Stop It -- Trump Doesn't Do Strategy

Stop It -- Trump Doesn't Do Strategy
This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.

Donald Trump released his National Security Strategy (NSS) on Monday. The president even gave a speech about it (sort of).

I have been struck by how much attention the NSS received. People were publishing articles and blog posts about it all day on Monday. Whenever I checked Twitter, my feed was inundated with folks commenting on the NSS and what it might mean.

This seems like a waste of time and excessive analyzation, frankly. (And, yes, I realize that it’s a bit contradictory for me to now be writing my own piece about it … but at least this is barely 400 words!)

I didn’t support Trump’s candidacy. But, once he won, I was willing to give him a chance. It has, however, become increasingly difficult to have patience with this president, to think he’s even remotely close to suitable for the job (and, really, I’m putting things nicely here).

On foreign affairs specifically, Trump has done a bit better than I think many people would have expected – though I realize that’s not saying a whole lot. He’s pursued some conventional policies with some big exceptions – such as his generally thoughtless approach to foreign aid and diplomacy. That said, his tenure is far from over and he remains a temperamental, petty man who doesn’t seem interested in the nuances of policy or learning on the job.

I cannot – even for a minute – imagine Trump being guided by a document like the NSS. I would be shocked if he ever even reads it.

In that sense, it seems strange and unhelpful for so many people to be examining the NSS as if these analyses are somehow going to be applicable to what Trump may decide to do, or not do, or think about doing. Perusing the NSS may be slightly helpful for folks who haven’t really been following Trump over the past couple years.

Trump is remarkably unconventional and relentlessly mercurial. For insights into U.S. foreign policy on his watch, we should focus on what Trump actually does – not pontificate relentlessly about documents that he didn’t write and that he’ll probably never read.

So, while parts of the NSS do reflect Trump’s vision of America’s role in the world, this isn’t a document that should be viewed as any sort of guide, at least not a particularly helpful one. It’s certainly not something that merits all the attention it has received over the past thirty-six hours.

Go To Homepage

Popular in the Community