When President Trump was inaugurated, America’s foreign policy was a disaster.

Conflicts involving Russia, China, Korea, and Iran were arguably caused by the previous administration’s permissive policy. According to reports the Russia-Ukraine conflict started in November 2014. Even liberal news stations have said the South China Sea conflict began in 2014. After Obama’s inauguration, North Korea returned to the international stage announcing the testing of ballistic missiles. While the Obama administration passivity increased, North Korea’s dangerous activity increased.

And, of course, there is the infamous Iran deal and other related backdoor money deals. In short, the Trump Administration needs new foreign policies.

Ambassador John Bolton, a highly anticipated speaker at CPAC 2017, emphasized his personal forte at the annual conference. He discussed the need for bold foreign policy. He believes in re-instituting America’s international presence.

However, during my interview with Dr. Elie Krakowski, he explained the foreign affairs dilemma a little differently. “There has been a worldwide withdraw which has created power vacuums encouraging all the nasty actors on the international scene to become more aggressive.”

Krakowski, President and CEO of EDK Consulting, LLC, earned his PhD and MPhil from Columbia University. He was a professor of International Relations and Law at Boston University. During the 1980s, he served under the US Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy.

Dr. Krakowski is often involved in National Security and reconstruction policy issues regarding Afghanistan.


In his swift style, Bolton stated that Trump “… should abrogate that (Iran) deal. End that deal as soon as possible. We need a clear statement from the United States that it was a strategic debacle for our country and we don’t intend to let it persist.”

Dr. Krakowski agreed on ending the Iran deal. But, he emphasized, “How you do it is just as important as what you do. Redressing all the harm that’s been done will be difficult. The problem here is the track record. The reputation of not standing up, not reacting, and not doing things; if Trump wants to change that, it’s not going to be easy.”

Action vs Reaction

“They will test the United States to see if we mean business,” said Dr. Krakowski. “That means the possibility of using force. If we say we’re going to be forceful, then they’re going to push. Then, they’ll see do we react or don’t we react.”

Bolton posited a more active outlook while Krakowski emphasized a more reactionary outlook.

Take North Korea’s missile testing as an example. The US’s reaction shows a more passive rather than a reactionary approach. Previous reports say the past missile tests did not pose a legitimate threat. The missile tests failed and were not capable of reaching the US. If there was a more serious threat, the US would have had a stronger response.

What role do you think the US’s foreign policy should be? Should Trump take Bolton’s, Krakowski’s  or a different role? Share your thoughts in the comments.