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Statecraft in the Trump Era

By Lincoln Bloomfield Jr. and Tom Harvey

ALREADY THE Trump presidency has delivered big-time on one promise: it has shaken up the status quo. Like the Trump candidacy that had vilified the competence and performance of establishment practitioners in both major parties en route to a victory that few predicted, the Trump administration has made it abundantly clear that no personage, organization, bureaucratic office, process, policy or funded program is sacred.

In response, a chorus of negative commentary has been the soundtrack to the forty-fifth president’s early tenure. Foreign allies have expressed misgivings about potential changes in the U.S. security role. From the tenor of media coverage, protest rallies, political rhetoric, bureaucratic dissent memos and advocacy groups facing the loss of federal support, one could conclude that the president’s penchant for disruption is wholly at odds with the national interest.

But Trump never ran as an agent of continuity. From the outset, he framed his campaign as an indictment of the establishment, Right as well as Left, whose stewardship of the country’s affairs had for too long allegedly permitted American interests—principally economic interests, but also American power and reputation—to suffer. There can be no denying that the United States in this century finds itself on a trajectory of eroding solvency, declining geopolitical influence and fraying trust between many millions of American citizens and those in Washington on whom they depend to manage the nation’s affairs.

Unbeholden to political-party orthodoxy, and advised by some highly regarded national-security principals, President Trump has the opportunity to reverse America’s decline. This was, indeed, his signature campaign pledge. Boosting economic growth is only part of the solution. To succeed, Trump needs to retool the national-security apparatus, shaking up its turf-obsessed, risk-averse culture while sharpening its tradecraft. In a changed world, he must unify, empower and align the national effort toward endeavors of high consequence. In meeting the legislative requirement for a National Security Strategy, the president can best ensure future American greatness by offering a fresh road map to address long-term dangers and restore U.S. influence in the world.

THE AMERICAN era born of the allied victory in World War II has given way to a period in which the United States must now adapt in order to prosper and lead again. Not unlike a century ago, when the industrial age displaced the agricultural economy, economic foundations that sustained the average U.S. family’s standard of living for decades are crumbling, having fallen victim to the globalized labor market, automation, big data and web-enabled efficiencies. While the information age has yielded staggering economic success, segments of the American economy are largely excluded, and stagnating. As with Imperial Japan and interwar Germany in the early twentieth century, the prospect that major economic dislocation could feed widespread insecurity and spawn large-scale hostilities in this century cannot be dismissed. The test of American strategy will be its capacity to shape those political and economic dynamics that have the potential to undermine the international order, a system that has served the United States and most others so well since World War II.

Our challenge is to project security in a world marked—with important exceptions—by the diminution of state authority and the rise of individual empowerment. Although it is a mark of progress that modern governments wield less control over free citizens, states alone are entrusted with high privileges and responsibilities that would be undercut at our collective peril. Governmental stakeholders have been slow to grasp the cumulative effect of the gradual but growing assault by malign actors against the Westphalian system that underpins the security and standard of living of much of the world’s population, including 325 million Americans.

The in-basket of immediate problems includes North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic-missile programs, Russia’s threat to its western neighbors, China’s assertion of unfounded territorial claims in the East and South China Seas, and Islamist violence, including Iran’s regional destabilization activities. These and other current threats require attention and policy responses. Each threat, however, is but a manifestation—a symptom—of longer-term vectors of global regression that, if not countered in a comprehensive, sustained manner, could imperil America’s future security, freedom of action and well-being, potentially on an unmanageable scale. A strategy designed to shape, for as long as necessary, the most consequential adverse trends must inform and guide all of America’s policy exertions. Five such threats rise to the level of long-term strategic concern.

THE FIRST threatens the global embrace of rights and participatory democracy that, in recent decades, has delivered the most significant validation of America’s role as the world’s leading power. A troubling pattern has formed in several major countries that are considered strategic competitors of the United States, whereby a small circle holds an unyielding monopoly of political power, staging controlled elections to create a veneer of democratic process and amassing extreme wealth while favoring a loyal business elite. These powers represent a rival model of governance—an information-age autocracy, more orderly in outward appearance than America’s—that is undemocratic, economically inefficient and sustained by control over the security services and courts, the economy, and the media.

Such entrenched regimes pose threats both to their own citizens and to democratic governance elsewhere, as seen with the recent exposure of Russian influence operations aimed at misleading public opinion and fracturing political consensus in Western countries, including the United States. Inevitably, citizens in those societies will demand greater political participation and economic opportunity. Regimes at risk of losing control could resort to military force against neighbors to rally nationalist support; internal crises could arise with little or no warning.

History, at least since the French Revolution, has moved in a direction suggesting that political evolution toward rights-based governance with transparency and accountability is both universal and inexorable. The rise of a global youth generation, connected by the internet, makes it hard to imagine that the vox populi, from Tehran and Tahrir Square to the Maidan Nezalezhnosti, Hong Kong, Caracas, Kuala Lumpur and now even Moscow, will be indefinitely denied. And yet, ruthless actors—virtually all of them male—still cling to unbounded power and privilege, imposing harsh reprisals on any who would take it away from them.

The future international environment will be shaped by whether universal rights are defended and upheld, or suppressed with impunity. The United States should cooperate with any government where U.S. interests so dictate. Yet Washington must weigh deficits of political legitimacy in measuring relations with autocratic regimes, and be counted in opposition to the gross violation of international norms. We need to consider the implications for American interests if an alternative model of governance takes hold, marked by dictatorship, corruption, repression, censorship, arbitrary justice, destabilization of neighbors, and the serial violation of international law and norms. Our enduring security is connected to the legitimate interests of citizens everywhere, free and unfree. This is the defining ethos of U.S. foreign policy.

A second major danger, requiring—as it has for decades—steadfast U.S. policy leadership and conviction, is the potential spread of nuclear weapons and the escalation of hostilities involving nuclear-armed powers. At the heart of nuclear-nonproliferation policy is the imperative of defusing the perceived utility and appeal of nuclear weapons as geopolitical currency, conferring power and status. Even as the United States maintains its nuclear forces, its doctrinal reliance on nuclear weapons and its explicit pledge to extend nuclear protection to treaty allies such as Japan, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty must be upheld as the international standard obliging nuclear-capable states to work, in good faith, towards conditions for disarmament while cooperating in the peaceful use and safe custody of nuclear technology. Where opportunities arise to negotiate restraints on nuclear-weapons-related programs, the United States must be willing and prepared to test the possibilities and pursue them diplomatically.

Nuclear diplomacy with proliferating states does not always lead to improved relations. The Obama administration and its P5+1 negotiating partners traded major financial, legal, political and security-related concessions for Iran’s commitment to abide by restraints on its nuclear program. While monitoring and enforcing the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the United States and others need to make clear that the accord does not exempt Tehran from accountability for its other objectionable actions. As North Korea’s provocative behavior forces the United States and others to contemplate options to prevent it from achieving a deliverable nuclear-weapons capability, the United States and its Pacific allies should also consider acceptable terms and arrangements by which Pyongyang might be induced to cease its threatening nuclear- and ballistic-missile-related activities. In South Asia, irrespective of the state of U.S. relations with Pakistan or India, maintenance of strategic stability remains a policy imperative, just as anywhere nuclear escalation remains a risk.

A third danger, plaguing predominantly Muslim and non-Muslim societies alike, is the contagion of terrorist and extremist violence perpetrated by actors claiming Islamic duty as their motivation. The succession of terrorist attacks at crowded sites in Europe and North America has spurred a powerful transatlantic consensus that this threat is intolerable and must be stopped. Doing so will require not only actionable intelligence on imminent threats, but greater insight into the roots and appeal of secretive calls to civilizational treason, as the basis for concerted action to contain and extinguish it.

At the core of any strategy to defeat a seditious ideological movement is the need to impose a suffocating sense of futility. The rise of a self-proclaimed Islamic State, appropriating territory and resources, requires two sets of responses, both of which the administration has put in motion. The first is a decisive military operation to deny the group any territory from which it can plan and stage international terrorist operations. The second is a diplomatic collaboration of willing Arab and Muslim countries, supported by others, in a social and informational campaign to blunt ISIS’s ability to project itself as a viable entity. It will be difficult, but is necessary, for affected countries to engage families, religious authorities and children in social programs to inoculate their youth, including the very young, against the appeal of extremism. Respected figures in these societies must stigmatize the participation of any family member in murderous activities, making clear, as non-Muslims cannot, that the narratives of Islamist terrorist groups go against the true teachings of Islam and are offensive to their religion. Only when these communities regard anyone joining a terrorist movement as a person of inferior character and upbringing will the lure of terrorist appeals be blunted.

ISIS is not the first entity to claim sovereignty and, at the same time, propound a borderless “caliphate” based on a novel interpretation of Islam. The fusion of imputed religious authority with temporal political authority first appeared in the Islamic constitution imposed by Ayatollah Khomeini after the 1979 revolution in Iran. Khomeini’s dictum that “the road to Jerusalem goes through Karbala” implied a territorial writ beyond the borders of his own country. The regime in Tehran, despite thirty-eight years in power, has languished in the lowest tiers of global metrics of governance and legitimacy while topping the chart of state sponsors of terrorism and per-capita executions. The crISIS of the Islamic world, and its destructive impact elsewhere, will not end until political legitimacy, nondiscrimination against ethnic and religious minorities, and responsible religious order separate from sovereign politics are achieved.

The fourth strategic danger to a world hospitable to American values and interests is illicit commerce paired with state corruption, a compound problem that, to date, has been addressed by governments only in narrow, specialized terms. The interagency bureaucracy is studded with anemic and duplicative programs targeted variously against illicit trafficking in weapons, drugs, persons, blood diamonds, wildlife poaching, counterfeit currency and passports, missile and nuclear technologies, and other evasions of lawfully regulated global commerce. Officials in many governments are complicit in corruptly facilitating cross-border illicit commerce, which sustains transnational criminal and terrorist entities. It is high time for the United States, and all stakeholders in a well-functioning international order, to determine that these secretive trade arteries are interconnected, have a cumulative effect and must be comprehensively obstructed. Together, they constitute a growing cancer directly undermining many U.S. policies and programs around the world.

Good governance is a work in progress for every society. Transnational networks of banks, front companies and shippers smuggling all manner of contraband rob governments of revenues from taxation, and make it harder for developing countries to become competent stewards of their own national interests. Fragile and failing states offer a breeding ground for extremist ideologies. The Atlantic Council’s May 2017 Report of the Task Force on the Future of Iraq describes a pervasive corrupt system in which businesses and citizens must endure extortion demands from local officials, adding, “The humiliation that accompanies these routine interactions alienates citizens from state institutions that are supposed to serve them and renders the state increasingly vulnerable to instability and violence.”

The global illicit economy is a burden, not only on developing countries, but on the security and prosperity of the United States and its allies. “Ungoverned spaces” of the world constitute a void where bad actors forming alliances of convenience generate physical, cyber and economic threats. Following the 9/11 attacks, as the Bush administration focused on preventing terrorists from obtaining nuclear weapons, tens of thousands of U.S. and coalition personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan were killed or wounded by easily obtainable conventional munitions. Humanitarian workers and peacekeeping forces are often unable to operate in conflict-scarred areas thanks to nonstate actors’ ready access to military-grade weaponry. The many separate U.S. and allied policy responses should now be fused into an overarching campaign to suppress the global illicit economy.

There is a fifth strategic danger, addressed in the May 11 Worldwide Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community under the label “Environmental Risks and Climate Change.” The melting of polar and alpine ice, and rising ocean temperatures and sea levels, according to the assessment, are “projected to fuel more intense and frequent extreme weather events” with particular impacts on coastal populations, and generate “heightened tensions over shared water resources” in some regions. The 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review warned that these changes confer a “threat multiplier effect” that will “aggravate stressors abroad such as poverty, environmental degradation, political instability, and social tensions—conditions that can enable terrorist activity and other forms of violence.” Another 2014 DoD report warned that these environmental impacts could affect its ability to “defend the nation.” Already in 2017, extreme heat has forced the grounding of civil aviation in parts of the United States.

Assessing the consequences of rising temperatures is necessary, and does not imply adjudication of the science of climate change, as the intelligence community assessment made clear. The United States must plan for critical water shortages, food insecurity, population displacements, impacts on military facilities and future operations, and large-scale property destruction. There is a need to develop resilience, mitigation and response strategies, and capacity building. Assuming the trend in global temperatures does not soon stabilize or reverse, U.S. interests require a continuous search for measures showing a potential to arrest these conditions before more catastrophic effects become unavoidable.

HAVING LED the international pursuit of greater security, stability, justice, self-determination, human rights, development and free-market economics for the past seven decades, the national-security community needs better ways to manage the momentous tasks that lie ahead, including more efficient, effective use of resources. The administration and Congress should codify strategy, but encourage flexibility of policy approaches. For too long, policymakers have clung stubbornly to policies, once announced, even when changed conditions have rendered them ineffective. Media correspondents have portrayed any deviation from stated policy as evidence of failure or disarray, when all that matters are results. Military experts remind us that no war plan survives first contact with the enemy; U.S. civilian policymakers must be given license to adjust ineffective approaches, repeatedly as necessary, and unapologetically, to maintain progress toward strategic goals.

The tip of the proverbial spear of American influence among 7.5 billion people in over two hundred foreign countries and territories is not, and ought not to be, itself a spear. Senior diplomats should be out in front, influencing other governments, persuading their populations of the merit and sincerity of American policies, dissuading potential adversaries from acting contrary to U.S. interests, and providing political direction to defense and intelligence campaigns. Yet the State Department, as of this writing, faces major proposed budget reductions, and most politically appointed positions remain unfilled. There is much one could say in defense of the foreign service officers, civil service officers and foreign service nationals in Washington and around the world; this is a competent, expert workforce. Even so, change is needed. The country will be ill served if a pivotal moment of institutional reckoning fails to produce transformative measures to re-energize and empower the diplomatic function.

Although Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has described as the State Department’s primary focus the need “to protect our citizens at home and abroad,” the State Department must look beyond the ramparts to advance the long-term national interest. Conflict resolution must be a core mission of American diplomacy, for no other party is better positioned to understand and mediate the political issues animating destructive conflicts worldwide. When the United States is not shaping the conditions that determine war and peace, war is the more likely condition. The internationally deployed head count of United Nations peacekeeping forces and civilian field workers has increased more than sevenfold in this century, to over 120,000 people, with open-ended missions monitoring unresolved conflicts, and no end in sight to the rising trend. Some critics fear that the UN is too powerful; yet it has only the mandates and resources assigned by the member states. The United States should lead, and leverage the UN’s capabilities, in efforts to stabilize conflicts. The burden of diplomatic exertions, often onerous, is far less than the price of allowing destabilizing conditions to fester.

Foreign assistance is also facing proposed major reductions—yet the better course will be to reform rather than cut assistance. For years, despite exhaustive annual reviews by embassies, combatant commanders, the Departments of State and Defense, and OMB, levels of foreign assistance have stubbornly reflected congressional predilections, whether or not these coincided with policy priorities in the field. The messages of U.S. ambassadors have been disregarded with impunity in foreign capitals, as many governments have relied on their representatives and lobbyists in Washington to pursue assistance appropriations directly on Capitol Hill. Moreover, most assistance funds are inflexible once appropriated; the perennial scramble to muster resources in response to an unanticipated crISIS has often entailed walking back important prior commitments.

The American people deserve more policy impact for their money. While some may conclude that the remedy is to appropriate less assistance, the greater need is for more flexible funding, available to exert immediate leverage where and when needed most. The administration should explore a working partnership to involve relevant members of Congress in real-time policy deliberations regarding the allocation of untied foreign-assistance funds. Congress has repeatedly demonstrated that it appreciates the impact of freezing assistance when it wants to send a tough message to a foreign government; the two branches should now explore modalities to use assistance as a positive inducement when an important policy opportunity is at hand. All players would have much to gain by creating a mechanism linking the urgent needs of ambassadors and combatant commanders with oversight-committee members and staff in Congress, resulting in a more effective foreign-assistance capability.

Dozens of retired general officers have warned that burdens on the military will only increase if deep cuts are applied to the diplomatic function, security assistance and development programs. Even without such cuts, the U.S. military faces challenges of its own in sustaining necessary force levels, capabilities and combat readiness. While the U.S. Army’s operating concept, “Win in a Complex World: 2020–2040,” seeks to “present our enemies and adversaries with multiple dilemmas,” the reality is that the U.S. defense posture in 2017 is itself faced with serious dilemmas.

Two major armed interventions—Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003—deposed offending regimes quickly and with economy of force; yet more than a decade later, each imposes continuing costs on the military, with neither yet approaching a satisfactory political end state. A precipitous pullout in either place would be unwise, but as senior military leaders have repeatedly warned, military force alone is not the solution. Officials frequently cite the “complex” nature of challenges in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Ukraine, Somalia, the South China Sea, South Sudan and elsewhere. Complexity, however, does not excuse policymakers from the requirement to define achievable conditions where U.S. interests would no longer be at risk. The U.S. military needs and deserves robust policy support from civilian agencies, not simply to facilitate tactical operations, but to navigate and lead strategies in pursuit of acceptable political outcomes.

Cost-benefit discipline must be imposed on a Department of Defense enterprise where the services continue to maintain duplicative support functions, and where congressional as well as industrial pressures have long outmaneuvered management initiatives to defund obsolete systems, unneeded facilities and unproductive programs. In addition to counterterrorism operations, the expanding capabilities of Russia and China and missile threats from North Korea and Iran all require credible defense and deterrence, best accomplished with a decisive margin of superiority. Cyber and information-warfare threats—now embodied in Russian and Chinese doctrines—have demonstrated an alarming capacity to perturb the American political system. Our military must be capable of defending against these threats while retaining the ability to surge forces and assure operational access to space and the electromagnetic spectrum, and to do so while holding adversaries’ interests at risk far from home. These strategic requirements will not be easily met.

If future tensions were ever to escalate to general war between the United States and any significant military power such as Russia, China or even Iran, this would constitute a major policy failure, notwithstanding the presumption that the U.S. military would prevail in any conflict. The core tenet of U.S. national-security strategy is to preserve the national interest at the lowest cost; while the U.S. defense establishment has met this test, it can do better. Although the majority of U.S. combat power serves the “peacetime” purpose of deterring war, for most of this century American forces have been in combat somewhere every day. As Bob Scales, a retired major general, writes in his book Scales on War, U.S. adversaries are convinced “that the United States can be bested through a strategy that succeeds principally by killing U.S. Soldiers.” He points out that defense investments have largely bypassed the small fraction of the force engaged in “close combat,” whose casualty rate is dramatically higher than the rest of the military. With retired general James Mattis now heading the Defense Department, the needs of those who accept the greatest risk are receiving attention. A well-supported technology effort can increase the margin of tactical superiority—hence survivability—of U.S. fighting forces. By reducing an enemy’s ability to kill American troops and corrode American willpower, this will improve not only the efficacy of armed intervention, but the deterrent power of such a prospect.

Military force should be used reluctantly and as a last resort. But employing force should not mean that civilian policymakers hand over responsibility for the outcome to the military. Once launched, intervention has a psychological half-life that must be exploited politically while the opportunity exists. Too often in the past, tough diplomatic steps necessary to bring about the desired political end state have been deferred to the point that adversaries regained initiative and imposed costs on U.S. forces. In Beirut in 1982 and Baghdad in 2003, the sudden presence of superpower forces produced—for a period measured in months, not years—a more permissive environment in which appropriate political initiatives, boldly enacted, might have stabilized the situation.

Who is in charge of converting hard-won military objectives to lasting political gains? There has, of late, been no good answer, which is why national-security departments and agencies need to devise and undertake reforms together, aiming at a more potent, agile political-military capability. The National Security Council staff became the target of proposed legislative restrictions in 2016 because it had grown historically large and was seen as too involved in operational details. Yet the NSC’s expansion only mirrored the bloat in the State and Defense Departments, each with ever more positions of senior rank managing ever more diminished issue portfolios. All must now be streamlined in a coherent scheme. The Unified Command Plan should be adjusted to ensure that geographic combatant commanders no longer find themselves on opposite sides of a potential regional conflict such as between India and Pakistan, or Israel and neighboring Arab states. State Department regional bureaus should align with combatant command areas of responsibility, and one DAS-level official should be posted within each region, to coordinate departmental and embassy responses to transnational challenges.

The demands of the intelligence community, already wide ranging, must be further expanded in support of efforts to defuse contemporary threats. Greater insight is needed about conditions giving rise to vulnerable young people being recruited into extremist movements, and how media, including social media, are succeeding in their appeals. Where foreign governments and militaries have long been primary collection targets, now “the street” has emerged as a potent political force, and the intelligence community must be able to access average citizens in restrictive environments as sources without divulging sensitive information or requiring unmanageable security vetting. Insight about influential dissidents and nascent movements within autocratic countries will be valuable.

Policymakers need intelligence on many nontraditional topics, including: specific towns from which recruits have joined ISIS and Al Qaeda affiliates, as well as the clerics who mentored them, with data on factors such as family size and education; mapping the ways in which populations in China, Russia, Iran and North Korea receive outside news and information, and tracking state efforts to censor information and monitor citizens’ communications; locating and estimating the concealed wealth of corrupt leaders and regimes; building a database of key international pathways and agents of illicit commerce, including shippers, bankers, trading companies, and favored ports and border crossings; and chronicling worldwide active measures, not just by Russia, but by Iran and other hostile intelligence services employing disinformation, agents of influence and false social-media posts to foment political discord and paralysis in targeted countries. In order to gain leverage against bad actors who thrive on secrecy, the United States should be armed with the information they are so determined to conceal from their own people and the world.

AN AREA requiring perhaps the greatest cultural change is the executive branch’s interactions with Congress on national-security and foreign-policy issues. Experience has shown the advantage of congressional support when U.S. military force is threatened or used against a foreign adversary. Funding to sustain military operations is no less vital than food, water and ammunition. Both the authorization for war and its funding engage congressional prerogatives.

For too long, the national-security community has sought to withhold from Congress disclosure of prospective actions before decisions are taken. Congress claims the need, and duty, to be involved in major national-security deliberations, a sentiment more acutely felt in the age of the twenty-four-hour news cycle. The executive branch’s concern over leaks, and uncertainty about whom among 535 elected legislators to consult, have fed mutual mistrust, made worse as disagreements are often prosecuted through loyal staffs in both branches. This pattern impedes or delays national consensus and can diminish the intended impact of foreign aid, arms transfers and other tools.

With so many forces of political division at play, the National Security Strategy demands a special dispensation. Having suffered, and survived, massive leaks in recent years, the executive branch can tolerate the risk of premature disclosure. It needs to begin treating members of Congress, and their senior staff, as essential players on the home team confronting long-term challenges to America’s freedom and prosperity. While Congress will always reserve the right to oppose the president’s policy, and there will be leaks, the United States will enjoy more influence in the world once the White House, cabinet departments and agencies accept that Congress’s role in foreign and defense policy is vital to the success of U.S. strategy.

AMERICA’S GLOBAL standing, and its ability to achieve crucial ends at affordable cost and with acceptable risk, need to be revitalized. The superpower that won the Cold War and managed the democratic transitions that followed must itself transform today if it is to thrive, and lead, tomorrow. There is an American identity, distinguished by its ingenious rights-based code, designed to immunize the republic from potentially toxic divisions over religion, ethnicity, race, age, gender, or political or social orientation. It should be celebrated as America’s greatest strength, worthy of emulation in a world wracked by tribal mistrust.

Success in the twenty-first century will be defined by a convergence of interests with large powers and small countries alike—a peaceful, free, orderly and prosperous international order. In 2017, this seems at best a distant possibility. The strategic horizon toward which policies, plans and programs should be oriented is a future in which the United States faces fewer pressures to appease hostile adversaries or countenance Orwellian tyranny imposed by foreign governments on hapless citizens.

The sustained focus of the national-security effort, accordingly, should be to promote accepted norms of governance and state conduct—reliably, consistently and in coordination with others. Emerging powers should find greater reward in accommodating the historical forces favoring participatory, transparent, accountable, ethical and rules-based governance, fulfilling the implied social contract between people and those entrusted with managing their sovereign franchise. Undemocratic and predatory countries will be with us for some time, but one should hope never to find them repressing or stealing from their own people with American complicity.

Many countries today perceive their future to be at risk from states and nonstate actors transgressing international norms with self-serving motives. The path to greater stability for all is a rejuvenation of the American role, principled and inclusive, that alone can mobilize others to isolate and disempower malign forces. American greatness arose not from military superiority alone, but because a national commitment to foster progress and human potential inspired others to embrace their better aspirations. A revival of American purpose and vision isn’t an option. It is a must.

This article originally ran in The National Interest Magazine:

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