For decades before 2017, the United States had occupied the position of the world’s leading superpower and a global peacekeeper. To that end, it would frequently intervene in foreign conflicts in which it had an interest. Marked by conflicts such as the Vietnam War, the invasion of Iraq, and the Arab Spring, all of which failed to improve the situation while using American resources. At the same time, the nation would support its strategic allies with arms sales and military bases located in their territory. President Trump represents the political faction that grew dissatisfied with this state of affairs, which, in their view, wasted resources better applied at home. To that end, his foreign policy has been one of reduced intervention, especially that of the military variety, and reduction in the scale of ongoing conflicts.
President Trump has worked to reduce the presence of American forces outside of the nation throughout his time in office. As he has stated in a speech to West Point cadets, the American soldier’s job is to defend their nation, not rebuild foreign ones. The nation’s military endeavors have not stopped entirely, as the war in Yemen has continued even as President Trump refused to increase the American presence there. More recently, the Commander-in-Chief has sanctioned the elimination of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani, escalating tensions in the U.S.’s strained relationship with the nation. With that said, these are individual instances, and the military operations started under Trump have mostly concluded, typically successfully, as the defeat of ISIS shows.
To compensate for the reduction in American presence and its limiting effects on regional conflict, President Trump has been attempting to relieve tensions in these areas. The Middle East is a region marked by ongoing high tensions and U.S. involvement that helps different nations, most notably Israel. Under President Trump, the U.S. has scaled back its military presence in the region. However, recently, a series of peace treaties have been announced between Israel and a number of Middle Eastern Nations that he has helped broker. Through these agreements, the possibility emerges that the region will become more peaceful and capable of addressing its issues internally. Once that goal is achieved, U.S. resources can be redirected to more pertinent objectives, likely internal ones.
With that said, President Trump has employed international aggression to a substantial degree. Instead of military threats, his preferred approach has been one of economic pressure, exemplified by the so-called trade war between the U.S. and China. The return of outsourced jobs to America has been one of President Trump’s most important campaign slogans, and in his office, he has attempted to achieve that objective. With that said, many of these measures, such as the U.S.’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, have been received unfavorably by a number of political experts.
Overall, President Trump’s policy puts America first and tries to minimize the resource wastage that foreign interventions create. Instead of military measures, he prefers to rely on diplomacy and economic pressure, which cost the nation less in terms of lives and possibly other resources. With that said, President Trump also recognizes the depth of current American commitments and the effects that a sudden complete withdrawal would have on the regions where the nation’s forces are involved. As such, while his approach’s ultimate goal is to remove the U.S. from the affairs of other nations as much as possible, he has attempted to make the regions in question self-sufficient before leaving.