Expert Voices

Trump's national security strategy is at odds with his own priorities

President Trump presents his National Security Strategy in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 18, 2017. Photo: Mark Wilson / Getty Images

Trump's National Security Strategy tries to both set him apart from his predecessors and embed "America First" in the realist tradition.

The big picture: The NSS emphasizes not just protecting the homeland but closing it off, and shows little interest in combating climate change or transforming other societies. It takes a surprisingly tough line on Russia and China, labeling them "revisionist powers" opposed to U.S. values and interests. And its most striking passage rejects the traditional assumption that "engagement with rivals and their inclusion in international institutions and global commerce would turn them into benign actors and trustworthy partners."