The fact that Trump is not a neoconservative or a paleoconservative, neither a traditional realist nor a liberal internationalist, has caused endless confusion. The same goes for the fact that he has no inborn inclination to isolationism or interventionism, and he is not simply a dove or a hawk.
His foreign policy doesn’t easily fit into any of these categories, though it draws from all of them. Yet Trump does have a consistent foreign policy: a Trump Doctrine. The administration calls it “principled realism,” which isn’t bad—although the term hasn’t caught on.
The problem is that the Trump Doctrine, like most presidential doctrines, cannot be summed up in two words. (To see for yourself, try describing the Monroe, Truman, or Reagan Doctrine with just a couple of words.)
Yet Trump himself has explained it, on multiple occasions. In perhaps his most overlooked, understudied speech—delivered at the APEC CEO Summit in Da Nang, Vietnam, in November 2017—he encapsulated his approach to foreign policy with a quote from The Wizard of Oz: “There’s no place like home.”
Two months earlier, speaking to the U.N. General Assembly, he made the same point by referring to a “great reawakening of nations.”GO READ THE WHOLE THING.