Donald Trump came to Washington promising a grand-strategic revolution – the deconstruction of America’s multi-generational project to shape a stable, open global order. So far, argues Johns Hopkins SAIS Professor Hal Brands, the president’s statecraft has been somewhat less radical than his rhetoric. Brands adds, however, that it would be wrong to conclude that Trump has simply been tamed by the system, because he has nonetheless left his own distinctive – and largely destructive – mark on US strategy.

In the latest instalment of the IISS Survival seminar series, Hal Brands looked back at a year of US President Donald Trump’s presidency in foreign affairs. This event focused on Brands’s recent Survival article, ‘The Unexceptional Superpower: American Grand Strategy in the Age of Trump’.

Hal Brands is the Henry A. Kissinger Distinguished Professor of Global Affairs at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and a Senior Fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. He is the author, most recently, of American Grand Strategy in the Age of Trump (Brookings Institution Press, 2018). He has also written or edited several other books, including Making the Unipolar Moment: U.S. Foreign Policy and the Rise of the Post-Cold War Order (Cornell University Press, 2016), and What Good is Grand Strategy? Power and Purpose in American Statecraft from Harry S. Truman to George W. Bush (Cornell University Press, 2014). He has previously served as Special Assistant to the US Secretary of Defense for Strategic Planning, and as lead writer for the Commission on the National Defense Strategy of the United States.


This event was chaired by Dana Allin, Editor, Survival; Senior Fellow for US Foreign Policy and Transatlantic Affairs, IISS. It took place in the Lee Kuan Yew Conference Room at Arundel House, 6 Temple Place, London WC2R 2PG.

Chair

Dana Allin

Dana H. Allin has been Editor of Survival: Global Politics and Strategy since 1998, with chief responsibility for the bi-monthly journal’s content and style. As IISS Senior Fellow, he writes widely on the strategic challenges of US foreign policy. His articles and book chapters have appeared in the Financial Times, International Herald Tribune, Wall Street Journal, and numerous edited volumes.

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Event details

Friday 12 January, 12.30-1.30pm GMT
Arundel House, London
Speaker:
Hal Brands, Henry A. Kissinger Distinguished Professor of Global Affairs, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS)
Chair:
Dana Allin, Editor, Survival; Senior Fellow for US Foreign Policy and Transatlantic Affairs, IISS