As we approach the 2020 election, I want to make sure the conversation on this show reflects the actual choice the country is facing. So we are going to be doing a few episodes, including this one, with guests who believe Donald Trump is the better candidate this November.
I wanted to start with foreign policy because that’s where Trump has been most influential. Trump has successfully broken the previous bipartisan consensus on key foreign policy issues. The way Republicans — and now even Democrats — talk about trade, alliances, Russia, and China has changed dramatically over the last four years. That’s an important shift, whether or not you agree with it.
Rebeccah Heinrichs is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute where she specializes in nuclear deterrence and missile defense, a former adviser to congressional Republicans, and one of the sharpest defenders of Donald Trump’s foreign policy. Heinrichs sees a clear foreign policy worldview animating the Trump administration — one with more successes to its name than critics are willing to admit. I see a worldview that is inconsistently applied, and whose goals are often undermined, by the President’s impulsive, anti-strategic behavior on the world stage. So I asked Heinrichs to come on the show and persuade me that I’m wrong.
In this conversation Heinrichs and I discuss how Trump shattered the foreign policy consensus that preceded him, why he sees China as such a central threat to American interests, the trade-offs that come with engaging in multilateral agreements and institutions, whether the threats America faces require global cooperation to address, the importance (or lack thereof) of how other countries view America, the ways that Trump undermines his own purported foreign policy aims, Trump’s ally-bashing, the US-Saudi Arabia alliance, the Trump administration's stance on human rights, what we can expect from Trump in his second term, and much more.
The World America Made by Robert Kagan
The False Promise of Liberal Order by Patrick Porter
Exercise of Power by Robert Gates
Producer - Jeff Geld
Audio engineer - Jackson Bierfeldt
Researcher - Roge Karma
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