Liberal International Order
National Security Strategy
The liberal international order is in crisis. Despite it having been the common ground of U.S. diplomacy since the end of World War 2, President Donald Trump is attacking policies and institutions based on the principle of a liberal international order under his “America First” approach to foreign policy. This paper arranges and analyses both the dispute on the liberal international order and the debate on President Trump’s national security strategy. In the first section, the author studies the concept, causes of the crisis, threats to the liberal international order, and perspectives thereon. It is a grand project to promote freedom, democracy, and market economics around the world. However, the expansion project is viewed as having failed as a result of nation-building efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq being confronted by serious and protracted partisan politics and civil war, with the expansion of membership making cooperation among member states difficult. Universalism has been revealed to be undermining itself. In the second section, the author analyzes the internal division between “the economic nationalists” and “the traditional globalists” within the foreign policy team of the Trump administration. While both factions are retreating from the universalism of U.S. foreign policy in the post-cold war era, they are at odds with each other in terms of world views and priorities. On one hand, the former group overlooks geostrategic competition with authoritative states and prioritizes bilateral trade negotiations with major nations. In contrast, the traditional globalists focus on geostrategic competition with China and Russia and attempt to defend the liberal international order as a limited version. The Trump administration loses consensus on its foreign policy and leaves dissensus as it is.