Republican national security experts release statement, oppose Donald Trump

Audrey Zhang

High-profile members of the Republican national security community released a letter Wednesday opposing Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy.

The declaration outlined objections to Trump’s foreign policy, including his support for trade wars, admiration of foreign dictators and use of hateful anti-Muslim and anti-immigration speech. The members have united against Trump, stating the GOP stands for set values and not for grandiose personalities. Signers included William Inboden and Paul Miller of the UT Clements Center for National Security. 

William Inboden, a professor in the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, said the collaboration was the result of many Republicans’ shared concerns.

“I had worked on the National Security Council for President [George W.] Bush and the State Department under Secretary [Condoleezza] Rice,” Inboden said. “So, I have a network of fellow Republican foreign policy practitioners. We had been having a lot of private discussions about our growing concern about the Trump candidacy.” 

The letter exemplifies an emerging divide in the Republican party between the GOP establishment and Trump and his supporters. Inboden said Trump is both dangerous and unqualified for the presidency.e

“He veers between isolationism and wild military ventures,” Inboden said. “He talks about engaging in war crimes. He talks about killing the innocent families of terrorists, about extreme measures of torture.”

Government professor and political independent Bruce Buchanan said a Trump presidency could have dramatic ramifications for the entire Republican party. 

“There’s a chance that if he is successful in his quest for the presidency, he will have a big impact in changing the definition of the Republican party, or possibly splitting it into two parts,” Buchanan said. “The Republican party is going to bend over backwards to prevent him from getting the nomination.” 

Inboden said the source of Trump’s appeal is disillusionment among citizens with the current administration.

The full statement can be found here.

“Trump has tapped into some legitimate, genuine frustrations a lot of Republicans have, especially working-class Republicans who are frustrated by the lack of economic opportunity they’re seeing,” Inboden said. “I understand and share those frustrations. I just think Trump is the absolute wrong answer for addressing those concerns.”

Sammy Minkowitz, social and outreach director of the College Republicans, said Trump is not representative of the Republican party overall.

“His offensive speech misleads those outside of the party to believe that the GOP supports and practices the same offensive language,” said Minkowitz, a government and economics sophomore.