tv John Glaser Christopher Preble and Trevor Thrall Fuel to the Fire CSPAN November 9, 2019 3:31pm-5:02pm EST
loo to boys because only boys had autism. i think there is that and may well be there is a sex dis. maybe atim fan seases differently in girls and that's why it's missed. there certainly are -- talking but neurotypicals but certainly are path idealogical issues and it mate be that those extremes are where perhaps sex has a stronger factor. i don't know. but certainly we have to look at it. >> thank you so much. [applause]
>> good judgment, i'm the christopher preble the vice president for defense and foreign policy studies here art cato. thank you for being here today. and welcome also those to watching online at cato.org and i think time delay hello to those watching on c-span. i'd like to extend fecial spasms to our outstanding conference staff here who do a terrific job organizing our events. i'm joined on the stage today by my colleagues john glacier, and trevor thrall and we're here with heath, director to thank you molds of policy change at new america. john, trevor and i are the co-raw authorize offered this book, "fuel to the fire.
how trump made america's broken foreign policy even worse and how we can proffer." copies are available for here sale at cato and your favorite book sellers. i'm going to tell you about the book, even though you can probably guess at a lot of it from the subtitlele. it includes a discussion tot a spoiler, includes a discussion of trump's critique of u.s. foreign policy , it includes why we think -- by we the authors think american's foreign policy was broken and there is a better alternative than what president trump has offered. so, it's my responsibility today to sort of set the stage and that involves a little bit of out which is my forte' and strategic analysis which is all
of thank you our forte's i think it's fair to say. go back to trump's major foreign policy address at the may flower hotel on april 27, 2016, in that speech he said among other thing that since the cold war, quote, foolishness and arrogance led to one foreign policy disaster after another. unquote. he promised to look for talented experts with new approaches and practical ideas, not those who have perfect resumes but very little to brag about except responsibility for a long history of failed policies and continued losses at war. and i put emphasis at losses at war because i'll come back to that. he also said no country has ever prospered that failed to put its own interests first. both off friends and enemies put their countries above ours and we, while being fair to them, must do the same.
that last phrase you may recognize, that's the essence of america first, that's a phrase that trump first uttered during that speech in april of 2016, but that has been repeated a number of times since, including in his administration's national security strategy which was issued in december of 2017. the strategy is called, an america first national security strategy. so, whether he knew it or not, donald trump was assailing what samuel huntington at the dawn of he post cold war area called primacy. prime say. that's the dominant foreign policy paradigm under both republican and democratic presidents ever sense, famous document, a draft pentagon guidance in 1992 that eye liberated the goals of this post cold war foreign policy. the object was to prevent the reemergence on a new rival
capable of challenging u.s. power in any vital area and those are thought to be europe, asia and the middle east, the u.s. would do that by retaping preponderancant military pair northmerly to deter attack against the united states and also to discourage potential competitors, including even longtime allies like germany and japan, from even aspiring to a larger regional or global role -- rio de janeiro until a or global role and that's a direct quo. so that was the plan, and the vision, and in the book in fuel to the fire we trails the history how this actually played out in practice since. the highlights or lowlights, if you prefer, include numerous foreign military entang.ed entang.ed --ening tanglements and then we explain, we sort of survey quickly this 20 or 25
year period and then we explain why these failures are broad stem from the flaws inherent in primacy as a grand strategy. i'll call attention to three in particular, three flaws in primacy. the first is a tendency to exaggerate dangers in order 0 mobilize and sustain public support. or protracted overseas adventures. second an overuse of the military at the expense of the many other instruments of american power and influence. and third, a sir is extent burden-sharing problem which had steadily eroded public support for u.s. foreign policy over time. now, donald trump spoke mostly of the third problem, free riding. but he seemed content to solve that through better dealmaking and negotiation, his famous art of the deal, and so most
recently we have seen this play out in his claim -- false -- his claim that saudi arabia will pay for the deployment of additional u.s. troops to the kingdom, for example. but there are other signs that donald trump's critique of u.s. foreign policy is different from ours. for example, he plays into public fears, especially of terrorism, and he boasts of dramatically increasing u.s. military spending and even of expanding u.s. foreign wars, which suggests he isn't critical of the u.s. wars per se, but rather the manner which they've been fought or even more specifically, he's mad we're losing but not winning. that done mean he is necessarily opposed to the wars per se and i think that really plays into primacy's flaws. let me read one passage and then kick it over to john. as we say in the poock, the track record alone should have
prompted some reflection on u.s. foreign policy, after all while the united states of america is obviously a powerful country, it is not omnipotent itself it has not discovered a magic formula for deploying force with surgical precision is. shake the international system in a way that works to everybody's benefits and harms to one. with respect to u.s. efforts other restime change, for example, admiral mike mullen, farmer chairman of to joint chiefs of staff notice note 2016 we're zero for a lot. military historian andrew concluded that having been at war for virtually the spire 21st century the united states military is still looking for the first win. unsurprisinglyings others around the world don't trust the united states to perform the role of disinterested global policeman, many in fact don't even believe utah leaders professions of good intent but let me close with this patha. for the most part are u.s.
leaders mean well. they're often motivate by a genuine desire to shape the international system in ways conducive to peace and prosperity but her in believing that have the capable to do great logs and cause harm. by privileging the military over other instruments of u.s. power and influence, primacy undermines american safety. so i'll stop there and i'll kick if over to john and he can take it to the next step here. >> tanks. so, as you could probably pick up from what chris just said, there has been since the campaign in 2015, and up to now, a lot of confusion i think over how to cat gorize trump's foreign policy views. specially nor nerdy think tank people who care but policele wines and international relations because we have words that mean something you can fit people into school of thunk very leasely and trump was always difficult to characterize.
and so during the campaign he -- when he stumbled upon these things that sort of sound like, for example, what people at the indicate to institute have been arguing, that nato has some burden-sharing problems and that we shouldn't engage in regime change wars and this kind of thing. people called him variously isolationist, realist, restraint oriented, et cetera, and we just found that not to be per wassive at all and so one of the reason wed wrote to the book is to make a distinction between trump and these well-respected schools of thought. so we go -- i talk about why he isn't any of those former things but also then the -- it's incumbent upon us to elaborate what we think trump is. how do his form e foreign policy views come together and once in
office sort of come out as policy. and it was very rick to do that to try to cat gorize and trump's foreign policy. first of all he's a liar so he is very rarely on -- very often on the same side- -- on on different sides many issues flip-flops constantly, he was for the iraq war before he was against it. for the libya intervention before he was against it. he was against going into syria before he was for it. nato is on lead when he said so in 2016. then into office is would not longer obsolete. top line items. all over the place typically in terms of what his position is. he may not have a coherent world view of the kind that is useful for a foreign policy analysis, so instead of sort of classifying him in one of this
brad categories, i trade to come up with creptors that made since for trump that could perhaps guide his foreign policy views and certainly help us understand them. so he's very zero sum transactional. widely understood. this happens in trade him thinks that our win is somebody else's loss, and vice versa. and it's shows up in his burden-sharing argument that nato countries should just pay us and then we'll continue the react that he thinks the scheme is. it comes in immigration, very much cares about taking of jobs, taking of low-wage jobs by immigrants and the borders into the security realm. i remember his articulation why he vetoed the piece of legislation that would have stopped u.s. involvement in the saudi arabia bombing of yemen.
and his main argument wasp that, women, it's good for jobs because the saudis buy weapons for us, therefore americans have to help build weapons here and therefore it's good for us, and forget about the strategic analysis of whether or not our involvement in yemen is a good idea. forget about the humanitarian part of it. he is able to justify it zero sum tumors terms. also very jacksonian. if anyone has a lot of extra time they can go back to book called special providence that political scientists wrote in 2001 long before trump. and jacksonins are militaristic, rely on populism, engaged in centralization of some kind.
xenophobia that makes sense for trump. one characteristic is they're apt to leave neutral parties alone but if they feel threatened or their honor i besmirched the will come back ifover and eming form people said that about his campaign. i he would leave neutral parties alone built if insult hill he destroy them and takes that into foreign policy is a well, also believes his opposition to role inist designs. anything international -- globalist design, international organizations, treaties, multilateral engagement he is very uncomfortable with. he's also fixated on his status and cares about respect, so one thing i was doing in trying to come up with things that make sense and can explain trump's behavior is i went through basically all of his public statements and interviews since
1980, and something i kept finding over and over again is something i did not expect which was he almost used the same phrase over and over again over the course of 40 years or so. something look the line of they're take can advantage of us that, laughing at us, we're not respected anymore. he cares a ton about this and this probably has soming to do with the way he has run his foreign policy. i remember his in initial opposition to engaging in syria, evenly redowned to his political benefit when he decided to bomb syrian regime asset in 2017 and then again 2018. this was probably the first act that got him plaudits from the very community that he has made a political career out of bashing. the establishment loved it. nancy pelosi, his antagonist on
the right, like marco rubio and john mccain, the kind of foreign policy class and community in this town, gave a big thumbs up and he felt great. one said he was finally become the president of the united states. so got a lot of status and prestige from that and probably north korea. there were reports that he tried to convince japan's abe to recommend him for the nobel peace prize if he does well in north korea and i think probably south korean president has also made the -- cultivated that belief and so he -- and his activity on north korea is clear. he cares more but the stage craft than the state contract. very show and ostentatious wow to the granular details and the has an authoritarian mind.
unusually authoritarian by the standards of u.s. plate cat culture him demands loyalty from federal officials that are supposed to be independent and nonpartisan. he has usedded a holm anyone slam den to attack jumps that have the goal disagree with his executive orders. he has a tendency to label people as traitors treasonous if they've disagree with him. enemy of the people is a name for at the press i think only authoritarian types tend to embrace. and so these four frames are essentially my attempt to describe and categorize trump's foreign policy and had certain implications how thing god out. on the other hand once get into policy it's difficult to see even with a lot that i think has thought a lot about foreign policy which trump hasn't, but -- maybe seees himself in one of this political sciencey
categories week like to talk about, translating policy exactly the way the president sees things is often very difficult. and so there has to be some explanation why some things have changed and some haven't because although trump was quite vehement in his -- as chris laid out in his criticisms of the last 30 years or so of foreign policy and all the people who have worked on foreign policy in those yore, there's a lot more continuity that than there is change the first three years of trump's presidency. he hat not real real length inquiried is in foreign alliance, has not removed u.s. tropic from any garrison, slip ought thousand troops from syria doesn't cut it and also yawed droopled the number of troop inside syria in his first two years in office and loosen the rules of engagement so the bombing campaign could re ramped up by order offed of -- the
isolationism doesn't fit there embraced nato. welcomed the 29th nato member, montenegro and possibly macedonia will be the 30th. offer brazil major nonnato status. most of his big foreign policy efforts have not been -- have not had the exacterrics of someone who wants to retreat from the world or up end the basis of u.s. foreign policy but he has done a little learning on the job so a lot of thing the wasn't familiar with and therefore leonard or was told once he came into the office that has changed things. he has a lot of indifference to foreign policy. carees mostly about ohio domestic political power and foreign policy is situated in subordinate to that. a lot love political calculations that it make sense. think but the syria withdrawal. don'tly described this
withdrawal as bringing the troops open, ending endless wars. that's not true but it's good for him politically. so first if watt just relocation of 50 u.s. soldiers from north syria, to the rest of syria and now it's withdrawing a thousand troops and butting them in iraq and qatar and saudi arabia and so on. shuffling around troops in he mideast is not exactly restraint or isolationism. and thirdly, or fourth he hi has had to compete with a very strong consensus of american engagement and leadership even within his own cabinet. he was pretty reluctant to continue on with the afghanistan war; i think you don't need any kind of special degree to see that things have gone pretty badly there and it's time for us to rethink the approach about almost two decades and the government we set up is horrendous some doesn't have control over most of the
country, and still fighting the taliban insurgency which is not going away. and he wanted to withdraw from that and good at ton of pushback. one comment from james matis was reportedly we have to stay there in order to prevent a bomb going off in times square. that's an absurd spasm of then inflation but nevertheless it helped persuade trump to continue to fight in afghanistan. and the same with syria. he initially wanted to withdraw in december 2018. he declared an n a tweet that he wanted it done so by the following february, and the bureaucracy ended up 100% reversing that because they were opposed to withdrawal if didn't do thinged the right way through the agency process and his management style or lack thereof is an indication he failed to sort of get his cabinet unified around a clear strategy and that's his fault. nevertheless there has been a
kind of constant -- this is why the term, adults in he room, came along. trying to manage trump residents erratic impulses and sometimes that means making sure we don't make radical changes to the strategic cop cop send -- consensus rind prom si, you see a lot of mixed results and things that don't match with either what he said before or what he -- we believed that his inclinations are. and so it's always -- i will never write another book but trump hopefully and also never write a book that is so topical as this one because the personnel changes that have happened so rapidly and probably more turnover in this administration than any other in recent memory -- we have to keep changing people's titles in revisions of the draft. nows it's former john bolton, former national security
adviser, former secretary of state rex tillerson. that didn't help the difficulty but nevertheless. i'll hand it rough to trevor after that lengthy explanation. >> thank you, john. so, to bring us home, i'll talk about the last third of the book. first, the public response to trump the america first. and concerns that washington has had about public opinion. and then finally just to get us started, our conclusion chapter where we talk about where we should be headed next. so, just to go back a bit, even before the 2016 election, the foreign policy establish independent washington, dc was worried about eroding public support for global engagement and especially for the end has wars in the the middle east. and in 2013, a survey of experts at the time dish use that term in air quotes -- at the council on foreign relations, found that
92% of these experts believed that american public had become less supportive of taking an active part in world affairs. quite good reason for this because in a 201 poll from the -- 2013 poll from the pew research phonedder inty found 52% of americans agreed with the statement that's united states should mind its own business internationally and let other countries get along the betts they could on their own, first time since the early 6 others thence at the question was interested in that way. in 2014, the chicago council on global affairs recorded a near record low public support for international engagement. they found only 58% of americans saying that the united states should take an active part in world affairs. these friend -- main dough stone sound that spectacular on thesauri toss but to people who are foreign policy observedes in d.c. this number were terrifying
and there is a lot of hemming at the still to this day, some hemming hemming and howing about what that means. just to give you an example, to quote walter russell pleaed, he wrote there's no more important question in world politics than this. will u.s. public opinion continue to sport an active and strategic include focused foreign policy? or is a historian hall brans put, i did american internationalism dead? with trump residents eye lex many on servers concluded therians was saidly, yes, it was dead. here's the brooking institution's robert kagan who is writing, president trump may noted enjoy majority support these days but there's about reason to believe his america first approach of the world does. the he old consensus about america's role as upholder of global security has collapsed in both parties so there's a lot of -- within the foreign policy
establishment. but the truth of things is that now almost after three years of trump, weening say very confident by the trump has hot embraced trumpism or america first nor retreated into isolationism. trump's conduct of foreign policy is unpopular generally speaking, just last week the quinnipiac poll found that 57% of the public disapproves 0 of of his conduct of foreign policy, 37% approve. put recalls unpopular in the particulars. his pet america first projects are some of his least popular policies. like the border wall, trade policy, oppose bed clear majority. and here's the funny thing. presidents are supposed to have a bully poll pit and do wonderful thing width public opinion but trump has a toxic touch when it comes to foreign affairs. thing the argued for get less
popular and this is despite the enact our currently very polarized age many republicans support his policies out of party loyalty. so even so, we're seeing a boomerang when trump tries to push for things. one recent example. trump'svery protectionist approach to trade and his rhetoric has really backfire he that 2019 chicago council survey found the highest ever support for tree afraid among the public. 87% of the public -- redick news -- 87% of the public -- they should all agree -- 87% said free trade guess for me american economy. a jump of 30 permanent magics from year and before trump took office 30. point is, ridiculous. nafta. also is its highest marks every over 60% supporting nafta. and there's even majority spout now for the tpp which trump pulled out of when he came into
office trump things it's pubbing juan way and goes back the other way and we could list several different areas for which this same sort of thing is true. syria is an interesting example we can talk about later as well. so you might ask, then, what is going on, then? on the one hand you're telling me before trump gets into office looks like'ing support for global engagement is shrinking but on the other hand you're telling me that people are rejects america first apparently retreat into isolationism and that stuff. where is the truth? the truth is that the american public is not becoming more elationist but it's -- the flavor of its internationalism is changing. americans are increasingly tired of the traditional military centric approach to foreign policy that the american -- the united states has relied on since world war ii, but really specifically since the end of the cold war.
fundamental... 68 percent say we should pursue a policy of from a corporation and engagement with china rather than trying to limit the growth of chinese power. we could keep going but issue after issue americans say they want to live much more heavily on cooperation and double mystique much less on what has clearly not been going very well with the military heavy approach to foreign policy. as we talk about in the book, i think a happy note for america is that these trends are the
strongest among the youngest americans. among millennial's and generation z. they're the least supportive america first policy. they are the least supportive of military century policies but they remain as are more supportive of international cooperation and diplomacy as any other generation of america. millennial's are not going to kill foreign policy, i think they will save it. then the road forward, i think, is actually fairly clear and happily already enjoyed broad public support. as we outlined in our conclusion u.s. foreign policy really should move in a restraint direction and embrace three core pillars. or principles. first the united states should reject the myth of privacy that chris talked about earlier and the hyperactive foreign policy is promoted. washington it should instead pursue a more modest agenda
that focuses on physical security of the united states rather than attempt to control the rest of the world. second, the primary tools of american engagement should be diplomacy, commerce and cooperation, not military force. the united states is always going to need a strong military for deterrence and self-defense but the use of force instead of the first resort as it's been for the last 20 year needs to become the last resort. this doesn't mean diplomacy is going to get us everything we want.the world doesn't work like that. diplomacy is slow and frustrating but a lot better than starting to kill people with all the tragedies that that approach entails. finally, the united states needs to align its foreign policy with the liberal values and norms that the countries a spout since its founding in which political leaders feel like the claim we adhere to. primacy had eroded america's authority and undermine the
normative rules-based character of international order. in our zeal to police the world america has weakened the most important conventions of the post-world war ii system. mainly territorial integrity, the principle of non-intervention and the principle of nonaggression. if united states wants other countries to play by the rules he needs to do a better job of observing the rules itself. i will leave it there and turn it over >> as you can tell, this is an enormously ambitious book with a very wide suite sweep and diverse effort to explain the oddness of the moment we currently find ourselves in. that's clearly why you decided you need to have a ãb comfortable broad sweep and perhaps excessive ambition appeared to do the response. having explained the question of what the heck is she doing up there. this book really the breath of
things you all address and the various nuggets that you really won't find in any other contemporary commentary i'm going to pull out a few i hope you will talk about more. then i will make a few critiques i hope you will respond to as well. i will actually start where you left off because the analysis that you present of the generational aspects of how american foreign policy is changing is really groundbreaking and really challenges a lot of the thinking that we've indulged in over the last couple decades about what is making americans attitudes swing on foreign policy. i hope you will talk about it more but you look all the way back to the beginning of the 20th century and look at generational cohorts and you show a really interesting, not steady decline but rise and fall and rise and fall of generations comfort with u.s.
engagement in the world. u.s. leadership in the world. and he suggests in a way that i think billy may suggest larger forces are at play than the ones who think about that it's actually all about what we experience as young americans and how we experience our country in the world as young americans and that it may be that that's the only thing that makes any difference in generational attitudes. i'd love to hear you talk more about that. i also be really curious ãbif not somebody who's watching this should go to this work, how does this compare to generational shift on other major national issues? is foreign and security policy following in the trends of how americans think about government engagement in their lives? which is something that's near and dear to your heart. about various social issues about various economic issues. do the trends in the last
century trackback or are they totally different. the data is so interesting. as you said, anyone who likes to geek out on that piece should really spend more time in this but there is another component i think it also runs directly into and that is the increased role in the last decade of partisanship. in shaping national security public opinion and for every issue where you had an amazing swing under trump you have another issue where views are now completely divided based on partisan allegiance. tell me what part of you but mick and i will tell you what i think about russia for example. that that issues polarization economic public opinion flip as it did on russia. around 2015 2016. similarly there's a question on
trade whether democrats are pro-trade because they think trump is against it then trump supporters are pro-trade because they think trump is doing it. we are in this role of polarization in setting public opinion on international issues as i think one that you wrestle with the bid in the book and i like to hear you wrestle with more here because i think it brings up a larger question about your ambitions for a restraint based foreign policy or anyone's ambition for a post trump foreign policy. whatever that looks like. we had, as you know, a very strong bipartisan consensus for a long time and you could build a more left version of that consensus bringing in and out certain factions you could build a more right version of it but it's my view that any post trump foreign policy is going to have to assemble a rather different coalition and i don't see either in your conclusion or throughout the book much thought about where
the power for restraint based foreign policy would come from. who are your constituencies. i will say you could ask liberal internationalists the same question you can ask the kind of progresses multilateral lists if i could call that school the same question. one of the things that i think trump has been really good at and this starts to move into some of the assessment of the record of the last two years is doing just enough to keep a coalition together. and you treat this briefly in the section on how do we understand trump? that he's untrammeled by conviction enough to be willing to do whatever it takes to keep relevant chunks of the republican party on side. and one can certainly explain current developments in syria policy which i can't really explain any other way. that sort of brings me to my next line of questioning which
is that i really appreciate, anyone who follows me on social media knows that every now and then i say i'm going to retire from the world and write the successor to the ãbbut instead i show up on panels at lunch time. [laughter] i think you've done a really good first whack at updating jacksonian is him. or post jacksonian is him. one of the things i think you do that's most valuable is if i remember, media doesn't talk a lot about honor culture but of course the particular stocks honor culture was anomalously important to jackson in his view of the world. there's a funny way that trump is more jacksonian than jackson. i think in that he taps into something broader in a segment of the american public that was uncomfortable with the more
internationalist version of a monarch. or to use a word that what is employed by trans-allies is very deliberate ãbit's a really important insight and i love to hear you talk more about what we've learned from the six months since the book went to print. and how do we understand the notion of honor when the un general assembly laughs at you. when the president of turkey makes sure everyone is aware that he ripped up your letter and threw it in the trash. how do we think about that in foreign policy construct? and the last thing i really want to touch on is your assertion that not that much has really changed in american
foreign policy of the last two years because when i read this part in the book i thought, they are certainly going to regret that they had to go to press when they did and they are surely going to want to change that assessment. but you don't want to change that assessment. i'm reading the book, i thought, how can i understand how you and i can look at the same fax and see the effects so differently. this i think brings us to the broader question of what is a doctrine of restraint and what does it cover and is actually adequately encompass the range of challenges that confront any american leader. if you think the climate policy is a big deal, if you think ãb
if you think that migration is an enormous problem for security reasons, for economic reasons, social cohesion resumes. if you think that trade never mind more open trade is having any kind of a stable and irrational economic regime is an enormous issue then and if you think that nuclear proliferation is a fundamental security issue, then i think you think that this president has changed rather a lot in ways that will not easily be changed back. but i think that i have just at least three of the issues i just picked up are actually not fundamental to the kind of traditional realist restraint or thought about the world. so there i would gently push back and say are we sure we got the aperture, if the aperture admits those things, are we sure we got the aperture quite
right all of them are going to profoundly affect the quality of life that we and our children have. much more then how many. [singing] troops are in japan. so that i would like to talk about some more. i'd like to make one methodological point. you deserve a huge boat of thanks for making this effort because having the gumption to do around the world of what the president is doing when you have to go back and cross out all the titles after we come offstage from the panel really took an enormous amount of courage. [laughter] it's also very important because thinking a little but historically we are in this period where events move so fast it's very difficult to keep track of what happened two weeks ago.
all of you who are engaged in writing first draft of history it's an enormously important resource and i think you for it. at the same time it was really jarring to go region after region and see no sites or references to analysts or leaders from those regions about how their societies were being affected. or how their thoughts about alliances were changing and how their plans for their own futures were being affected. i might also note in this context of certain tendency of the analyst quoted the anglo-american mail. i'm not doing this because on the political correctness police.i'm doing it because i think there's a risk of missing some of the changes that are taking place. if we don't see the changes that are taking place, then we won't be well-positioned to respond to them, which is unfortunately one of the great historic critiques of american foreign policy across ideology
and across party. that we tend to get really self-referential and not think too hard about how they affect our policies are having on the people that we are supposedly helping or whatever it is we are doing. if i may end by being more restrained reason the restrainers, i do think one of the best points you make is that we don't think enough about the impact of our policies. i like to see your analysis about the impact of the policies. with that i've asked a bunch of questions i hope i've caused some arguments to keep everyone in the audience entertained and thank you very much for inviting me to produce a bit quick thank you heather. while we work down in the order she asked the question about poles if it's clearly about you. i was going to answer the question on jacksonian is him. perhaps also you can handle the continuity. >> that was fantastic.
>> i had to keep up with three of you. [laughter] >> the analysis of intergenerational foreign policy ãbi been working on for a few years. shuttle to the future book form that the book in progress but the short story is that they are all bigger forces at work other than just the president or the events of the day. we've discovered that what one really important thing that is driving these generation gaps, not really a huge surprise, but how you think about things as an adult is affected by how the world was when you were young impressionable person.
first awakening so what the world is like and what the important things in the world are. sociologists call this your critical period. when you are roughly 14 to 24 years old. did you grow up during the depression? did you grow up during world war ii? did you enlist when you're 18? these things make permanent a large effects on your brain. when you think with a broad sweep of american generation you have the oldest generations in the polls and the lost generation and the violent generation and these are folks who grew up before the united states was number one, economically, militarily, in the world. then you get to the silent generation who comes of age before world war ii and these people come of age when the united states is hitting its stride. who what happens after 1950s?
us gdp with the share of the world starts to slide. what we found in our research is that this single number, really helps you track generation by generation to what people's anchor is. there's other things that make you more or less likely to want to engage the world on a day-to-day spaces. apart from ices or someone driving airplanes into the world trade center.in general the conditions that held when you were young adult stick with you for the rest of your life. we had a couple generations of increasingly internationalist americans but since world war ii we had decreasingly international americans. nothing the president says or does is going to change that. these are really big tectonic forces at work that probably aren't changing anytime soon.
one of the bigger trends we could talk about the gallup tracks the yahoo.ádeletelastá ideology of the public and it's getting increasingly more liberal sense world war ii. what people think of same-sex marriage, what they think about trade, what did you think about protecting american jobs. you look at young american opinions and a chunk of it is due to the fact that the youngest americans of the first generation to grow up after the cold war ended. but another chunk is due to the fact that they are also the most liberal generation. the least white american. the most likely to be born to immigrant parents or come from
somewhere else. these twin factors are really driving massive amounts of change on all sorts of issues. >> on this continuity versus change issue in u.s. foreign policy. as heather quite rightly points out ãbwe needed to be somewhat narrow and specific when we were talking about what we are looking at in terms of change.i would never want to suggest that donald trump has basically like his predecessors in every way. a lot about the conduct and operation ended limitation about u.s. foreign policy has radically changed. the way the president engages foreign ãon phone calls is but
is also not terribly trivial so even though sometimes it seems so. it has real implications. we are three guys that reviewed civic foreign postlude debate through the prism of grand strategy. privacy is a grand strategy we've had for a very long time it involves an insistence that united states possess preponderance of military power that we have far-flung alliances all around the world treaty bound to protect 60 or 70 nations. military assets all over the world. we have military bases in 70 or 80 countries.some form of u.s. military deployed to more than 150 countries we make everybody's business our own. then we interpret peripheral
interests as if they are vital once. it's essentially my description of primacy. in the implementation on the actual how the policy still exists today that still her grand strategy.people like to say trump is restrained and they point to examples when he decided not to attack iran after the downing of a u.s. drone in or near iranian airspace and they said this is an example of great restraint and foreign policy by the president. i don't think it is but trump brought us up to that break through his very unrestrained foreign policy as abandoning the jcp away imposing harsh sanctions. abandoning our european allies and russia and china on that deal which was voted on by the un security council. and hiring a lot of people who have a history of calling for regime change in iran. restraint describes not one
cases unwillingness to use force in that specific instance. it describes a role for the u.s. in the world. what kind of things should be deemed as important enough to risk american blood and treasure. we see it as restraint ãbour interest should be defended with the military only one u.s. security is at risk. direct security against this territory and its people. the prescription for privacy there's a lot of reasons we should use the military. we also have a preference for the constitution. rule of law is important and trump has done a lot to disintegrate it but we shouldn't forget that it's predecessors did a lot to destroy the constitutional right and authority of congress to determine the united states
involvement in hostilities abroad. that part of the constitution has just withered away congress is incentivized not to exercise it and the president whoever is tends not to want that kind of restriction. we did focus narrow. >> let me draw your attention to the subtitle of the book. it's how trump made america's broken foreign policy even worse. and what you described i think it's that there is such a thing as privacy and then ãbthat's what we are suggesting is that the broad stroke i think remains unchanged. yet he has managed to do even more bad things when he's gotten his way, which he hasn't always but where he's gotten his way he tend to make things worse. >> i guess if i were trying to make your argument i would make the point that what he is doing actually makes privacy even less tenable as a liberal internationalist who thought we were at the end of privacy before trump was elected i look
at this and say, if you had the idea we could keep this going before, there's no way we can keep going after this. i think if you make that argument you then have to acknowledge that there are a lot of us in the establishment who make the argument which undercuts the blogs are all alike. they're all the same thing.>> there's definitely change going on in the establishment. unfortunately ãbi'm reluctant to do it but i do have to give trump credit for that. it wasn't his intention. he been such a disruption to things that kind of sake it double check and loose. but one final point on this in climate migration and trade we do a lot of migration or sufficient on migration and trade. but we do skip out on climate but that's not because we think it's important but because security policy bombs and bullets the thing we focus on here doesn't have much to do with what we ought to do on
climate change. >> this is the danger of being the tail end of the panelist once i started. heather, you asked the question about jacksonian is him and honor and culture and what does this mean. the study erosion of congressional power especially over foreign policy but more generally in terms of separation of powers should make us particularly concerned about a single person having so much power and being driven as john in particular documents in great detail the notion of prestige and honor. i also scribbled a note to myself as you alluded, this is
also a major problem for global leadership for american leadership because it privacy hinges as i think it mostly does on the wisdom of american leaders and the commitment of american leaders to this vision of a liberal world order. if that's the read which this is you have a problem one person who has all this power isn't bought into liberalism and american leadership at its practice. in this book is that should mean we should be driving toward a more resilient order that's less dependent upon the power of a single state and more specifically the power and whim of a single person. that is a problem for privacy. on the partisanship and how to be a simple coalition that's committed to restraint. we thought about this a lot. we close the book with i think
a fairly agnostic open invitation to anyone independent of either or any party to come forward with a practical foreign policy that speaks to the shift in public sentiment that we are seeing and that is also mindful of one thing we haven't talked about much, mindful of the very real constraints that we are operating under. even if donald trump leaves office next month or in january 2021, we are still basically $20 trillion in debt and a $20 trillion economy. that's not great in terms of long-term projections are talking five or six times that. in regards to promises made to future generations.that's a
real constraint that the ex-president is not going to be able to just wave away, he or she, i think we need to be mindful as a practical matter that we need to have more humility. this is the note i wrote at scribbled in the margins. humility whether republican or democrat should be celebrated. a willingness to admit that there are certain things that we can do and we should do them well but we cannot do everything and we cannot go everywhere. i still have enough faith in the american people that they would respect someone speaking honestly about the limits of american power. >> absolutely. i've actually done the analysis to figure out where the restraint constituency would be and is a moving target. you can call it millennial
liberal nationalism. it would have to look radically different to a lot of what the united states is done in terms of international cooperation and trade. in fact, i think it would lead into that. while acknowledging we are secure and don't need to go wrong for stomping around the world with our military as much as we used to. i think chris just touched another key part of that part of the new millennial liberal internationalism is that they want to do less of the heavy lifting and would like shared leadership role. i think there's a majority of americans who if there was bipartisan consensus in dc on this question would be able to stand up behind that comfortably. i think that's where the rubber hits is i don't see the republican party being interested in that right now. and i don't to the progressive wanting to give up the military toys to go back countries to the right. >> i will say the way i think about that is that we have,
chris, when you talked about the fiscal constraint that we face, i think the political constraint we face is that both parties have in the post-9/11 period gotten quite addicted to military spending and holding up a military first policies as a shorthand to talk to the american people about strength and patriotism. we don't have another party any language for that are metaphors for that. and with the increased collapse and dwindling of our newsgathering apparatus we don't anymore have the ability to tell the american people stories about what leadership that doesn't involve moving special forces or dropping bombs looks like. if you come to me and say, here's my coalition for restraint, i look at you and say, that looks great on paper but then all my numbers get
challenges who are, there is 100 ãbthere's a million of those folks to come along and say you are undercutting the thing that makes america great. to me that is a fundamental challenge that liberal renovated liberal internationalist progressives and restrainers all share. whoever figures out how to surmount it back will be the ideology that wins. we have about 30 minutes about 30 minutes for questions. i will remind you of the ground rules. they should be fairly familiar to you. please wait for the microphone. that's for the benefit not merely for those in the audience but also for those watching online or on television. please identify yourself and your affiliation if you have
one. i will also remind you that here at the ãinstitute two folks with microphones roaming the audience. >> my name is amy mcewan, i'm a financial analyst. i'm a contractor. i hear a lot of people speak about china and trade. we been trading with china for a while now, there are parts of china that are expensive. i never hear anyone talk about where we go after china gets ã ãthe answer is it's already happening. elsewhere in southeast asia in particular you do occasionally hear a certain amount of chinese angst that they've now become not the low-wage market but the middle tier market. there's a little bit of anxiety
about that. there's some discussion but it's not thoroughly penetrated. >> your question opens up another area that's worth really digging down and unpacking some exemptions because one of the things we've seen as a result of the incoherent belligerents of the last two years is that you have some producers moving out of china to vietnam malaysia and some producers moving back to higher end market so you see things like bicycles going back to taiwan bolos going back to europe kind of thing. some producers moving back to the u.s. although not much on that. we are at this moment where in general we see supply chain shortening up both because of that and because china and other asian countries have developed their internal markets they can do more locally and they don't need to be part of a far-flung supply chain where people are always
trying to impose lower prices or better working conditions we are in fact at this moment where for a variety of endogenous reasons it's very unclear that the trading system in five or 10 years looks like a straight line continuation of what it was which i think has really profound implications for how we think about what kind of political and security system best conditions the shops of that. >> well said. >> since world war ii 1967 and 1991 as the follow soviet union practically the whole united states foreign policy has been under control or subservient interest of the israel and the
israeli lobby in this country. have you had any discussion of matter in the book of what you have written regarding the effect of this in the appropriation of u.s. and other countries including ãb everywhere you go that. >> etiquette overstates the case. i think the relationship to the united states and israel is unique in a lot of ways but in important ways that we analyze it it's a lot like all of our other alliances, which is that in order to maintain them as the superior partner we end up having to adopt their regional preferences. there sets of interests and we don't pay close enough attention to the extent to which that undermines our own.
our relationships with states in the middle east are one reason among many that we become entangled militarily there. i think we should look at each of those. and scrutinize them. >> let me add to that. as we speak we are engaged in a very awkward discussion over u.s. support for a particular faction within syria that is directly a threat to our nato treaty ally turkey. that's in the middle east but not primarily an israeli question. it is a question about the turks and the pkk. as far as they portray it.
this to me is much more than just focusing on a single ally even in a single region. >> i think the one other thing i would say is that u.s. democracy is set up so that groups of citizens can get together and lobby on behalf of of their interests. since the supreme court decided that money is speech, groups of corporations can also get together and lobby about the interest and lots of them do. when one of them gets singled out more than others, which is not necessarily any more influential than others, that's really problematic and it's about something other than american foreign policy. >> of the questions? >> how influential do you think
citizens beliefs in international affairs affects their voting in the presidential election? >> very good question. it almost seems like you know the answer. [laughter] >> your grin suggests you know the answer. usually not very much. there's a few water selections like in 1968 when one happiness with the war really changes the battlefield entirely. but for the most part it's the economy. having said that, when you decompose presidential popularity figures, when you say why is only 41.1 percent today, according to the 538 moving average, approve of the job trump is doing as president.he can actually do some fancy math to figure out that people's beliefs about his handling of foreign policy play an important role in making that number happen. that number is important for what people vote. it doesn't matter specifically
what he says today about syria or what he does about ukraine ukraine might be an exception but in general it doesn't matter as much as the people on the stage would like it. >> i think that's absolutely true while technically speaking the election of 1960 it was in my lifetime you can guess how old i am therefore. in my lifetime i do think there were two other elections elections were foreign policy played a larger than normal role. the normal role being virtually not at all because the economy. >> the 2006 election that really resulted in a wave of democrats winning both in the house and the senate was clearly a reaction to president trumps ãbexcuse me, president bush's war in iraq.there's no
question about it. i also believe there has been some good and credible research into voting patterns and three critical states in the 2016 election. michigan, pennsylvania and wisconsin. michigan, pennsylvania, and wisconsin in the counties in which there was a disproportionate number of people who were killed or injured in the wars in iraq and afghanistan candidate trump appeared to do better than would have been otherwise expected against hillary clinton. you have to person this stuff carefully because trevor is absolutely correct, most of the time it's the economy stupid. one last thing i will say quickly though is, we were told what was said and i'm using the passive voice deliberately there that no one like donald trump could ever come close to the presidency because no one could actually make a case
explicitly for america for the phrases he actually use not realizing what had been used previously. or even more recently "come home america" ãbwe were told that no one could even come close to the white house espousing those views and clearly those views did not prevent donald trump from being elected president.: an essay that's the reason why he was elected but it didn't prove disqualifying relative to the other physicians he was taking. >> i want to jump in on that because i think we sometimes foreign policies the way we pointy-headed lee would like to define it and talk about it, i completely agree with everything trevor said but i think in the 2016 election it's a really good example of this. we have to ask ourselves whether the voting public or significant swabs of the voting public are defining it in a different way. where there is this cocktail of security voting that has
immigration cultural anxiety, economic anxiety all wrapped up together and that their national security issues are able to be used to drive voting patterns. i think we started to see this as far back as the 2012 midterms. >> 2014. >> 2014 midterms. you have these ridiculous campaign ads. >> this audience just laughed appropriately, you are all smarter than the average tv viewer. thank you. >> selection bias. >> is the token liberal on the stage i would like to say that many candidates laughed and
said i'm not going to go out and push back against that because it's so patently ridiculous. many of them lost. i think when we say people don't vote on national security, they don't vote on the way we think about it. >> let me piggyback on that. it's an excellent point. i think one that actually really is a huge challenge for the republican party moving forward is what does it mean to be a republican post ordering the trump era. trump is utterly changed but when he stood up on a stage with 16 other it doesn't mean what you thought it means. i think trumps evil genius was to mary with a single threat or connective a single threat domestic foreign policy action. i'm going to go over there to protect american jobs which is really an economy stupid issue but if i'm doing it overseas
it's also foreign policy issue. immigration has become a blended issue. in april 2018 poll showed that asking about whether american support withdrawing troops from syria among democrats it was a net three percent support. three percent more democrats wanted to pull the troops out then leave them there. amongst republicans it was -4 points. four percentage points more republicans wanted to keep them there they bring them out. a year later, this year, just last week democrats were at nine is 66 percent. americans are at +44 percent.
in just a year trump has utterly changed what it means to be republican in a certain sense. this is a real challenge for republicans. >> 'sare in the middle three questions. >> bill clinton retired ãdoes she mention the economy in passing, and from an older generation when i grew up that was anathema now it seems to be common with everybody from students to the world. i'm just wondering how these enormous debts, i don't know who the creditors are, even china has debt apparently. what all that impacts on people and how it might relate to some of your generational changes you been talking about. >> have you looked at boeing on this? are there big differences done relationally on the question of debt? about my own views but i'm curious. >> i don't remember looking spat specifically what people's opinions about the level of
debt are by generation. >> let me answer the question a slightly different way the one thing i do know is, which speaks to something trevor alluded to in a different context which is that because donald trump has demonstrated his disinterest in the debt, we are talking he is presiding over a rising national debt then republicans have stopped worrying about it, even to the point that his acting chief of staff and still omb director who wants care deeply about the debt says publicly no one cares about the debt. that's what mick mulvaney says. that answers your question nobody is caring because there is a bipartisan disinterest which doesn't exactly answer the question where does the money come from after all the answer is if our fiscal situation appears on the service to be bleak the one thing we appear to have going for us is that everyone else's work. it's not a very strong foundation upon which to build
long-term economic growth. >> it does mean you really cannot afford not to be the reserve currency anymore. >> right. which makes some questions of restraint potentially more challenging. >> your memory might be longer than mine but i remember when either party was super concerned about a lot of debt. >> with eisenhower. >> even him. [laughter] with regard to foreign policy one of the troubling things is it the ability of the united states ability and willingness to go into such deep debt does act as a kind of fuel for military activism. if we have the constraint of fiscal conservatism, if we understood that this nation could go abroad only to the extent that congress can appropriate funds and we shouldn't go deeply into debt in order to play for that ãpay for that. we can spend $6 trillion or so
on a stupidity like the iraq war partly at least because one of you said that trump had said that i'm going to get rid of these crazy people who keep saying privacy is the way to go. and foreign policy. he looked at all his selections for his advisors and obviously he's not selected anyone who is it really big in the privacy camp. why might that be and is there even a field of debt for him to select from a non-promising gift.>> very good question.
on the one hand that shouldn't matter because people the president should soulex should carry out foreign policy.it's both trumps fault and the executive branch for failing to provide the president with responsible options to withdraw from syria or afghanistan and left him to do it by tweet. but also trump has chosen particularly bad officials to represent a foreign policy that doesn't resemble yukon caucasus. i think several reasons for that. first of all trump doesn't read
he relies very much on cable news he watches hours and hours of it a day. the list of things i'd rather do. [laughter] if you look good on television and can deliver well on television which is a particular skill not necessarily representative of your skills in other areas then he seems to want to have you with him because he knows a lot of this is projected to the public via television. he also just hasn't bought super deeply about these questions. that was one of the things and trying to devise figure out what trumps worldview was it was difficult because he hasn't thought much about it. it's hard to make concrete something that is closer to a vacuum. if you haven't done much work on this you haven't thought a lot about it then you pick very thinly. he is a hawk via he's more of a dove. let them battle it out in my administration and we will see where it goes. he also knows he said some ãb
things on north korea or russia. in his mind is an advantage to have a hawk to play good cop bad cop type of thing. >> or you are picking to keep the republican coalition on side with you and turns out he cares much more about power than anything else which goes back to your authoritarian personality. >> but a lot of the traditional republican foreign policy render themselves ineligible of all the people that slip through, how about that?
>> i don't know if you're familiar with two recent books the silk roads and new silk roads in which he argues very convincingly we are in the midst of a major shift in the world in excess of power in 25 to 35 years from now china will be the dominant world power. not just because their economy is growing very rapidly. this year they say the growth rate will be six percent. which is the lowest growth rate two percent would be a very good growth rate. >> growing achievement. they have a long running military strategy which is to cement their power over the whole of asia and prevent anybody challenging that in this country.
>> the question is about china the long-term challenge from china. >> we also have the massive mastic debt problem which you response in terms ã >> one way think about the changing balance of power is to look at what international relations to people look at called latent power which is just basically economic power and how that can be translated to military power. there is no doubt there's been a decline or rebalance relative decline.
in 1945 after the great powers in europe and asia had just about destroyed themselves united states had five percent of the world's population and about 50% of its wealth. these days we still have about 4.5 percent of the world's population but we have somewhere around the rome of 13 to 15 percent of the world's wealth and in 2023 it will be a little less. that is one measure and it does say certain things. it doesn't say everything. the tone of decline the fear of we are declining power now and that has certain characteristics i think we should be careful about that. i don't see the reason for fear
and consternation that other people do. there are certainly problems but the bellin road initiative certainly like in the asian infrastructure investment bank when the obama administration decided that was not representative of some kind of turn from her united states being leader to china and it eventually opposed it. meanwhile most of the world i think we should not go the route of being the china stinker. we should embrace working with china and we shouldn't fear the bellin road to the extent we can build on it. cooperation is better. third and final point. i don't think it's valuable to think of america as number one. i don't think it's tangible ã for what the military and the government should be about which is protecting this country had not waiving its
flag with valor and gallantry all around the world. i don't care that we are less powerful than some other countries. on top of that i like to point out that if you worry so much about another country being. >> last question. >> on the question of public opinion in grand strategy in that connection, wondering how you think about the strain we've seen over the past couple
decades reverence for the military or the idea of supporting our troops. in the trump administration you see this divergent rhetoric on the one hand let's bring our boys home from syria. it's a nice way to end the discussion which is restrainers like us are sort of often what are you in favor of. one of the contributions we hope to make in the book is talk about what we are for not merely what we are again. what the united states did was
engage in the rest of the world ãbsewer cultural influence. there are reasonable questions ãbat the same time they hold the military as an institution in higher regard than any other institution in the country. by a large margin. the fact that americans can feel this way toward the military as an institution and toward those who serve and still have reasonable doubts about what we are asking these men and women to do on our behalf and willing to consider the other ãbi take as a good sign. i share the concern that by over investing attention and time and money in the military instrument at the expense of these other things that we don't have good stories to tell. heather talked about this.
that does not mean there are not good stories to tell. we should seek them out and we should tell them. i appreciate the question and i think we can respect the institution of the military we can ãband not presume one might suggest that overusing the military putting u.s. soldiers in harms way better reasons that don't. [applause] >> please join us for continued discussion and the george m yeager conference center on the second floor. .....
>> good afternoon, everyone. i'm karlyn bowman and aid like to welcome you and our c-span audience. it's my great pleasure to intro do is michael barone and this panel to discuss in the book how the america's political parties change and don't. mike will will give a 20-minute preview of the book and then the panel will respond. we have with us today, amy walter the national editor of the cook political report. you see her really on politics monday on the news hour and the