Stephen Wertheim is currently a visiting assistant professor in history at Columbia University and a visiting scholar at the Saltzman Institute for War and Peace Studies. A specialist in US foreign relations and the international order, he is working on his first book, provisionally titled Tomorrow, the World: The Birth of U.S. Global Supremacy in World War II. (January 2019)

Follow Stephen Wertheim on Twitter: @stephenwertheim.


Return of the Neocons

President Trump, flanked by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton, addressing a press conference at a NATO summit, Brussels, Belgium, July 12, 2018

Positioning the United States behind the rest, Trump portrayed America as a humiliated, subjugated dupe—and gave a new, more dynamic rationale to a stale neocon agenda. Unleash American power, Trump promised, to take back what others had stolen. Turn the tables on a “vicious” world by being more vicious than the rest. “As far as I’m concerned,” the president said, “we have to fight fire with fire.”