One of the most definitive conclusions one can draw from the 2016 elections, both the primary cycles and the general campaign, is that a growing number of Americans do not feel that the experts and officials who comprise the U.S. national security establishment are pursuing foreign policy objectives that are seen as reflecting the values and interests of the broad mass of the citizenry. At the same time, there is an increasing skepticism about the value of expertise, yet a contradictory tendency to outsource responsibility to others, especially the U.S. military, to make decisions about American engagement overseas.
What are the sources of trust and mistrust, and what might need to happen to rebuild confidence in the direction and execution of U.S. foreign policy?
Kori Schake is the director of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, and has previously held senior positions in the State and Defense Departments and the National Security Council.
Colin Dueck is a professor in the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University, and a non-resident fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute.