(Reuters) - U.S. Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump delivered a major foreign policy speech on Wednesday, vowing always to put America first..
The following are highlights from his address:
“No country has ever prospered that failed to put its own interests first. Both our friends and our enemies put their countries above ours and we, while being fair to them, must start doing the same. We will no longer surrender this country or its people to the false song of globalism. The nation-state remains the true foundation for happiness and harmony. I am skeptical of international unions that tie us up and bring America down.”
“The Russians and Chinese have rapidly expanded their military capability, but look at what’s happened to us. Our nuclear weapons arsenal, our ultimate deterrent, has been allowed to atrophy and is desperately in need of modernization and renewal.”
“Our active duty armed forces have shrunk from 2 million in 1991 to about 1.3 million today. The Navy has shrunk from over 500 ships to 272 ships during this same period of time. The air force is about one-third smaller than 1991. Pilots flying B-52s, in combat missions today - these planes are older than virtually everybody in this room.”
“President Obama watches helplessly as North Korea increases its aggression and expands further and further with its nuclear reach. Our president has allowed China to continue its economic assault on American jobs and wealth, refusing to enforce trade deals and apply leverage on China necessary to rein in North Korea. We have the leverage. We have the power over China, economic power, and people don’t understand it. And with that economic power we can rein in and we can get them to do what they have to do with North Korea, which is totally out of control.”
“Russia, for instance, has also seen the horror of Islamic terrorism. I believe an 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.”
“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. No respect for this country or this president. We can both benefit or we can both go our separate ways. If need be, that’s what’s going to have to happen.”
“And then there’s ISIS. I have a simple message for them: Their days are numbered. I won’t tell them where and I won’t tell them how.”
“ISIS will be gone if I’m elected president. And they’ll be gone quickly.”
“He (Obama) 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.”
“He (Obama) supported the ouster of a friendly regime in Egypt that had a longstanding peace treaty with Israel, and then helped bring the Muslim Brotherhood to power in its place.
“Israel, our great friend and the one true democracy in the Middle East has been snubbed and criticized by an administration that lacks moral clarity.
“President Obama has not been a friend to Israel. He has treated Iran with tender love and care and made it a great power.”
“After I’m elected president, I will also call for a summit with our NATO allies and a separate summit with our Asian allies. In these summits, we will not only discuss a rebalancing of financial commitments, but take a fresh look at how we can adopt new strategies for tackling our common challenges.
“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.”
Compiled by Washington newsroom; Edited by Alistair Bell