A Strategic Surprise for the Trump Administration Is a Question of When, Not If

U.S. President Donald Trump walks off Air Force One, Philadelphia, Jan. 26, 2017 (AP photo by Matt Slocum).
U.S. President Donald Trump walks off Air Force One, Philadelphia, Jan. 26, 2017 (AP photo by Matt Slocum).

In last week’s column, I assessed the threat from America’s “big five” adversaries: Russia, Iran, China, North Korea and the self-styled Islamic State. Some or all of these five, I believe, will test the incoming Trump administration as it gets its feet wet and redesigns U.S. strategy to reflect the new president’s unorthodox ideas and style. I suggested that challenges from the big five will stay below the line of provocation that might drive the United States to respond forcefully. Instead they will rely on the ambiguous, camouflaged, multidimensional aggression and pinprick applications of force that security experts call “hybrid” […]

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