Most National Security Strategy statements are appallingly platitudinous, numbingly conventional and quickly forgotten. In the history of the U.S. government, no ranking official in a moment of crisis has ended a bitter policy debate by turning to a dog-eared, well-thumbed copy of the current National Security Strategy and saying, “Wait, people! Just calm down! The answer is right here on page 37.”
Yet the Trump strategy represents a significant accomplishment. It reconciles the instincts of an unconventional president with the views of a more seasoned and conventional national-security team. The new approach breaks with the conventionally globalist assumptions of American foreign policy and instead embraces an older strategic approach.
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