It has been hard to keep up with the sheer torrent of dreadful political proposals that have emanated from the United States in the past 10 days. President Donald Trump’s decision to block refugees and travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. is undoubtedly the vilest of the lot. But the new administration has also managed to promulgate a bundle of ideas about international crisis management that will, if put into action, prove pretty disastrous.
Last week, I predicted that Trump would adopt “haphazard” approaches to conflicts overseas. That may have underestimated both his sense of purpose and the damage he can inflict. The new administration seems to have a relatively coherent vision of how to deal with foreign threats. It just happens to be a bad one.
Since taking office, Trump has sketched out a theory of what could be called “nationalist international crisis management.” This involves three pillars.