President Donald Trump recently returned from his first foreign trip as commander in chief, a nine-day tour including stops in Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the Vatican.
His aides praised the trip, calling it a historic success. “We’ve never seen before at this point in a presidency such sweeping reassurance of American interests and the inauguration of a foreign policy strategy designed to bring back the world from growing dangers and perpetual disasters brought on by years of failed leadership,” White House press secretary Sean Spicer said.
Others, including some former government officials, saw the trip as nothing more than “some firm handshakes, forced smiles, and awkward sword dances.”
We asked two faculty members—Valentine M. Moghadam, director of the International Affairs and Middle East Studies programs, and John Portz, interim chair of the Department of Political Science—to give their takes.