President Trump’s erratic and transactional approach to foreign and national security issues is undercutting some of the administration’s achievements, according to an assessment by a prominent think tank at the administration’s two-year mark.
Most of the more than 20 scholars writing midterm assessments in a report by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies offer some praise of the administration’s strategy, leavened by a strong dose of criticism for the way Trump executes it:
On Russia, the assessment says, it is hard to hold its government accountable “due to the president’s resistance to exerting personal pressure” on President Vladimir Putin. Authors hold Trump responsible for emboldening bad behavior by autocrats in Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. In China, the focus on unfair tariffs is being disrupted by trade disputes with allies. And in Europe, Trump’s penchant for personal criticism of leaders, lacking in “nuance and appreciation” for alliances, is knocked for creating unprecedented tension.