For many in the U.S. Foreign policy community, the arrival of Donald Trump as President of the United States was jarring to their careful, slow, and deliberate way of dealing with other nations in the pursuit of U.S. foreign policy goals. While much has been made of then President Trump’s adoption of the theme “America First” for his foreign policy, U.S. foreign affairs personnel, whether long-serving career officers or short-term political appointees, have always put the U.S. first. To do any less would be unprofessional and border on disloyalty.

This class will focus on how “the sausage is made” in the U.S. Foreign Affairs kitchen away from the public eyes. It will discuss the myriad actors and diverse interests that play a role in formulating American Foreign Policy. It will examine how well the U.S. foreign affairs establishment reflects the ideals and the reality of American’s desire for a more secure and prosperous situation for the U.S. and its citizens. The instructor will present several anecdotes from his time in the U.S. Foreign Service and as a foreign affairs commentator since his recent retirement from active service to illustrate how U.S. foreign affairs personnel support American security and prosperity. The goal is to have the participants “look behind the curtain” to gain a better understanding of how U.S. foreign policy is formulated and implemented in defense of continuing U.S. national interests. The format will be one of short presentation with opportunity for the audience/students to ask questions that reflect their particular interests regarding the HOW of U.S. foreign policy in addition to the WHAT and WHY.