Why the World Needs a Trump Doctrine
WASHINGTON — The global order is in disarray. The world is sliding into significant disorder with no international structure capable of handling the kinds of problems that are likely to erupt almost simultaneously. To compound it all, chaos among the major powers could generate truly disastrous consequences.
So far, President Trump has failed to formulate any significant, relevant statements about the global condition. Instead, the world has been left to interpret the sometimes irresponsible, uncoordinated and ignorant statements of his team.
Self-promoters seeking important positions should not be permitted to create the impression that their sometimes simplistic and extremist terminology is becoming national policy. The recent public embarrassment over American policy toward the Kremlin, culminating in the resignation of Michael T. Flynn as national security adviser after just 24 days in the job, speaks for itself.
寻求重要职位的自我推销者不应该被允许造成这样的印象，即他们有时过分简化和极端的专门用语在变成国家政策。最近美国对克里姆林宫政策上的公开出丑——以迈克尔·T·弗林(Michael T. Flynn)刚刚就任国家安全顾问24天便辞职为顶点——就足以说明问题。
While we did not support Mr. Trump, he is the president of the United States. He is our president, and we want him to be a success. Right now, he does not look like that to the rest of the world, or to us.
A vulnerable world needs an America characterized by clarity of thought and leadership that projects optimism and progress. “Make America Great Again” and “America First” are all very well as bumper stickers, but the foreign policy of the United States needs to be more than a campaign slogan.
So we would advise the president to give an address that offers a bold statement of his vision, including his determination to provide America’s leadership in the effort to shape a more stable world. This speech should not be a detailed blueprint for American foreign policy, but rather serve as a much-needed reminder that the president of the United States is on watch, is actively engaged and has a sense of historical direction.
What we need to hear from our president is why America is important to the world and why the world needs America. At the same time, he can take advantage of the opportunity to point out what the United States expects from the world.
We may disagree with President Trump on day-to-day decisions, but we urge him to recognize that the ideal long-term solution is one in which the three militarily dominant powers — the United States, China and Russia — work together to support global stability.
Much hinges on the degree to which America and China can engage in successful dialogue. This would open the way for a more serious, strategic Sino-American understanding. That, in turn, could create the basis for a more lasting understanding among all three major powers, since Russia would realize that if it were not included in a Sino-American accommodation, its interests would be at risk.
America must also be mindful of the danger that China and Russia could form a strategic alliance. For this reason, the United States must take care not to act toward China as though it were a subordinate: this would almost guarantee a closer tie between China and Russia.
More immediately worrying is the problem posed by North Korea, which will require increased cooperation among North Korea’s more powerful neighbors, including China and Japan (and potentially Russia), as well as the United States. Isolated American efforts are unlikely to move Pyongyang in a positive direction.
If the United States is to improve its relationship with Russia, it must renew both sides’ acknowledgment that a commitment to abide by law is central to the international order. A superficial show of better relations must not be a cover for deception, maneuvering or violence against weaker neighbors. President Trump’s desire for constructive engagement with Russia is sensible, but there has to be a framework of acceptable conduct that, unfortunately, does not exist at present.
Russia is confronted by non-Russian former Soviet republics like Ukraine and Uzbekistan consolidating their independence, while China’s economic penetration of Central Asia has also reduced Russia’s role in that region. The stakes for all three major powers are high, but so are the potential rewards — and they know it.
In the near term, America should aim for specific regional agreements with partners like Japan and Britain, as these relationships will be essential for managing regional affairs. In this regard, the administration’s steps to reaffirm America’s commitment to defend Japan and South Korea are encouraging. But as the linchpin of NATO, America must also be ready to defend Western and Central Europe.
With his background, President Trump knows the power of business. The United States should make clear to Russia that any military incursion into Europe, including the “little green men” tactics seen at the beginning of the conflict in eastern Ukraine, would incur a punitive blockade of Russia’s maritime access to the West that would affect nearly two-thirds of all Russian seaborne trade.
Given the Trump administration’s abysmal performance so far in installing a leadership capable of strategic decision making, it is crucial that America and the world hear a vision of leadership and commitment from our president. A Trump Doctrine, any doctrine more or less, is sorely needed.