With the Middle East on fire, Europe on edge, Russia on the march, and China on the rise, America’s interlocking system of alliances is more important now than at any time since the beginning of the Cold War.
Trump appeared to revel in chaos on the campaign trail, but chaos theory does not hold when it comes to foreign policy. Consider some of the consequences—and these are the shortest of short-term consequences—of Trump’s early foreign policy decisions and pronouncements.
Following Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea, the West has become fascinated with the term “hybrid warfare.” While the term appears to be relatively new, hybrid warfare itself is not a new strategy, nor is it a threat to be taken lightly.
Many American officials have concluded that issues in Central and Eastern Europe have been fixed once and for all and that they can “check the box” and move on to other more pressing strategic issues. Relations have been so close that many on both sides assume that the region’s transatlantic orientation, as well as its stability and prosperity, would last forever. That view is premature.