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Trump’s Foreign Policy Is All Bluster and Bombs: New at Reason

The following excerpt is from an article that originally appeared on Hit and Run Reason

When terrorism raises its head, governments often take steps that are supposed to make us safer—banning tiny knives from airplanes, putting metal detectors at stadium entrances, issuing “orange” alerts. Skeptics dismiss these measures as “security theater.” They’re a show, not a genuine obstacle to terrorists.

The Trump administration, obsessed with imagery, has adapted this approach to national security. The president tweets bellicose warnings to North Korea. The vice president goes to South Korea to don a bomber jacket and stare implacably across the Demilitarized Zone. An aircraft carrier steams toward the Sea of Japan—or rather, Trump claims it’s doing so even as it heads the opposite direction, thousands of miles away.

Anyone who heard Donald Trump brag about his choice for defense secretary knows that half the appeal of James Mattis was his nickname, “Mad Dog,” which the president used every chance he got. Had Mattis been known as

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