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U.S. President Donald Trump appears to push past Dusko Markovic, Montenegro’s prime minister, during a meeting of NATO heads of state, Brussels, May 25, 2017 (AP photo by Matt Dunham).

Renouncing a Global Security Role Will Not Shield the U.S. From Conflict’s Effects

Friday, June 2, 2017

When Donald Trump became the U.S. president in January, it was not clear if his foreign and national security policy would reflect the unorthodox ideas of his campaign or whether once in power he would move closer to traditional Republican positions. Trump’s just-completed foreign trip did not fully clarify that, but his prickly, almost hostile interaction with America’s NATO allies demonstrated that a foreign policy and national security revolution may be coming. As Ivo Daalder, the former U.S. envoy to NATO, put it, “This seems to be the end of an era.”

Should such a transformation occur, the clearest signs would be the abandonment of some of America’s longstanding security partnerships and a diminished U.S. role in global security, possibly leading to wholesale disengagement from parts of the world. Thoughtful commentators have advocated this for some time, arguing that American internationalism has not brought benefits proportionate to its economic, social, political and human costs. Trump is now mainstreaming this idea and codifying it into policy. ...

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