The Trump Doctrine: Deterrence without Intervention?

President Trump salutes as he boards Air Force One at John F. Kennedy Airport, December 2, 2017. (Yuri Gripas/Reuters)
The president bets that a booming economy, a beefed-up military, and U.S. energy dominance will deter enemies without the need for preemptive invasions.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE D onald Trump’s 2016 campaign sought to overturn 75 years of bipartisan foreign policy orthodoxy, especially as it applied to the Middle East.

From 1946 to 1989, the Cold War logic was to use both surrogates and U.S. expeditionary forces to stop the spread of Communist insurrections and coups — without confronting the nuclear-armed USSR directly unless it became a matter of perceived Western survival, as it did with the Berlin airlift and the Cuban missile crises.

That logic led to major conflicts like Vietnam and Korea, limited wars in the Middle East and Balkans, interventions in Latin America and the Caribbean, and

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