An Unwilling Commitment: Trump's Foreign Policy Strategy in Central and Eastern Europe

Ülgül M.

Codrul Cosminului, vol.26, no.1, pp.225-244, 2020 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 26 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.4316/cc.2020.01.013
  • Journal Name: Codrul Cosminului
  • Journal Indexes: Scopus, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Page Numbers: pp.225-244


Since his surprising election as President of the United States, in November 2016, Donald Trump's foreign policy sent shock waves around the world, especially in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) where America's traditional allies felt uneasy about the "America First" strategy. Nevertheless, in spite of a nationalist president who has questioned America's leadership role in global affairs and his country's commitment to the protection of allies, the security cooperation between the United States and the CEE countries increased in the first three years of the Trump administration. The paper explains this continuity on the base of the American alternative foreign policy mindsets in the decision-making process. It is arguing that despite the president's opinions, those administration members who share a common, traditional understanding of American primacy in the world provided the continuity in American foreign policy in the CEE region by advocating for power competition against Russia. Therefore, the article shows that an individual-level analysis is more appropriate for understanding American foreign policy today than a state- and a system-level analyses.