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Reuters: Trump would appoint loyalists to influence US foreign policy regarding China, NATO, Ukraine

by Olena Goncharova December 19, 2023 5:49 AM 2 min read
Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during an event at the Mar-a-Lago Club April 4, 2023 in West Palm Beach, Florida. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
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In a potential second term, Donald Trump is anticipated to place loyalists in crucial roles within the Pentagon, State Department, and CIA, a number of present and past aides, diplomats told Reuters.

This outcome, affording Trump greater latitude than during his initial term, would empower him to implement substantial changes to the U.S. stance on the war in Ukraine and trade relations with China. It would also extend to federal institutions responsible for executing, and at times limiting, foreign policy, according to statements from aides and diplomats.

Trump holds a significant advantage in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. If he secures the nomination and subsequently triumphs over Democratic President Joe Biden in the upcoming November election, the global landscape is anticipated to witness a major political shift. According to current and former aides, he would likely demonstrate a heightened understanding of wielding power both domestically and internationally.

Should Trump reclaim power, he is likely to promptly reduce defense assistance to Europe and further diminish economic connections with China, as suggested by the aides.

Eight European diplomats interviewed by Reuters said there were doubts about whether Trump would honor Washington's commitment to defend NATO allies and acute fears he would cut off aid to Ukraine amid its war with Russia.

Earlier this year, Trump said that he would not commit to sending aid to Ukraine, and has said he will simply resolve the war “in 24 hours.” His Republican allies consistently amplify Russian propaganda against President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Pentagon: Funds to replenish Ukraine military aid to run out on Dec. 30
The Pentagon will run out of funds to replenish arms and equipment sent to Ukraine on Dec. 30 unless Congress passes additional funding, Pentagon Comptroller Michael McCord said in a letter to congressional defense committees made public on Dec. 18.

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