Bloomberg WASHINGTON (Bloomberg) — U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s choice for national security adviser, Michael Flynn, said the Trump administration may re-examine U.S. relationships around the world, but said the nation will remain “indispensable” to global stability.
“The assumption has long been that American power would always be there,” Flynn said Tuesday at a conference on the transfer of power at the United States Institute of Peace in Washington. “We have always been an indispensable nation and we always will be.”
Flynn gave few details on the policy approach of the Trump administration. During the campaign, Trump made statements that he would rethink U.S. alliances, including asking whether the North Atlantic Treaty Organization might be “obsolete.” Flynn’s remarks suggested an attempt to reassure allies that the United States would not retreat from the world stage.
Pledging an overarching policy of “peace through strength,” Flynn, a retired army lieutenant general, said the “unapologetic defense of liberty” is the “core element of American exceptionalism.” That would be the case even as the U.S. begins to “examine and potentially rebaseline our relationships around the globe,” he said.
“Whether we like it or not, the world needs us and in fact demands it,” he said. Even as the incoming administration re-examines U.S. relationships, it is with an understanding that “alliances are one of the great tools that we have.”
Flynn — who has been criticized for his broad-brush views of Muslims when it comes to terrorist threats, promoting conspiracy theories and his appearances on Russia’s state-owned network RT — steered clear of those topics in his remarks.
He made no mention of “radical Islam” and avoided discussing Russia in any detail.
At a separate session later, K.T. McFarland, a former Fox News analyst and Defense Department official who has been named as Flynn’s deputy, said Trump’s staff is still working on security policy.
“It takes time to rethink things and to come up with those policies,” she said.
McFarland also declined to give any details on the administration’s stance toward Russia, which U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded sought to interfere with the presidential election by hacking Democratic Party computers and leaking emails in order to damage Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.Speech