Our new web series, Wait Just a Minute, asks experts to answer complex questions about global affairs in 60 seconds. In this episode, military historian and author Eliot Cohen answers questions in just 60 seconds about the international order, America First, and US alliances.
What's the biggest challenge facing the international order?
It was a certain kind of world order that the United States really midwifed in the late 1940s. It is being stressed in a number of ways: by the rise of China, by Islamic fundamentalism, all kinds of things. So, the question is what is the next world order going to look like? And can we build one that maintains prosperity but is also conducive to freedom?
How does "America First" affect US security?
American politicians are going to put the interest of the United States ahead of other countries interests, but that's not what "America first" today means. It really means an approach to the world, which is very unilateralist, which I would say is rather selfish, which doesn't really think that alliances, and partnerships, and institutions, and even in some ways values, matter a whole lot. And "America first" in that sense, in the sense used by the Trump administration, is doing tremendous damage to America's standing in the world.
What advice would you give to US allies?
Hang on, this too shall pass.
Which historical figure would you most like to meet?
Person I'd most like to meet: Winston Churchill.