Donald Trump’s foreign policy (or lack thereof) has recently drawn ire from notable foreign policy figures. If one makes it past the bombast and emotion that accompanies Trump’s words, however, and considers some basic historical facts, some of his views merit serious discussion. Trump has so far offered what amount to matter-of-fact points rather than actual “foreign policy” positions, arguing an America-first worldview that forgoes lofty ideals or partisan ideologies. As such, his ideas do not neatly fit into or subscribe to any single theory or school of international relations. Being unafraid to question the status quo, Trump’s outlook on global affairs and the U.S. role in them is, however, quite simple: Clearly, he argues, the U.S. is doing something (or many things) wrong. If we are so great and powerful, why have we appeared so helpless (Ukraine) and stuck (Afghanistan)? When we have the most powerful military in the world, why are terrorists expanding (Islamic State)? Rather than embrace failed trade policies that seem to hurt American workers, why doesn’t the U.S. seek to renegotiate and rebalance the playing field? “We don’t win anymore. … We lose to everybody,” Trump often asserts. Who can blame him? From our (failed) “reset” with Russia, to the multiple (ostensibly never-ending) crises in the Middle East, to (forever fragile) relationships with a “frenemy” like Pakistan, America’s current foreign policies undoubtedly leave much to be desired. As The Wall Street Journal noted this week, “The next president will inherit a plethora of global challenges, including Russian aggression in the Middle East and Eastern Europe, the emergence of Iran as a regional power, unstable regimes in Libya, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen, and Islamic State’s large footprint.” Internationalists claim that a U.S.-led liberal order creates a healthy global system from which America and our allies benefit. Trump, on the other hand, sees absurdity in a system filled with cracks and fissures that arguably disadvantage Americans, and madness in positions born out of ideological politics rather than realpolitik. He has also been unafraid to confront some cold harsh realities, such as the instability of the Middle East since the ousters of Saddam Hussein, Moammar Gadhafi and Hosni Mubarak (the world would be “100%” better off if Saddam and Gaddafi were still in power, Trump said on CNN) and the consequences of intervention (“Everybody that’s touched the Middle East, they’ve gotten bogged down,” he said on NBC). Trump’s regret that the U.S. never took any of Iraq’s oil sounds colonial and antiquated. But considering the world’s sole superpower gained nothing from the $2 trillion misadventure, juxtaposed with the fact that every great empire throughout history had something to show for blood and effort, Trump’s pathology of thought becomes highly rational. Such views are considered anachronistic, even abhorrent — but nevertheless do not make the points themselves factually incorrect. The thought of Trump meeting with world leaders like Angela Merkel, Vladimir Putin or Gulf Arab sheikhs and speaking with them the way he speaks on the campaign trail bothers many, including foreign officials who have already expressed dismay. Diplomacy, after all, relies heavily on pleasantries, negotiation, compromise and reassurance — even subtle and credible threats. But a President Trump would likely not always govern in a way that is consistent with the language used by candidate Trump. Real foreign policy is not created solely through speeches, tweets or campaign promises. The U.S. government has thousands of experts and a multilayered, complex interagency process — something Trump, if elected, would quickly learn. As former CIA director Michael Hayden pointed out, some intentions expressed by Trump “would be in violation of all the international laws of armed combat.” All presidents, however, surround themselves with legal advisors, military officers, intelligence professionals, diplomats and other Beltway professionals. Certainly, the commander in chief of the U.S. Armed Forces would not spout orders knowing full well that following them could lead to Americans standing before a military tribunal. Additionally, all presidents get briefed daily on global realities that sometimes are at complete odds with their lofty ideals. President Obama, for example — despite his campaign promises — quickly learned that his goal of closing the Guantanamo Bay detention facility might well prove impossible. Similarly, while the U.S. drone program has been highly controversial, it has proven effective and necessary. Trump’s foreign policy positions certainly require fine-tuning. But to write off his views as wrong because of blunt speech — something not typically found in a diplomat’s toolkit — is myopic. Similarly, dismissing his ideas because they do not reflect the prevailing Western zeitgeist that underpins so much of the current world order doesn’t mean what he says is fundamentally erroneous. Successful leadership and negotiation require pragmatism, comprehension, stamina, even self-awareness. Believing these traits are the domain only of politicians, diplomats and other Washington-based professionals is elitist and haughty. One doesn’t become a billionaire real estate tycoon by playing nice in the boardroom and at the bank, after all. Armand V. Cucciniello III is a former senior press officer for the Department of State and served as an adviser to the US military in Iraq and Pakistan. Follow him on Twitter @ArmandVC3.