As former Trump administration national security officials who believe deeply in an American-first approach to US national security policy, we strongly oppose the May 14 Washington Post op-ed. , “‘America First’ is America at its worst”, which smeared ‘America First’. associating it with the isolationists of the 1930s and 1940s who tried to keep the United States out of World War II and claim that those who support America First oppose providing more aid military to Ukraine.
These claims are false and misleading. We asked the Washington Post to publish this rebuttal of their editorial, but they refused to publish this full response. Typical of the Post, he refuses to give the conservatives he attacks a fair chance to respond.
While there may be others in Washington who casually call themselves “America First,” we at the America First Policy Institute have served alongside former President Donald Trump in leadership positions in the White House and in executive branch departments and agencies. We are among the leaders of the America First movement. We have been very clear in condemning Russian President Vladimir Putin’s destructive invasion of Ukraine and the vile atrocities his army is committing there. We have repeatedly said that the United States urgently needs to provide Ukraine with all the weapons it needs to defend itself against Russia’s unjustifiable invasion.
It was dishonest for the Post to associate the America First movement with isolationism or pre-WWII isolationists who opposed US entry into World War II. America today calls for an independent and secure America with a strong military and alliances. We want to make sure that America’s supply chains and economy are stable and robust, and that its people are safe. Through its internal strength, our nation is better positioned to lead and engage in the world and accomplish more for the American people and the peace, prosperity, and freedom of others. America First is not isolationism. Rather, it is a deliberate transactional engagement with other nations to serve American interests first.
Therefore, while we support the provision of additional military support to Ukraine, including the recent House approval of $40 billion for this purpose, we share the concerns of some members of Congress the proper use of these funds and the equitable contribution of the members of the alliance. Frankly, we are very concerned that, once again, America will do more than its European allies. Senator Rand Paul proposes appointing an Inspector General to oversee this funding. The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan was created for this purpose during the American presence in Afghanistan. Given the current problems plaguing the US economy and the fact that Ukraine is now the largest recipient of US military aid, we believe it is essential to ensure accountability for the large sums that America agrees to help defend against the Russian invasion.
America-first foreign policy and strong US leadership make the world safer and represent America at its best. Unlike many liberals, conservative hawks and Deep State fugitives, Mr. Trump’s leadership has not made the world any less secure; he did exactly what he was designed to do – make America strong again and the world a safer place with a deliberate, transactional foreign policy that puts the interests of our nation and the American people first.
As history shows us, the only time in this century that Russia has not invaded a neighbor was during Mr. Trump’s four years as Commander-in-Chief. America First doesn’t just mean America. As the only true guardians of America’s foreign policy first, we unquestionably oppose the Russian invasion of Ukraine; we want the United States to send the Ukrainian army the weapons it needs and guarantee accountability for the military aid we provide to Ukraine.
• Lt. Gen. (Retired) Keith Kellogg was Assistant to the President and National Security Advisor to former President Donald Trump and former Vice President Mike Pence. He is currently co-chair of the Center for American Security at the America First Policy Institute. Fred Fleitz was chief of staff for the Trump administration’s National Security Council and a former CIA analyst. He is Vice President of the Center for American Security at the America First Policy Institute.