OKLAHOMA CITY — Donald Trump accused his Republican presidential rivals on Friday night of wanting to "start World War III over Syria," and suggested that the United States should instead let Russia deal with the problem.
Trump has recently faced criticism for not providing details on what sort of foreign policy positions he would take as president. That lack of specifics is purposeful and strategic, Trump said during a 50-minute speech at the Great State Fair of Oklahoma on Friday night. He said Republicans who publicly share their strategic foreign policy plans are "crazy."
"You know, I have a good chance of winning," Trump said to a cheering crowd of several thousand. "I don't want to say: 'Well, if I were president, I would do this, I would do that, I would go here, I would attack here, I wouldn't go here.' No, I don't want to do that. I really don't. I don't want them to know what I'm thinking, does that make sense? I want people to be guessing … I don't want people to figure it out. I don't want people to know what my plan is. I have plans. I have plans! But I don't want to do it."
Trump then used a child-like voice to imitate those who have questioned the depth of his global expertise. He switched to a deeply serious voice to imitate his rivals who have provided details: "If I'm president, I will engage the sixth fleet. I will do this, I will do that, I will attack Russia and Syria."
"This is what they say," Trump said. "They want to start World War III over Syria. Give me a break. You know, Russia wants to get ISIS, right? We want to get ISIS. Russia is in Syria — maybe we should let them do it? Let them do it."
Earlier in the evening, Trump made clear that while he wants to strengthen the military, he does not want to send troops into war. Trump said he was opposed to the Iraq war, even though he considers himself "the most militant person here ... the most militaristic person you'll ever meet." Trump said that war ended as he predicted: trillions of dollars spent, thousands of lives lost and a destabilized Middle East.
"We're going to make our military so strong," Trump said. "Nobody's going to mess with us. They're not going to mess with us. We're not going to use our military."