On Geopolitics

The Echoes of Reagan in Trump's National Security Strategy

Rodger Baker
Senior VP of Strategic Analysis, Stratfor
Dec 19, 2017 | 08:00 GMT
With his Dec. 18 national security speech, President Donald Trump charted a new path for the United States.

The administration of President Donald Trump says that the United States has lost influence and power. But if one steps back from the current (contentious) political discourse, it's hard to find a significant gap between the administration of former President Barack Obama and that of President Donald Trump when it comes to identifying the risks to American interests and security posed by North Korea, Iran, the Islamic State or even China.

(ALEX WONG/Getty Images)

Geopolitics teaches us that countries have core interests and imperatives, and that their relative importance can shift with time and circumstances. Geopolitics does not dictate the response. This is where politics and policy assert themselves and where personalities become important. If one steps back from the current (contentious) political discourse, it is hard to find a significant gap between the administration of former President Barack Obama and that of President Donald Trump when it comes to identifying the risks to American interests and security posed by North Korea, Iran, the Islamic State or even China. This is not to say that there are no differences, but rather that it is often less about identifying what represents a challenge to U.S. strategic interests than about how to deal with them. In this, the difference between the two administrations appears rather stark....

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