America's Role in the World

What Donald Trump Understands About the World

What Donald Trump Understands About the World

Trump's core strategic argument is that the United States is overextended. The core reason for this overextension is that the United States has substituted a system of multilateral...(full article)

Can the U.S. Lead on Women's Rights?

Can the U.S. Lead on Women's Rights?

If his first weeks in office are any indication, Donald Trump's presidency could mark a dramatic shift in the United States' approach to women's rights globally. As one of his firs...(full article)

American Strength in the World Starts at Home

American Strength in the World Starts at Home

For this generation of American leadership, the unipolar moment of American power, which already was destined to be an interregnum, has proved far too much to handle. And the capst...(full article)

The Lonely Lament of the Globalists

The Lonely Lament of the Globalists

2016 proved to be a challenging year for globalists. The stunning summertime decision by Britons to leave the European Union, coupled with the equally unexpected election in the Un...(full article)


Most Recent Articles

What Donald Trump Understands About the World - George Friedman, RealClearWorld

Trump's core strategic argument is that the United States is overextended. The core reason for this overextension is that the United States has substituted a system of multilateral...

Can the U.S. Lead on Women's Rights? - Erica Ngoenha, RealClearWorld

If his first weeks in office are any indication, Donald Trump's presidency could mark a dramatic shift in the United States' approach to women's rights globally. As one of his firs...

American Strength in the World Starts at Home - Joel Weickgenant, RealClearWorld

For this generation of American leadership, the unipolar moment of American power, which already was destined to be an interregnum, has proved far too much to handle. And the capst...

The Lonely Lament of the Globalists - Kevin Sullivan, RealClearWorld

2016 proved to be a challenging year for globalists. The stunning summertime decision by Britons to leave the European Union, coupled with the equally unexpected election in the Un...

America Is a Maritime Nation - Robert Kaplan, RealClearWorld

The United States, bordered by two oceans, is a maritime nation. Not only is its Navy the largest in the world by far, but its coast guard would qualify as the 12th largest fleet i...

The End of the Cold War Changed Everything - Charles Peña, The American Conservative

The end of the Cold War changed everything....

Europe Must Defend Itself Against a Dangerous President - K. Brinkbaeumer, Spiegel

The United States president is becoming a danger to the world. It is time for Germany and Europe to prepare their political and economic defenses....

Trump Foreign Policy May Put U.S. Back on Right Track - Peter Morici, Wash Times

Donald Trump as a real estate dealmaker thrived on chaos -- creating and then exploiting it to achieve his goals. Now as president, Mr. Trump is upsetting allies and disrupting int...

Trump Bows to Russia Again - Max Boot, USA Today

Republicans once scorned 'moral relativism,' but now they defend it....

Don't Take the Oil: It's Time to Ditch the Carter Doctrine - Daniel Davis, Nat'l Interest

Middle Eastern oil is no longer a vital national interest....

Yemen: First Battleground in Trump's Iran Confrontation - De Luce & McLeary, FP

The administration has its sights set on checkmating Tehran's ambitions across the region. Iran's proxies in Yemen are in the crosshairs....

Europeans Back Trump's German Grievances - Walter Russell Mead, American Interest

In taking on the destructive consequences of Germany's export economy, the Trump Administration has a real point....

Trump Isn't Repeating Obama's Middle East Mistakes - Jonathan Tobin, NRO

Contrary to mainstream-media reports, the new president is already taking a tougher stance on Iran and a friendlier stance toward Israel than his predecessor....

Bannon Is Right: War in South China Sea Is Possible - Sean O'Grady, Independent

Here's a ghoulish game we can all play: guess where the next major war will break out. Or, more apposite; where will Donald Trump start his first war? Not a thermonuclear one with ...

We Must Reclaim Patriotism From Leftists -- and From Trump - Robert Kaplan, FP

On rescuing Andrew Jackson from the extremists and restoring both pride and prejudice to America's great history....

Steve Bannon Now Gets to Help Decide War and Peace - Yochi Dreazen, Vox

Trump gave a political guru a seat on the National Security Council for the first time ever....

The United States: Between Isolation and Empire - Rodger Baker, Stratfor

Since taking office less than two weeks ago, U.S. President Donald Trump has moved quickly to put his policy directives into practice, from placing a temporary ban on the admittanc...

Trump's Travel Ban a Blow to the Atlantic Alliance - Frances Burwell, RCWorld

President Donald Trump's executive order halting immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries puts at risk U.S. relations with America's European partners. ...

The Myth of the Muslim Country - Elizabeth Shakman Hurd, Boston Review

Calling the nations subjected to the ban Muslim is sloppy, misguided, and dangerous....

India's Great Trump Hope - Sarosh Bana, Washington Times

President Trump may be in a hurry to overturn many measures of the previous Obama administration, but he appears to seek continuity of the increasingly close partnership America ha...

Can Jim Mattis Fix Asia? - Michael Auslin, Politico Magazine

The first major Trump adviser to venture abroad has a delicate task ahead of him....

What Trump Should Seek in Syria Negotiations - Goldenberg & Heras, War on the Rocks

President Trump appears committed to negotiating an agreement with Vladimir Putin to get on the same page in Syria....

Trump's Mideast Fans Get Caught in Global Blowback - Julian Pecquet, Al-Monitor

Political leaders from Israel to Saudi Arabia are quickly finding out that siding with Trump comes at a price....

After Trump Sows Chaos, Canada Picks Up the Pieces - Ishaan Tharoor, Wash Post

Canada can take the mantle of moral leadership from the U.S....

NATO Narcissism Needs a Reality Check - Joshua Johnson, RealClearDefense

The Graeco-Roman adage is “If you want peace, prepare for war.” The modern world is no different from the Roman Era--the West with its enormous wealth and technology is a potenti...

Trump Should Fire America's Mischief-Makers - Robert Merry, Washington Times

President Trump declared in his inaugural address, We do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone. There's one thing he could do, above all others, that would herald the seriou...

Where Was the Uproar Over Obama's Mideast Wars? - Michael Dougherty, The Week

On the list of enormities inflicted on the Middle East by American policy in the last 20 years, President Trump's visa ban, for all its crudity, would not rate in the top 25....

Will Mexico Build a Wall and Make Trump Pay for It? - Ethan Epstein, Weekly Stand.

A report in a Mexican newspaper earlier this month suggested that, as part of a mooted NAFTA re-negotiation, the Trump administration may offer to help Mexico bulk up border securi...

Like It or Not, Europe Still Needs America's Protection - Natalie Nougayrede, Guardian

For all Europe's misgivings about the new president's isolationism, we will need him to ensure our security....

Can Donald Trump Defeat ISIS? - Charles Lister, RealClearWorld

Charles Lister, senior fellow at the Middle East Institute, sits down with RealClearWorld to discuss President Trump's pledge to eradicate the Islamic State....

Malevolence Tempered By Incompetence - Benjamin Wittes, Lawfare

This document is the implementation of a campaign promise to keep out Muslims moderated only by the fact that certain allied Muslim countries are left out because the diplomatic re...

Why It Would Be Wrong to Undo the Cuba Opening - Eric Olson, RealClearWorld

The United States cannot be naive -- it should not romanticize the relationship with Cuba. The United States has legitimate concerns about Cuba's political system, its human rights...

Trump Has Reinvigorated the "Special Relationship" - John Bolton, Boston Globe

The potential for a dramatically different trade and investment agreement between America and Britain should be the most immediate priority....

Trump's Immigration Order Is Bad Foreign Policy - FitzGerald & Martin, Conversation

President Donald Trump banned the entry of people from seven majority Muslim countries last week. Leaders as far apart ideologically as former Vice President Dick Cheney and Sen. B...

Donald Trump Is Handing China the World - David Axe, The Daily Beast

While Trump focuses on building up the U.S. Navy to counter China, Beijing is gobbling up the other segments of global relations that used to be dominated by the U.S....

Russia Intends to Test Trump in the Middle East - Jed Babbin, Washington Times

Mr. Trump would do well to add a corollary necessary to dealing with Mr. Putin: “trust has to be earned.”...

The Globalists Have No Answer to Trumpism - Eric Bovim, Daily Caller

Until Democrats can formulate a winning defense of globalism, and temper their coastal base, Trump will stampede through the world for the next four years, unopposed....

What Has Made America Great - Robert Kaplan, RealClearWorld

The full interview with author Robert Kaplan. Kaplan talks about his latest book, "Earning the Rockies," published on Jan. 24....

Trump's Folly a Once-in-a-Century Opportunity for Australia - Peter Hartcher, SMH

After less than a fortnight in power, Trump has sown enough fear and loathing to enfeeble America's magnetic pull. For many, attraction is turning into repulsion. ...

Bad Foreign Policy at Root of Refugee Crisis - Mead & Gallagher, American Interest

The world does not need lectures from Susan Rice and Samantha Power on what we should do about Syrian refugees; the best way to deal with refugee flows is to prevent them from happ...

Can Trump Manage North Korea? - Christopher Hill, Project Syndicate

U.S. President Donald Trump's administration has had a rocky start; but the most pressing challenges are yet to come. Among them will be North Korea, whose leader, Kim Jong-un, rec...

America Needs a Corporate Foreign Policy - Parag Khanna, Politico

How Donald Trump and Rex Tillerson can bring business savvy and order to the messy task of running the world....

America Needs a Strong Partnership With Mexico - Ana Quintana, RealClearWorld

Few things are more important than having friendly, prosperous and secure neighbors on both sides of the border. The first scheduled meeting between Trump and Mexican President Enr...

Trump's Foreign-Policy Revolution - Charles Krauthammer, National Review

The flurry of bold executive orders and of highly provocative Cabinet nominations (such as a secretary of education who actually believes in school choice) has been encouraging to ...

U.S. Foreign Policy Has Huge Flaws That Trump Can Fix - Ted Galen Carpenter, Nat'l Int

The next Hitler is not hiding under every bush....

FDR Started the Long Peace. Trump Could End It - Fareed Zakaria, Washington Post

Trump has begun to reverse the stable world order established by FDR....

The U.S. President Is Not a Rational Actor - Stephen Walt, Foreign Policy

Whether by accident or design, Donald Trump is isolating himself and erratically unraveling the world order....

The U.S. Role in the World: No More Heroes? - Aaron David Miller, RealClearWorld

For those among our readers who long for the glories of yesteryear, when the United States was admired, feared, and respected for a bold and even heroic foreign policy, I have a pi...

The Twilight of a Peaceful World Order - Robert Kagan, Brookings Institution

If history is any guide, the next four years are the critical inflection point. The rest of the world will take its cue from the early actions of the new administration. If the nex...

Why Trump Won't Reopen the CIA's Black Sites - Eli Lake, Bloomberg View

Why build our own secret prisons when we can just turn suspects over to allies who will do our dirty work?...

7 Bargaining Chips Mexico Has Against Trump - Robbie Gramer & Emily Tamkin, FP

The art of the deal goes both ways....

The Rise of Illiberal Globalism - Amitav Acharya, Yale Global

Threats to international liberal order and democratic nations, both external and internal, shape new forms of globalization....

Trump Changes Course in Asia - Guy Taylor & Carlo Munoz, Washington Times

The Trump administration's vow to block Beijing from seizing territory in the South China Sea has sparked outrage among Chinese leaders, and Mr. Trump's rejection of the Trans-Paci...

Fillon Conjures a New European Pragmatism - Leonid Bershidsky, Bloomberg View

Trump has said the U.S. has been too assertive internationally, pursuing ideological visions and regime change to the detriment of its own interests. In Fillon's view, Europe has t...

5 Bad Reasons for Pulling Back From the World - Eliot Cohen, Politico

And why they're so terrible....

Iranians Believe Trump Will Violate Nuclear Deal - Barbara Slavin, Al-Monitor

A new poll shows Iranian dissatisfaction with economic gains since the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action went into effect and apprehension about the policies of the new Trump admi...

America, You Look Like an Arab Country Right Now - Karl Sharro, Politico Magazine

Welcome to the club....

Did John Kerry Hand the Middle East to Putin? - Akiva Eldar, Al-Monitor

Russia has ignored the 2006 decision by the Quartet not to engage in contacts with Hamas until it renounces violence, suggesting another move by Moscow to fill the vacuum left by t...

Trump Just Made the World Poorer and More Dangerous - Sean O'Grady, Independent

A great thing for the American worker what we just did, said Donald Trump as, with the stroke of his pen, he cancelled the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TTP). Trump will also scrap th...

President Trump, Be Wary of a Mexican Backlash - Jose Cardenas, National Review

In negotiating with Mexico, Trump should be mindful that a populist backlash against him is brewing there....

China Won't Run From a Fight With Trump - Michael Auslin, Foreign Policy

The new U.S. president says he's ready to stand up to China in its own backyard,€” but Beijing won't take that lying down....

Will Trump Stay the Course on Changing U.S. Trade Policy? - Philip Levy, RCWorld

For several decades it has been reasonably easy to predict the direction of U.S. trade policy, even across changes of presidential administration. One could always expect more of t...

What the Saudi Monarchy Wants From the U.S. - Gerald Feierstein, RealClearWorld

Like many capitals around the world, Riyadh is waiting anxiously to understand more about the direction the Trump administration intends to take on Mideast policy. The Saudis undou...

Trump Has Nothing to Offer Asia Except Threats - Hunter Marston, Foreign Policy

The president's all-sticks, no-carrots approach is scaring away allies and empowering America's enemies....

Welcome to World Order 2.0 - Richard Haass, Project Syndicate

Since the Peace of Westphalia in 1848 ended the Thirty Years' War in Europe, the concept of sovereignty -- the right of countries to an independent existence and autonomy -- has fo...

Ben Rhodes Left the World a More Dangerous Place - John Daniel Davidson, Federalist

In a recent interview, Obama's former national security advisor Ben Rhodes reveals he doesn't understand the decline of American power....

Fighting With America: Facing Up to the Unpredictable - James Curran, Lowy Interpreter

If anything has emerged in the time since Donald Trump's election it is the near total absence of any kind of pattern to his decisions or acts as president-elect. In the ...

Geography Is What Made America Great - Jonathan Rauch, New York Times

Maybe the political air is turbulent but the country's tectonic fundamentals remain solid. Maybe American politics and geopolitics rest on a foundation as immovable as the rivers a...

An Age of Global Confrontation Under Trump - Timothy Garton Ash, The Guardian

A narcissistic bully will face nationalist leaders just as dangerous. Prepare for a direct clash with China....

Trump Team Should Focus Saudi Ties on Counterterrorism - Bruce Riedel, Al-Monitor

It would behoove Washington and Riyadh to take steps to reassure each other in the fight against terrorism....

A New Policy for North Africa in the Trump Era? - Karim Mezran & Elissa Miller, RCWorld

There has been much speculation across the Middle East and North Africa regarding what U.S. foreign policy in the region will look like under the Trump administration. We can infer...

Dear Allies: The Free Ride Is Over - Harvey Sapolsky, National Interest

Mattis shouldn't follow the path of his predecessor....

What a Trump Doctrine Might Look Like - Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post

Does President Trump have a foreign policy doctrine? The entire diplomatic corps in Washington wants to find out....

How Boston Fought the Empire - Stephen Kinzer, Boston Globe

When the United States turned to foreign conquest, the cradle of liberty rebelled....

Adrift in Trump's New Century - Ana Palacio, Project Syndicate

The late British historian Eric Hobsbawm famously called the period between Archduke Franz Ferdinand's assassination in 1914 and the Soviet Union's collapse in 1991 the short twent...

Protectionist Trump Speech Signals a U.S. Looking Inward - Andrew Coyne, Natl Post

Nakedly protectionist, stridently isolationist, Trump's inaugural speech sounded a wholesale retreat from American leadership, if not the world....

A Triangle of Instability and an Uprising of Luddites - Steve LeVine, Quartz

The wave of anti-elitism appears likely to be the most powerful driving force in geopolitical and financial events this year and probably beyond....

What Does President Trump Do to Brexit? - James Forsyth, The Spectator

Squaring the circle between Trump's protectionist rhetoric and his enthusiasm for a US / UK deal isn't as hard as it first looks....

Trump's First Foreign Policy Win Could Be in Syria - David Pollock, Washington Institute

In the week after his inauguration, President Trump will have an unusual opportunity to put his new diplomatic designs to the test in, of all places, Astana, the remote capital of ...

In Defense of Trump's Russia Policy - Tom Switzer, Sydney Morning Herald

Trump is right. Having a good relationship with Russia is a ''good thing, not a bad thing''....

The Era of U.S. Dominance Is Over - Ivo Daalder, RealClearWorld

Chicago Council on Global Affairs President Ivo Daalder, a former ambassador to NATO, comments on a global order changing from within and without....

Resetting Relations With Latin America - Jose Cardenas, RealClearWorld

It appears safe to say that Donald Trump's approach to the world will oscillate short of the poles of interventionism or retrenchment championed respectively by presidents George W...

What New International Order Will Trump Build? - David Ignatius, Washington Post

His inauguration marks a global inflection point, perhaps for the worse....

The Threat From Kaliningrad Is Real - Jorge Benitez, RealClearWorld

Russian President Vladimir Putin has been deploying more and more forces in a strategic piece of Russian territory that lies in a vulnerable area of NATO geography. How President-e...

Invading China, One Trade Dispute at a Time - Matthew Bey, Stratfor

The United States' trade ties with China have been the object of Trump's most vehement criticisms; the president-elect has even proposed a 45 percent tariff on all Chinese goods to...

Trump Should Shun the Iran Hawks - Scott McConnell, The National Interest

Trump could foreclose his economic nationalist option by allowing the country to slide into an unnecessary war....

Donald Trump's Middle East Con - David Faris, The Week

Just when you thought the Middle East couldn't get worse, here comes Donald Trump....

How the Democratic Tide Rolled Back - Alexander Cooley, RealClearWorld

Back from the Future: The Rise of Illiberalism and the End of the Post-Cold War Era...

Trump Disrupts World - Robin Wright, New Yorker

His ideas disparage the principles, institutions, and alliances central to decades of U.S. foreign policy....

Obama's Foreign Policy Legacy: The Limits of American Restraint - R. Fontaine, NRO

It was clear from the outset that Obama would preside over national retrenchment. ...

South Sudan: Killings, Rapes, and the Limits of U.S. Diplomacy - S. Sengupta, NYT

The starkest diplomatic defeat for the United States came late last month. Ms. Power was unable to persuade the United Nations Security Council to impose an arms embargo on South S...

Putin Starts to Win American Minds, If Not Hearts - Leonid Bershidsky, Bloomberg View

Americans believe that Russia is a threat, but don't believe in dire confrontation....

Obama and the Limits of "Fact-Based" Foreign Policy - Shadi Hamid, The Atlantic

How America's best and brightest once again steered the country to failure....

The American Epoch Is Over. It Ended on Obama's Watch - Terry Glavin, National Post

What was wrought by Obama's 2008 election was the beginning of the end of American power and prestige in the world. It was a good, long, 60-year run....

Trump Says Europe Is in Trouble. He Has a Point - Sebastian Mallaby, Washington Post

It is time for leaders to recognize that incremental policies are failing their people....

Trump, the Pistol and Holy Branch - Caroline Glick, Jerusalem Post

Trump will take office on Friday. Since he was elected, he has given every reason to believe that Abbas and his deputies and their European and American enablers will have to eithe...

Obama Leaves the World a More Dangerous Place - Edward Lucas, CapX

Barack Obama aimed to reset America's place in the world. Instead he dislodged it. His soaring rhetoric—displayed in speeches in Cairo in 2009, or in Estonia in 2014—co...

An Uncertain World Heralds the Arrival of Trump - Steven Erlanger, New York Times

LONDON — The Germans are angry. The Chinese are downright furious. Leaders of NATO are nervous, while their counterparts at the European Union are alarmed....

Yes, Trump Can Make Mexico Pay for the Border Wall - Marc Thiessen, Wash Post

What's not to love about a plan that would allow the president-elect to tax imports, subsidize exports and get Mexico to underwrite border security?...

Toothless Global Elites Surrender to Trump’s Slick Envoy - Felix Salmon, Fusion

At Davos, Scaramucci's schmoozing has turned to seriousness....

Can a Dealmaking President Invest in the Mideast's People? - Jessica Ashooh, RCW

This past November, a crowd of more than two thousand young Saudis gathered in Riyadh, the buttoned-up capital of the ultraconservative Saudi kingdom. Uniformly dressed in traditio...

Obama Misread Putin. Trump Might Not - Victor Davis Hanson, National Review

Let us hope that Donald Trump, Rex Tillerson, and Jim Mattis know this and thus keep mostly silent, remind Putin privately (without trashing a former president) that the aberrant a...

Trump Could Transform America's Relationship With China - Fred Hiatt, Wash Post

Encourage the country to treat both trading partners and its own people fairly....

When Trump’s Tirade War With China Becomes a Trade War - Brendon Hong, TDB

The big risk -- that a trade war would lead to a shooting war -- probably is overrated. But that's because China has so many economic weapons at its disposal....

U.S. Foreign Policy: From Primacy to Problem Solving - Jeffrey Sachs, Boston Globe

U.S. foreign policy in the coming years should address not only threats, but also opportunities....

Dodging and Hedging in Southeast Asia - Bilahari Kausikan, American Interest

Those worried about Trump's Southeast Asia policy should study how the region really works....

Obama Wisely Realized That Asia, Not America, Is the Future - Andrew Moran, Indy

As the Trump presidency nears, it has suddenly become fashionable to downplay the achievements of Barack Obama, not least because the President-elect seems so keen on ripping up mu...

The Dangers of Trump's Pursuit of Putin - Hal Brands, War on the Rocks

This is what makes Trump's courting of Putin so dangerous, regardless of whether a U.S.-Russia summit happens in three weeks or three months, or whether it happens in Iceland or el...

Is America Becoming a Third World Country? - Anatol Lieven, National Interest

Conspiracy theories about Russia suggest that the awful prospect for the USA is of a global superpower with the domestic politics of the Philippines or Argentina....

Trump's Foreign Policy Nominees Flat-Out Disagree With Him - Doyle McManus, LAT

Donald Trump 's foreign policy nominees launched a Reassurance Offensive last week, promising Congress -- and the rest of us -- that the next president won't be as scary as he soun...

Don’t Bet on Enduring Republican Reset With Russia - Daniel Twining, Yale Global

For domestic politics, Russia's President Putin may need rivalry with the U.S. more than Trump as friend....

Is Tillerson Willing to Go to War Over South China Sea? - Bill Hayton, Foreign Policy

The Exxon boss has shown before he can take Beijing to the limit — but as Secretary of State the stakes will be far higher....

The Military Loves the Obama Doctrine. Can It Survive Trump? - Kevin Baron, Def 1

Commanders say they're already fighting ISIS the right way: by, with, and through local forces....

Is the Search for a Palestinian State Over? - Matt Duss, RealClearWorld

Any attempt to examine how the Israeli-Palestinian peace process might fare under the presidency of Donald Trump must acknowledge one thing: The peace process did not survive the p...

A Dallas Cowboys Foreign Policy - Jordan Chandler Hirsch, National Review

There's a lesson in Prescott's stardom — for America's Team, of course, but also for America's role in the world....

Trump Will Regret Having No Grand Strategy - M. Zenko & R. Friedman Lissner, For. Policy

The next president says he wants to make deals, but his administration is going to be flying blind....

Recommitting the U.S. to Europe - Ted Bromund & Luke Coffey & Daniel Kochis, Heritage

Europe is less secure, and less securely prosperous, today than it was when President Obama entered office in 2009. The responsibilities for these failures do not rest only with th...

Reordering Europe? - Jeremy Shapiro, RealClearWorld

Donald Trump has a starkly different view of Russia than previous American presidents. Trump's mysterious relationship with the Kremlin and its leader has already created massive u...

A Brutal Bromance to Reshape the World - Sasha Abramsky, New Statesman

Trump is no fool. Amid the bluster he is overseeing the birth of a new world order of force....

General Mattis' Audacious Mission - Ehsan Ahrari, RealClearDefense

A lot of printer ink must have spilled over Donald Trump’s wisdom nominating retired Marine Corps General James Mattis, and whether he will be a good Secretary of Defense. I do no...