Pretty much the opposite of the Obama Doctrine


Early in the summer of 2014, Barack Obama summed up his approach to managing global affairs in four simple words:

“Don’t do stupid shit.”

According to the journalist Jeffrey Goldberg, Obama became incensed when this concise statement of the Obama Doctrine was derided (by Hillary Clinton in particular) as not being the sort of organizing principle a great power needs to guide its foreign policy.

When The Atlantic … published Clinton’s assessment that “great nations need organizing principles, and ‘Don’t do stupid stuff’ is not an organizing principle,” Obama became “rip-shit angry,” according to one of his senior advisers. The president did not understand how “Don’t do stupid shit” could be considered a controversial slogan. Ben Rhodes recalls that “the questions we were asking in the White House were ‘Who exactly is in the stupid-shit caucus? Who is pro–stupid shit?’ ”

After January 20 it looks like the stupid-shit caucus is going to inhabit the Oval Office. Everything we’ve seen so far tells me that, like all things Obama, this is one more area where Trump is set to look at what his predecessor did, and then do the opposite.

Again, don’t take it from me, get your information right from the source, in Trump’s own 140-characters or less missives. Here’s a sampling:

Trump considers the American-led alliance that has maintained peace and security in Europe and beyond obsolete and unfair:

He believes allies should pay if they want American protection:

Trump wants to drag the US and the world back to the days of dangerous nuclear arms races:

Upon learning that North Korea intends to test an intercontinental ballistic missile, Trump used Twitter to draw an apparent line in the sand, but leaves everyone guessing as to how he might back his words with action.

Trump wants to pull the United States out the framework of global free trade:

Threats against specific companies risk igniting trade wars.

He disparages the work of US intelligence agencies while blithely taking Wikileaks’ Julian Assange at his word and continuously sucking up to the Russian strongman who helped engineer his election.

He sees accepting refugees fleeing the world’s worst war zone as threatening the very existence of the United States and Europe.


The Obama Doctrine? Somebody should have told the voters.