Trump and his ‘America First’ philosophy face first moral quandary in Syria - Peter Feaver interviewed for The Washington Post

Thursday, April 13, 2017

“They have not yet figured out what they are trying to do,” said Peter Feaver, a professor at Duke University and an adviser in the second Bush administration. “What looks like recalibration might be multiple voices.”

In a White House marked by rival factions, it has become difficult to figure out who exactly is in charge of foreign policy. On Wednesday, Trump removed White House chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon from the National Security Council. The change suggested that national security adviser H.R. McMaster, who has a traditional view of U.S. power and global leadership obligations, was gaining influence over policymaking.

For his part, Trump left many guessing about his ultimate intentions in Syria and North Korea. “I don’t like to say where I’m going and what I’m doing,” he said.

His broader view of foreign policy, though, was clearer and unchanging.

“I just have to say that the world is a mess,” he said. “I inherited a mess.”

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