In Unpacked, Brookings experts provide analysis of Trump administration policies and news.
THE ISSUE: On January 27, 2017 President Trump signed an executive order to suspend the entry of refugees on immigrant and non-immigrant visas from seven predominantly Muslim countries into the United States.
The Justice Department, the State Department, the intelligence agencies, the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI appear to have not been consulted in a systematic way during the development of the order.
THE THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW
- Almost none of the recent terrorist attacks in the U.S. have been committed by people from the countries covered in this order.
- The order covers a huge number of people against whom we have no reason to believe would pose any real threat to the U.S.
- The Justice Department, the State Department, the intelligence agencies, the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI appear to have not been consulted in a systematic way during the development of the order.
- This order did not follow the typical interagency process for making major national security decisions for the U.S.
The order has led to significant diplomatic repercussions with for the U.S.
- The atypical process used to develop the order is likely to be the same process used to manage international crises.
Using a decision making process for critical matters that marginalizes national security is dangerous for the U.S.
Falling apart? The politics of New START and strategic modernization
Sentiment inside the Beltway has turned sharply against China. There are many issues where the two parties sound more or less the same. Trump and others in the administration seem heavily invested in a ‘get very tough with China’ stance. It’s possible that some Democrats might argue that a decoupling strategy borders on lunacy. But if Trump believes this will play well with his core constituencies as his reelection campaign moves into high gear, he will probably decide to stick with it, if the costs and the collateral damage seem manageable. But that’s a very big if, especially if the downsides of a protracted trade war for both American consumers and for American firms become increasingly apparent.
Over the arc of his presidency, Trump has shed himself of cabinet secretaries he doesn’t trust and surrounded himself with loyalists. That will continue and escalate. But the big problem is, he doesn’t know where he’s going.