Sea Change or More of the Same? Trump's Security Policies in Asia

Asia Policy

Author/s (editor/s):

William T. Tow

Publication year:


Publication type:

Journal article

Find this publication at:
National Bureau of Asian Research

William T. Tow, ‘Sea Change or More of the Same? Trump’s Security Policies in Asia’, Asia Policy, 13(4) 2018: 10-16.

After decades of relative stability and predictability for US strategy in Asia, President Donald Trump has quickly and substantially transformed his country’s policy behaviour in the region. More than any of his recent predecessors — and notwithstanding efforts by some of his own advisers to constrain his actions — this US president has proved to be a highly transactional figure who is undaunted by those from the US policy establishment who question the validity and effectiveness of his instincts and negotiating style. His foreign affairs agenda is driven by the pursuit of those domestic economic and political objectives he views as critical for ‘making America great again’. This largely insular approach has been labelled as a form of Jacksonian foreign policy. It has resulted in more open negotiations with autocrats, confrontations with traditional allies and partners on a wide array of previously stable issues, and a radical adjustment to the United States’ geopolitics to better fit with his own views of the world.

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