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Fuel to the Fire: How Trump Made America's Broken Foreign Policy Even Worse (and How We Can Recover)

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As a presidential candidate, Donald Trump broke not only from the Republican Party but also from the bipartisan consensus on the direction of recent U.S. foreign policy. Calling the Iraq war a terrible mistake and lamenting America's nation building expeditions, Trump evinced little interest in maintaining the traditional form of American leadership of the liberal internat As a presidential candidate, Donald Trump broke not only from the Republican Party but also from the bipartisan consensus on the direction of recent U.S. foreign policy. Calling the Iraq war a terrible mistake and lamenting America's nation building expeditions, Trump evinced little interest in maintaining the traditional form of American leadership of the liberal international order. He threatened to pull the United States out of NATO, complained that the United States was being taken advantage of by its trading partners, and argued that immigration was a terrible threat. Instead, Trump's "America First" vision called for a reassertion of American nationalism on the economic front as well as in foreign affairs. Since Trump took office, it has become clear that "America First" was more campaign slogan than coherent vision of American grand strategy and foreign policy. As president Trump has steered a course that has maintained some of the worst aspects of previous foreign policy - namely the pursuit of primacy and frequent military intervention - while managing to make a new set of mistakes all his own. This book provides an assessment of Trump's America First doctrine, its performance to date, and its implications for the future.


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As a presidential candidate, Donald Trump broke not only from the Republican Party but also from the bipartisan consensus on the direction of recent U.S. foreign policy. Calling the Iraq war a terrible mistake and lamenting America's nation building expeditions, Trump evinced little interest in maintaining the traditional form of American leadership of the liberal internat As a presidential candidate, Donald Trump broke not only from the Republican Party but also from the bipartisan consensus on the direction of recent U.S. foreign policy. Calling the Iraq war a terrible mistake and lamenting America's nation building expeditions, Trump evinced little interest in maintaining the traditional form of American leadership of the liberal international order. He threatened to pull the United States out of NATO, complained that the United States was being taken advantage of by its trading partners, and argued that immigration was a terrible threat. Instead, Trump's "America First" vision called for a reassertion of American nationalism on the economic front as well as in foreign affairs. Since Trump took office, it has become clear that "America First" was more campaign slogan than coherent vision of American grand strategy and foreign policy. As president Trump has steered a course that has maintained some of the worst aspects of previous foreign policy - namely the pursuit of primacy and frequent military intervention - while managing to make a new set of mistakes all his own. This book provides an assessment of Trump's America First doctrine, its performance to date, and its implications for the future.

32 review for Fuel to the Fire: How Trump Made America's Broken Foreign Policy Even Worse (and How We Can Recover)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Christopher Hudson Jr.

    Fuel to the Fire accomplishes two important goals. First, it makes a strong case against primacy or liberal hegemony, and proposes a foreign policy of "restraint" as a superior alternative. The basic principles of restraint involve setting modest and achievable objectives, privileging diplomacy and cooperation, and modeling liberal behavior for others to follow. Second, the authors attempt to define Donald Trump's America First foreign policy. Although many critics and supporters of Trump descri Fuel to the Fire accomplishes two important goals. First, it makes a strong case against primacy or liberal hegemony, and proposes a foreign policy of "restraint" as a superior alternative. The basic principles of restraint involve setting modest and achievable objectives, privileging diplomacy and cooperation, and modeling liberal behavior for others to follow. Second, the authors attempt to define Donald Trump's America First foreign policy. Although many critics and supporters of Trump describe his vision as a form of restraint, realism, or even isolationism, the authors argue that this is mistaken for several reasons. Instead of searching for a kind of Trump doctrine, it is better understand Trump's worldview through four frames: zero-sum transactionalism; Jacksonian nationalism and militarism; honor, status, and respect; and the authoritarian mind. Although the Trump administration's international relations often follow the standard primacy playbook, the America First frames of Donald Trump seem to be making the U.S.'s already broken foreign policy even worse. The best solution to this mess is restraint.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Melissa Johns

    Thought Provoking & Critical This book effectively hit-the-ground-running! Well-researched and data-driven, this gave an objective look at the deterioration of US foreign policy and provided excellent recommendations for how we can best get back on track. As a member of the armed services, I had my reservations on the discussion on primacy versus restraint, but the arguments raised made sense and have given me a whole new perspective to embrace. I really enjoyed reading this and learned so much ab Thought Provoking & Critical This book effectively hit-the-ground-running! Well-researched and data-driven, this gave an objective look at the deterioration of US foreign policy and provided excellent recommendations for how we can best get back on track. As a member of the armed services, I had my reservations on the discussion on primacy versus restraint, but the arguments raised made sense and have given me a whole new perspective to embrace. I really enjoyed reading this and learned so much about the US's foreign policy trends over the past decades.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    Useful for undergraduate teaching.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Bill Zarges

  5. 4 out of 5

    Don

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    Dylan Hoon

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    Josh

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    Madison R

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    Brittany Schultz

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    Hannah

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    EJD Dignan

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    Marlon Ramirez

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    Jamison H

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    Jessi Troyan

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    Natalie Dowzicky

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    Deb Wight

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    Joseph Simmons

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    Jacob

  19. 5 out of 5

    Erin

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    Akiva Malamet

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    Justine Mallatt

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    Sushil

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    Vcasab

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    Amy

  25. 4 out of 5

    Modern Major General

  26. 5 out of 5

    Matthew

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    Emrys

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    John

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    Mike

  30. 5 out of 5

    Zacharias Grigoriadis

  31. 5 out of 5

    Orlando

  32. 5 out of 5

    Philip Christian Ulrich

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