Where is American foreign policy heading? Jake Sullivan, former director of policy planning at the US Department of State, argues that the current administration is departing from core principles that have underpinned US foreign policy for decades—the importance of alliances, the role of values, and a broader commitment to leadership based on positive sum logic. Instead, the US has become increasingly transactional, withdrawing from the Paris Climate Agreement and TPP, and casting doubt over the Iran Nuclear Deal and NAFTA. This shift, Sullivan contends, is not just about Trump, but about a broader national debate on the future of American foreign policy — and the impact of US foreign policy decisions on the American middle class. What should we make of America First? And what is an alternative vision that is effectively matched to the needs and realities of the moment?
Background reading and multimedia:
- The World After Trump: How the System Can Endure
Jake Sullivan, Foreign Affairs, March/April 2018 Issue
- America and the Great Abdication
Richard Haas, The Atlantic, December 28, 2017
- 5 things to know about Trump's national security strategy
Jeremy Diamond, CNN, December 18, 2017