Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Policy

Trump Desperately Needs a Goodwill Ambassador

| June 14, 2017

But is there anyone in the administration cut out to win friends and influence enemies?

In the world of international politics, if you believe that hard power, hardheaded calculation, the absence of perfect information, and the lack of a central authority to enforce peace combine to drive much of international politics and foreign policy, that makes you a realist. That would serve as an adequate description of the harsh worldview summarized by National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster and Gary Cohn, the director of the National Economic Council, in a much-derided op-ed a couple of weeks ago. As readers here know, I happen to think this basic view of international affairs has much to commend it. States do care a lot about relative power; they typically make decisions in a cold-hearted and self-interested way; and even highly principled individuals in leadership positions will do immoral things under the pressure of circumstances. To ignore these features of international politics is to deny a lot of what makes the conduct of foreign policy difficult....

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For Academic Citation: Walt, Stephen M.“Trump Desperately Needs a Goodwill Ambassador.” Foreign Policy, June 14, 2017.