Skip to content
James Stavridis

Trump's National Security Strategy Is Shockingly Normal

The White House's "four pillars" could have emerged from a Hillary Clinton administration.
America first.

America first.

Photographer: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

President Trump’s newly released National Security Strategy is a pleasantly centrist document -- essentially a well-written amalgam of mainstream foreign policy principles that could as easily have emerged from a Hillary Clinton White House. Despite a couple of outlying aspects, the “four pillars” of the document reflect traditional ideas of international relations and are hard to argue with: protect the homeland, promote American prosperity, preserve peace through strength, and advance U.S. influence.

To really appreciate the striking normalcy of this document, just reflect back to the Trump campaign of 2016 -- NATO was deemed obsolete; we were going to literally charge our allies fees for protecting them; Japan and South Korea were told to consider obtaining nuclear weapons; Russia was going to be a great friend; and we were headed toward 40 percent tariffs on Chinese goods and possibly a global trade war.