Summary of A New Truman Doctrine

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In this persuasive plea for a more coherent US foreign policy strategy, US senator Tim Kaine laments the loss of the old days when, for better or worse, everyone knew America’s role in the world. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, Kaine argues, no one is quite sure how Washington will respond to crises across the world. While Kaine makes a strong case for a new foreign-policy strategy, he offers few details to shape how it might look. 

About the Author

US senator Tim Kaine was Hillary Clinton’s running mate in the 2016 presidential election. A Democrat representing Virginia, he is the former governor of Virginia and former mayor of Richmond.



Shortly after World War II, US president Harry Truman laid out a foreign policy strategy that sought to undermine Soviet power and spread American values across the globe. Beginning with the passage of the Marshall Plan in 1947, the United States pursued a policy of aggressive intervention. Washington lavished aid on Greece, Turkey, and other nations. It briefly invaded Cuba, took on France’s fight in Vietnam and threw its support behind authoritarian regimes that opposed communism. This strategy didn’t always work out smoothly, but everyone knew where the United States stood.

Then came the collapse of the Soviet Union, and US policy took on a decidedly more pragmatic tenor. As an example...

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