Divining a “Trump Doctrine”
This essay, written before Donald J. Trump’s election as 45th President of the United States, sought to divine a “Trump doctrine” on national security and foreign policy, based on what Mr. Trump himself said and wrote over the preceding decades. It shows Mr. Trump’s sympathy for a unilateralist (but not the pejorative isolationist of which some charge him) approach to defining American interests and for strategic ambiguity in dealing with America’s adversaries. There, in fact, is a sizeable body of material from which to discern the contours of his thinking in these areas, much of it quite prescient. What some find disorientating is that Mr. Trump never felt compelled to synthesize it into a definitive “Trump doctrine,” or at least not one that satisfied the orthodoxy.