Clean Up on the Foreign-Policy Aisle

Trump’s Cabinet is always at the ready with brooms and mops to clean up the commander-in-chief’s errant outbursts. But does the administration have a real strategy?

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 first episode of The E.R., David Rothkopf, Derek Chollet, Kori Schake, and new guest — FP’s executive editor for news Sharon Weinberger — discuss the latest bizarre and troubling behavior from the U.S. president over the last week. From his affinity toward strongmen to his speech declaring war against the media, it’s just one thing after another. But, as one panelist points out, how much does this nonsense really matter when it comes to policy change in the long run? Will these irrational, impetuous comments, likely forgotten in a few months, really shift the scope of policy? Maybe we should all be paying less attention to Trump’s Twitter account and more attention to the actual policymakers within the administration.

The discussion then turns to the ultimate question: is there a grand foreign-policy strategy? Perhaps we’re all being fooled and there is some master plan behind Trump’s peculiar behavior and odd penchant for authoritarian leaders. Yeah, probably not. But with U.S. foreign policy and influence potentially shifting dramatically over the next two years, who will gain from these changing winds?

Sharon Weinberger is FP’s executive editor for news. She is also the author of The Imagineers of War: The Untold Story of DARPA, the Pentagon Agency that Changed the World. Follow her on Twitter: @weinbergersa.

On this week’s first episode of The E.R., David Rothkopf, Derek Chollet, Kori Schake, and new guest — FP’s executive editor for news Sharon Weinberger — discuss the latest bizarre and troubling behavior from the U.S. president over the last week. From his affinity toward strongmen to his speech declaring war against the media, it’s just one thing after another. But, as one panelist points out, how much does this nonsense really matter when it comes to policy change in the long run? Will these irrational, impetuous comments, likely forgotten in a few months, really shift the scope of policy? Maybe we should all be paying less attention to Trump’s Twitter account and more attention to the actual policymakers within the administration.

The discussion then turns to the ultimate question: is there a grand foreign-policy strategy? Perhaps we’re all being fooled and there is some master plan behind Trump’s peculiar behavior and odd penchant for authoritarian leaders. Yeah, probably not. But with U.S. foreign policy and influence potentially shifting dramatically over the next two years, who will gain from these changing winds?

Sharon Weinberger is FP’s executive editor for news. She is also the author of The Imagineers of War: The Untold Story of DARPA, the Pentagon Agency that Changed the World. Follow her on Twitter: @weinbergersa.

Derek Chollet is a contributing editor to FP’s Shadow Government blog. He is also executive vice president and senior advisor for security and defense policy at the German Marshall Fund. He’s the former U.S. assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs and is the author of The Long Game: How Obama Defied Washington and Redefined America’s Role in the World. Follow him on Twitter: @derekchollet.

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: @KoriSchake.

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

Tune in, now twice a week, to FP’s The E.R.

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

More from Foreign Policy

Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a commission on military-technical cooperation with foreign states in 2017.
Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a commission on military-technical cooperation with foreign states in 2017.

What’s the Harm in Talking to Russia? A Lot, Actually.

Diplomacy is neither intrinsically moral nor always strategically wise.

Officers with the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) wait outside an apartment in Kharkiv oblast, Ukraine.
Officers with the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) wait outside an apartment in Kharkiv oblast, Ukraine.

Ukraine Has a Secret Resistance Operating Behind Russian Lines

Modern-day Ukrainian partisans are quietly working to undermine the occupation.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron wave as they visit the landmark Brandenburg Gate illuminated in the colors of the Ukrainian flag in Berlin on May 9, 2022.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron wave as they visit the landmark Brandenburg Gate illuminated in the colors of the Ukrainian flag in Berlin on May 9, 2022.

The Franco-German Motor Is on Fire

The war in Ukraine has turned Europe’s most powerful countries against each other like hardly ever before.

U.S. President Joe Biden holds a semiconductor during his remarks before signing an executive order on the economy in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, D.C.
U.S. President Joe Biden holds a semiconductor during his remarks before signing an executive order on the economy in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, D.C.

How the U.S.-Chinese Technology War Is Changing the World

Washington’s crackdown on technology access is creating a new kind of global conflict.