It has been one year since perhaps the most consequential U.S. election in memory. Americans as well as onlookers across the globe have witnessed a new style of U.S. foreign policy. Several traditional patterns of diplomacy and relationships of alliance have been overlooked, and policy is no longer communicated in speeches and press releases, but rather in 140 character tweets. The White House’s new type of foreign policy communication and messaging has left many questioning which direction of U.S. foreign policy. The United States faces a number of key challenges including a nuclear threat from North Korea, potential changes to the Iran nuclear deal, an increasingly influential China, and Russian aggression in Eastern Europe and beyond.
Many of the Trump administration’s responses to these challenges have been vague and unpredictable. And, with much of the president’s communication contradicting other administration announcements, the impact of his policies are called into question. How do we expect U.S. foreign policy to continue to evolve over the coming three years? Is this the end of traditional deliberate diplomacy? What impact will this new type of engagement have on foreign policy and U.S. influence across the globe? What does it mean for relations with Europe?
These questions along with a number of others formed the focus of an interesting discussion that was co-organised by the Foundation for European Progressive Studies and the German Marshall Fund of the United States on November 14th 2017 in Brussels. The event brought together Heather Conley, Senior Vice President for Europe, Eurasia, and the Arctic, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Kelly Magsamen, Vice President for National Security and International Policy, Center for American Progress and Nathalie Tocci, Director, Istituto Affari Internazionali, to offer their insights on what we have learnt almost a year after the election of Donald Trump as US president. The discussion was moderated by Ian Lesser, Vice President, The German Marshall Fund of the United States and was opened by Ernst Stetter, FEPS Secretary General.