Trump's Footloose Foreign Policy Keeps His Own Team Guessing | NBC New York
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Trump's Footloose Foreign Policy Keeps His Own Team Guessing

Under Obama, coordination was mandatory; with Trump, it's not clear who is weighing in on major decisions

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Russia vows to treat all U.S. planes above Syria as targets after U.S.-backed forces shot down a Syrian fighter jet, further intensifying tensions between the U.S. and Russia. (Published Monday, June 19, 2017)

    When the White House issued a statement Monday evening threatening to exact "a heavy price" in response to a potential chemical attack by the Syrian government, senior national security officials were caught off guard, NBC News reported.

    White House officials say there were consultations, but key officials who help make Middle East policy at the Pentagon and the State Department had no idea the statement was coming, multiple U.S. officials told NBC News. Many of them knew about the intelligence suggesting possible preparations for a chemical attack, but they weren't aware the White House was going to issue a public threat of military action — a major step.

    The disconnect underscores the extent to which President Trump is making foreign policy on the fly, with little regard for the opinions of the diplomatic and military establishments, and with a freewheeling style that couldn't be more different from the lawyerly approach of the Obama team, current and former U.S. officials told NBC News.

    Under Obama, coordination was mandatory, so much so that senior officials, including former CIA and Defense chief Leon Panetta, complained about micromanagement. With Trump, it's not clear who is weighing in on major decisions, and how.

    WH Brings Aggressive Military Stance to Foreign Policy

    [NATL] WH Brings Aggressive Military Stance to Foreign Policy

    The White House is bringing an aggressive military stance to its foreign policy. President Donald Trump promised to disarm North Korea just days after the White House launched missiles on Syria and dropped the largest non-nuclear bomb ever used by the United States on an ISIS target in Afghanistan. 

    (Published Friday, April 14, 2017)