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Representative Tulsi Gabbard should be Secretary of State | Wikimedia
Demo­c­ratic rep­re­sen­tative Tulsi Gabbard should be Sec­retary of State | Wiki­media

Pres­ident-elect Donald Trump’s foreign policy views break from Repub­lican orthodoxy, so his Sec­retary of State appointment should too.

Trump has crit­i­cized the war in Iraq, opposed the war in Syria, and favored friendly rela­tions with Russia. Trump needs to search beyond neo­con­ser­v­ative Repub­licans to find can­di­dates more in line with his policies.

On Nov. 21, Trump met with Rep­re­sen­tative Tulsi Gabbard (D‑HI) whose vision for American foreign policy is more in line with Trump’s than most Repub­licans. Trump requested the meeting to discuss Syria, ISIS, and the Middle East in general.

“I felt it important to take the oppor­tunity to meet with the Pres­ident-elect now before the drum­beats of war that neocons have been beating drag us into an esca­lation of the war to over­throw the Syrian gov­ernment,” Gabbard said.

She’s right to be con­cerned. And she’d be a great choice for Sec­retary of State.

Trump’s other potential picks for Sec­retary of State oppose his policies toward Russia and Syria and rep­resent the same neo­con­ser­v­ative foreign policy approach that has dom­i­nated Wash­ington for decades.

Top picks for Sec­retary of State include former United States Ambas­sador to the United Nations John Bolton, former New York Mayor Rudy Giu­liani, and former Gov­ernor of Mass­a­chu­setts Mitt Romney.

Bolton is the biggest threat to Trump’s “America First” foreign policy.

Recently, he has sup­ported regime change in Syria, Iraq, and Iran.

“Either a new state must be created out of the wreckage of Syria and Iraq, or some other durable approach must be found,” Bolton wrote in the New York Post on Nov. 13.

On Nov 17. Bolton said, “The only long-term solution is regime change in Tehran.”

He also expressed concern about Russia in the same New York Post article.

“Russia’s influence in the [Middle East] is higher than at any time since the 1970s,” Bolton wrote.

Senator Rand Paul (R‑KY) has fought against the appointment of Bolton and Giu­liani, calling their foreign policy too hawkish.

Bolton, he said, “is opposed to every­thing Donald Trump ran on: that the Iraq war was a mistake, regime change made us less safe in the Middle East, including in Iraq,” Paul said. “I don’t know how a Pres­ident Trump could appoint someone who’s dia­met­ri­cally opposed to every­thing Donald Trump ran on. Some of that goes for Giu­liani as well.”

Senator Bob Corker (R‑TN), although a less inter­ven­tionist choice than Bolton and Giu­liani, has said the U.S. should oppose Russian expansion into Ukraine. Corker also said that Russia has too much unchecked influence in the Middle East.

Mitt Romney, another potential pick for Sec­retary of State, called Russia the “number one geopo­litical foe” in 2012. This is far from Trump, who has advo­cated a close rela­tionship with Russia.

These potential choices for Sec­retary of State will lead the U.S. into four more years of foreign entan­glement at the expense of American lives and dollars.

Trump’s meeting with Gabbard could be a signal that he feels dis­content with estab­lishment neo­con­ser­v­a­tives.

He should con­sider Gabbard for Sec­retary of State. She has mil­itary expe­rience and foreign policy views that align with Trump.

Gabbard is a major in the Hawaii Army National Guard. When Gabbard was a member of the Hawaii House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives, she vol­un­teered to serve in Iraq and chose not to run for reelection to con­tinue her mil­itary service. Even while serving in Iraq, she was against the war.

Gabbard fights against mil­itary involvement in the Middle East. She opposes the war in Syria and fears that further involvement will escalate ten­sions between Russia and the U.S.

Trump could also con­sider former Demo­c­ratic Senator Jim Webb for Sec­retary of State. He was a first lieu­tenant in the Marines and served as the U.S. Sec­retary of the Navy. He sup­ports friendly rela­tions with Russia and a decreased U.S. mil­itary presence in the Middle East.

Trump has promised an “America First” foreign policy. Estab­lishment Repub­licans will not deliver on that promise. Only someone ded­i­cated to peace and non-inter­vention can put America’s interests first.

Mr. Pal­adino is a junior studying pol­itics, eco­nomics, and jour­nalism.