Do that, and one sees emerging a foreign and defense policy more conventional and more consistent than what we got from Bush or Obama. A joint address to Congress ought to carry a lot more weight than a 3 a. But how the administration responded was purely Trumpian—reflecting an impulse that transcends the makeup of his foreign team or other White House advisors.
Ask that question a year ago, and the answer would have been simple: I briefed Candidate Trump and his policy advisors during the campaign.
Here are some observations that might be helpful in understanding the Trumpian way. But especially with this presidency, one needs to focus on White House actions rather than words to gain a clearer understanding of where security and foreign policy is headed.
That has not changed since the Donald took over the Oval Office. For Trump, it was the sovereign states rather than the global bureaucracies that made things better. Trump barely knew these people before the election. He has given some serious speeches and commentary. Giuliani never went in. Without strong, vibrant, free and wealthy states, the whole thing collapses like a Ponzi scheme.
Decoding Trumpian Strategy Since the early days of the campaign, one thing has been clear: Sessions is still a crucial voice in the administration, but his duties as Attorney General deal only partially with foreign policy and national-security matters. Trump is no different. The international superstructure has to stand on a firm foundation—and the foundation is the sovereign state.
What distinguishes Trump—and what marks a particularly sharp departure from Obama—is his perception of what enabled post—World War America and the rest of the free world to rise above the chaos of a half century of global depression and open war.
I organized workshops for the ambassadorial corps during the Cleveland Convention and worked with the presidential team through the inauguration. Though on the job for only about dozen weeks, the new administration handled a lot of action on multiple fronts quite deftly.
But pundits err when they give every presidential utterance equal merit. Those experiences let me observe how the policies from the future fledgling administration were unfolding.
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