Trump off to a better start than commonly believed

Donald Trump's first 100 days have not been the foreign policy disaster, or even the major break with long standing US goals, that many feared. There's a long way to go, and he really needs to stay off Twitter, but he could hardly be worse than his predecessor. Give Trump a chance?

Give him a break?
Taylor Dibbert
On 1 May 2017 00:08

U.S. President Donald Trump has shaken things up in America and the world, and not always in a constructive way.

However, there are reasons to be optimistic, and let’s not forget how bad Barack Obama actually was, especially on the foreign policy front.

Besides, Trump has already taken a more mainstream line across a host of foreign policy areas, including NATO and Russia.

Of course, there’s plenty we still don’t know about Trump. And, frankly, a 100-day marker isn’t all that helpful. Nonetheless, early indications suggest that America’s current president is more comfortable with the projection of American power than Obama ever was.

From Afghanistan to Syria to Yemen, we’ve seen that already. Trump’s team also looks poised to do far less micromanaging than Obama’s inner circle did, a positive if unsurprising development. Admittedly, we’re still waiting for the president to move from tactics to strategy.

Trump should consistently praise alliances, support free trade and champion America’s unique role in international politics.

He also needs to be more disciplined and spend less time on Twitter. Additionally, Trump should reconsider his position on foreign aid and recognize that human rights are an important aspect of U.S. foreign policy.

The president doesn’t exactly have big shoes to fill. Obama is poised to go down in history as one of America’s worst presidents, a talented and smart man who was never up for the job – content to lead from behind, discard pragmatism for ideological purity, and repudiate American global leadership.

Trump has a long way to go, though the potential upsides to his presidency cannot be discounted.

Taylor Dibbert is a writer based in Washington, D.C.

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