Don’t go to war unless you intend to win. Winning is not lobbing a couple of missiles and holding a press conference. Winning is total submission of the enemy. This must require the consent of Congress.
Don’t hand out aid without reciprocal outcomes. In other words don’t continue to aid those that aid the enemy in any way at all. Aid must come with conditions. Those the support us should be rewarded very well.
If you make an agreement to support someone, support them. If they break the agreement stop all support.
If action is necessary for the greater national interest, make your case to congress get approval and act. Act decisively and leave no room for confusion or misinterpretation.
When dealing with Terrorist organizations, those countries that continue to fund and support terrorist should be considered and openly labeled as enemies of the US. They should be isolated and never funded with US dollars. Other nations that support these countries should be put on notice also and penalized for their support.
There is no such thing as humanitarian aid to the enemy. It is all aiding the enemy. When they cease hostilities they will have their humanitarian aid in the form of no more attacks on them.
Don’t nation build. Destroy enemies and advise them once they have completely surrendered that we can help but under our conditions. If you must nation build expect to stay for at least 50 years and allow only those that are competent and support our ideas of governance to be placed into office. At some point they can have their government back but not until they have proved themselves capable and not a threat to us and our allies.
When you send troops to war they should stay until the job is done. This motivates both the leaders and the population in general to get on with the winning.
Respect is not gained through passivity and appeasement. More war or violence is only guaranteed.
Predictability in policy is a plus in dealing with others. If they know where you stand and it’s a strong stance they will be less likely to challenge you. This is not a tactical issue which does not follow this rule.
"No friend ever served me, and no enemy ever wronged me, whom I have not repaid in full." ~ Epitaph of Lucius Cornelius Sulla
on whether it be better to be loved or feared.
Upon this a question arises: whether it be better to be loved than feared or feared than loved? It may be answered that one should wish to be both, but, because it is difficult to unite them in one person, is much safer to be feared than loved, when, of the two, either must be dispensed with. Because this is to be asserted in general of men, that they are ungrateful, fickle, false, cowardly, covetous, and as long as you succeed they are yours entirely; they will offer you their blood, property, life and children, as is said above, when the need is far distant; but when it approaches they turn against you. And that prince who, relying entirely on their promises, has neglected other precautions, is ruined; because friendships that are obtained by payments, and not by greatness or nobility of mind, may indeed be earned, but they are not secured, and in time of need cannot be relied upon; and men have less scruple in offending one who is beloved than one who is feared, for love is preserved by the link of obligation which, owing to the baseness of men, is broken at every opportunity for their advantage; but fear preserves you by a dread of punishment which never fails.