunch supporters of the military-industrial complex. This audacious move would simultaneously propel him to presidential victory and mark him as a target for powerful adversaries.

The Four Pillars of Trump’s Foreign Policy:

  1. The Southern Border Wall: A promise to build a formidable barrier with Mexico footing the bill.

  2. Addressing China: A commitment to confront the soaring trade deficit, which eroded the U.S. industrial core.

  3. Revisiting Iran: A pledge to overturn the Obama-led Iran deal and align Saudi Arabia with Israel.

  4. NATO and Russia: A call to end the tension with Putin's Russia and reassess NATO relations.

Origins of the Russian Collusion Narrative:

The collusion tale didn't spawn from Hillary Clinton's camp but from a Republican contender for the presidency. Established experts were aghast, suspecting Trump's compromise.

Trump's foreign policy met criticism, primarily due to his perceived lack of depth in geopolitics and scant regard for military leadership. This, coupled with his skepticism towards perpetual wars, made him a pariah in the intelligence community.

Yet, Trump tapped into the Republican pulse—those disillusioned with the Iraq War and skeptical about globalism. His questions about NATO's funding and Hunter Biden's dealings in Ukraine, however, would make Congress uneasy, culminating in an impeachment.

The 2020 elections saw the foreign policy establishment rallying behind Joe Biden, anticipating a more familiar and predictable policy course. But as history repeats itself with Trump reentering the fray, the question remains: where do the American voters stand?


The tension between the foreign policy establishment and populist leaders underscores a larger debate. What do the American people truly want—a focus on global dominance or prioritizing domestic welfare? Only time will tell.


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