Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Policy

This Isn't Realpolitik. This Is Amateur Hour

| May 03, 2017

The Trump administration's Asia policy is the worst of all possible worlds.

"To a casual observer, Donald Trump's invitation to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte to visit the White House might appear to be a classic example of hard-nosed realpolitik. Never mind Duterte's murderous anti-drug campaign, his boasting of having personally killed alleged criminals, or his other questionable statements, all of which have alarmed human rights advocates. The more important issue, some might think, is that Duterte is the leader of an important U.S. ally. From this perspective, it looks like Trump is simply subordinating moral concerns to strategic imperatives (as all of his predecessors have done) and pursuing an essentially realist policy toward this critical region.

Nothing could be further from the truth...."

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation: Walt, Stephen M.“This Isn't Realpolitik. This Is Amateur Hour.” Foreign Policy, May 3, 2017.

The Author

Stephen Walt