The Unexceptional Superpower: American Grand Strategy in the Age of Trump

Prediction is a perilous endeavour in international politics; world events often make fools of those who claim to foresee them.1 It seems certain, though, that historians will someday view Donald Trump’s presidency as an inflection point in the trajectory of American grand strategy and the US-led international system. To be sure, ‘grand strategic’ may not be the first phrase that comes to mind regarding Trump, whose indiscipline and outbursts, unfamiliarity with key issues and unexpected changes of course have led many observers to conclude that his foreign policy lacks any structure whatsoever.2 Just under a year after Trump’s inauguration, however, it has already become clear that Trump’s presidency is freighted with grand-strategic significance.