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Does President Trump have an Asia strategy in mind?

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Published on Mar 19, 2017

With a personal style unlike any president of the post-war era, and repeated statements diverging radically from established American foreign policy, Donald Trump has roiled global politics and security in an unprecedented fashion. US Asia–Pacific strategy, and in particular the policies of the Obama administration, have been among his primary targets.

Should strategic observers take the President both literally and seriously, especially in relation to potential crises that could occur on his watch? Apart from the tweets and earlier pronouncements threatening to sweep away existing polices, President Trump is quietly pursuing a more prudent and serious course, notably including policy toward North Korea. But the laggard pace of senior policy appointments remains disquieting, leaving the new administration at decidedly less than full strength.

Jonathan Pollack serves concurrently as the SK-Korea Foundation Chair in Korea Studies in the Center for East Asia Policy Studies and Senior Fellow in the John L. Thornton China Center of the Brookings Institution. He is the author of the IISS Adelphi book No Exit: North Korea, Nuclear Weapons and International Security (2011) and is currently completing Endangered Order: Revisionism and Strategic Risk in Northeast Asia, to be published by Brookings Institution Press.

This event was chaired by Adam Ward, Director of Studies, IISS. It took place in the Council Room, Arundel House, 13–15 Arundel Street, Temple Place, London WC2R 3DX*.

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