But Mattis, but the World, but the Law, but Bureaucracy…

Can we hold on to these little bits of optimism as the Trump administration takes us into a turbulent, unprecedented future?

On this episode of The E.R., Max Boot joins us to discuss his new book "The Road Not Taken."
On this episode of The E.R., Max Boot joins us to discuss his new book "The Road Not Taken."
On this episode of The E.R., Max Boot joins us to discuss his new book "The Road Not Taken."

On this week’s episode of The E.R., David Rothkopf, Kori Schake, Julia Ioffe, and Susan Hennessey debate whether there’s any hope and optimism left in these trying times. While Donald Trump’s domestic policy is worrisome, can we take comfort in knowing the president can’t completely dominate global politics? International checks and balances such as the United Nations, the European Union, NATO, and other allies will likely step in if the White House tries anything truly outrageous. But is that enough?

And speaking of light at the end of the tunnel, it seems that people in the United States have suddenly been activated. Protestors are showing up in record numbers at airports, in large cities, and at monuments, demanding action by the federal government. And it seems to (somewhat) be working. The other tiny comforts we can bathe in? Rational leaders such as Secretary of Defense James Mattis, CIA Director Mike Pompeo, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly. Perhaps even more important is that dirty word everyone outside Washington loves to hate: the bureaucracy.

Susan Hennessey is a fellow in national security in governance studies at the Brookings Institution. She is also managing editor of the Lawfare blog. Follow her on Twitter at: @Susan_Hennessey.

On this week’s episode of The E.R., David Rothkopf, Kori Schake, Julia Ioffe, and Susan Hennessey debate whether there’s any hope and optimism left in these trying times. While Donald Trump’s domestic policy is worrisome, can we take comfort in knowing the president can’t completely dominate global politics? International checks and balances such as the United Nations, the European Union, NATO, and other allies will likely step in if the White House tries anything truly outrageous. But is that enough?

And speaking of light at the end of the tunnel, it seems that people in the United States have suddenly been activated. Protestors are showing up in record numbers at airports, in large cities, and at monuments, demanding action by the federal government. And it seems to (somewhat) be working. The other tiny comforts we can bathe in? Rational leaders such as Secretary of Defense James Mattis, CIA Director Mike Pompeo, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly. Perhaps even more important is that dirty word everyone outside Washington loves to hate: the bureaucracy.

Susan Hennessey is a fellow in national security in governance studies at the Brookings Institution. She is also managing editor of the Lawfare blog. Follow her on Twitter at: @Susan_Hennessey.

Julia Ioffe is a former FP Voices columnist and is currently a staff writer for The Atlantic. Follow her on Twitter at: @juliaioffe.

Kori Schake is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, where she focuses on military history, and a former foreign-policy advisor to Sen. John McCain. Follow her on Twitter at: @KoriSchake.

David Rothkopf is the CEO and editor of the FP Group. Follow him on Twitter at: @djrothkopf.

Subscribe to FP’s The E.R. and Global Thinkers podcasts on iTunes.

More from Foreign Policy

A propaganda poster from the 1960s shows Chinese leader Mao Zedong.
A propaganda poster from the 1960s shows Chinese leader Mao Zedong.

Xi’s Great Leap Backward

Beijing is running out of recipes for its looming jobs crisis—and reviving Mao-era policies.

A textile worker at the Maxport factory in Hanoi on Sept. 21, 2021.
A textile worker at the Maxport factory in Hanoi on Sept. 21, 2021.

Companies Are Fleeing China for Friendlier Shores

“Friendshoring” is the new trend as geopolitics bites.

German children stand atop building rubble in Berlin in 1948.
German children stand atop building rubble in Berlin in 1948.

Why Superpower Crises Are a Good Thing

A new era of tensions will focus minds and break logjams, as Cold War history shows.

Vacationers sit on a beach in Greece.
Vacationers sit on a beach in Greece.

The Mediterranean as We Know It Is Vanishing

From Saint-Tropez to Amalfi, the region’s most attractive tourist destinations are also its most vulnerable.