This past week brought some further clarity to the underlying assumptions that drive U.S. President Donald Trump’s foreign policy. There’s now enough information to determine that the Trump team’s worldview is based on deeply held premises about the nasty, brutish nature of the human condition. He and his team are systematically walking away from the U.S. government’s decades-long emphasis on international cooperation and the architecture that supports it.
The shift will have particularly dire consequences for the global community’s capacity to confront terrorism and climate change, with its impact on nuclear nonproliferation still an open question.
In the aftermath of Trump’s first foreign trip as president last week, White House advisers Gen. H.R. McMaster and Gary Cohn clearly articulated the administration’s view of competition as the natural order of international politics. Through this prism, the forms of cooperation that have evolved since World War II not only appear feckless and weak, but also compromise national sovereignty.