Publié le 08/03/2019

Laurence NARDON

Since Donald Trump’s rise to power, American foreign policy has become more unpredictable. Nonetheless, several coherent strategies stand out, in particular those that advocate a nationalist approach. An examination of Trump’s entourage also reveals some more conventional figures, who may exert some degree of influence. However, there may yet be surprises to come.

Ever since June 2015, when Donald Trump officially launched his presidential campaign as he descended the Trump Tower escalator in New York, and up until the time of writing, following his first State of the Union address on January 30, 2018, observers of American politics have faced a permanent difficulty in analyzing the situation. We have seen that the President of the United States can change his opinion about the same topic from one week to the next. He tweets in an uncontrolled, often aggressive way. He makes senseless remarks and does not seem bothered when they are brought to his attention. The White House experiences a new psychodrama each week and the brisk turnover of advisors is reminiscent of the reality television show, The Apprentice, that made the businessman Trump famous. The situation is in stark contrast not only with the presidency of Barack Obama, whose actions always seemed so reflected and measured, but also with that of George W. Bush. In the aftermath of September 11, Bush’s international plan for unilateral intervention may not have been agreed upon by all, but at least it was absolutely clear.

There are, however, well-defined anchor points in Trump’s approach which allow for some sense to be made of the chaos. During his first year in charge of the foreign policy of the most powerful country in the world, the president oscillated fairly consistently between three poles.


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