In this chapter, I analyze the decision calculus of President Donald Trump, using the Applied Decision Analysis (ADA) method (Mintz, 2005, Mintz & DeRouen, 2010). I analyze seven foreign policy decisions taken in the first six months of Trump’s presidency. I find that in his decision-making process, President Trump applies six dimensions. My analysis reveals that the imagery dimension has affected President Trump’s decisions across the board, and led to the rejection of non-compensatory alternatives. Based on my research, I conclude that President Trump demonstrated a poliheuristic decision code. Furthermore, from my analysis derives that President Trump’s decision-making process is mostly intuitive. Moreover, this chapter reveals a polythink syndrome in Trump’s decision unit, manifested in the battle between his two groups of advisors, known as the nationalists and globalists.
Lourie, T. (2019), "The Decision Calculus of Donald Trump", How Do Leaders Make Decisions? (Contributions to Conflict Management, Peace Economics and Development, Vol. 28A), Emerald Publishing Limited, pp. 13-33. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1572-832320190000028004Download as .RIS
Emerald Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2019 Emerald Publishing Limited
On 8 November 2016, Donald J. Trump was elected the 45th president of the United States of America. Trump won the Republican presidential primaries against sixteen other candidates, practicing tactics unfamiliar in American politics. He used social media to deliver his extreme views and managed to upset most of the political system not least by virtue of its failure to put an end to his campaign. Trump offered the macho persona of a successful businessman, mocking ‘Washington’s standards’, and the elites controlling it. He used the public’s revulsion to the establishment and familiar politicians to ridicule political correctness and universal values, riding the aftermaths of the economic crisis all the way to the White House. With no support from the popular vote, Trump beat the democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and won the presidential election against all odds and projections.
Only several months of political turmoil have passed since, yet the amount of decisions taken by President Trump enables us to start analyzing his decision-making process. I have chosen to focus on seven foreign policy decisions. Unlike domestic issues, in foreign policy the president has far greater autonomy to act without interference of the legislative branch.
The criterion for choosing the decisions was consistency, which will allow me to assess the decision. For example, his approach toward China or North Korea is inconsistent and incoherent, changing several times over his short term so far and therefore will be excluded (Graham, 2017a; Johnston, 2017, Lee & Lee, 2017).
Upon detailed examination of Trump’s term heretofore, the following dimensions appeared as most significant in his decision-making process:
Agenda: Although President Trump seems to constantly change his opinion on various issues, in his inauguration speech he set a vision for America during his presidency. Under the slogan ‘America First’, he expressed his stances against globalization, free trade and the United States’ commonly perceived role as the world’s police. Most of these views are coherent with those he expressed throughout his campaign. It is a nationalist agenda, which advocates non-interventionist separatism with regard to foreign policy. In his manifest, Trump focused on economic issues, especially regarding revising trade agreements for the benefit of Americans. On national security, he emphasized the war against terrorism and strengthening of the military. In addition, he embraced diplomacy as a tool to ensure the world that the United States under his regime would not be seeking enemies (White House, 2017). I assigned it the weight 7, as although his agenda is important to him, its importance is limited to some extent: Trump tends to change his mind on issues repeatedly, especially when it serves his other dimensions.
Image / political survival: President Trump faces unusual challenges in his presidency. Perhaps for the first time in American history, the president entered office when his political survival is not only dependent on his reelection prospects, but on the very legitimacy of his office. The coincidental sequence of events that allowed him to win the election with the minority vote positioned him in a unique situation: while most newly elected presidents try to lean to the center in the first months of their term in order to ensure majority support by attracting voters from the other side, Trump understands he cannot do so. Instead, he keeps his allegiance to the stalwart base that carried him to office. Their unconditional support for him is remarkable, as April polls show that over 95% of them are pleased with his performance and will vote for him again (Langer, 2017). Moreover, Trump knows he demonstrated opinions that do not correlate fully with the Republican Party’s values. He won their support despite of this party-line aberration. Trump used contemporaneous revulsion to known politicians by portraying himself as the ‘new politician’: a strong and trustworthy politician that speaks unequivocally. He promised the voters change for the better (Morgan, 2016). New polls indicate that Trump is more trusted than other Republican politicians after a mere month in office (Pew Research Center, 2017). These numbers are crucial for him, as the Republican majority in the congress holds the keys for the impeachment process. This scenario becomes more realistic every day as the investigations of Trump’s ties with Russia advance. However, the strong Republican constituency support for Trump over other Republican elected officials might discourage the latter from getting this procedure underway, as they fear retaliation from their voters (Kilgore, 2017). In order to maintain this equation, Trump will do the best to ensure his base’s support: he needs to appear a strong leader, loyal to his word and promises, a task polls indicate he executes well (Newport, 2017).
Trump was focused on his image throughout his career and built his candidacy upon it. He authored a dozen books, in which he repeatedly emphasized his virtues, depicting himself as smart and driven (Glover et al, 2016). This strategy continued in the campaign, when Trump claimed that he will use his great deal making skills for America, that he could learn in a hour and a half everything about missiles, and that on foreign policy issues he mainly consults with himself as he has a ‘very big brain’ (Collins, 2016).
On the day of his inauguration, Trump already filed for reelection, and a month later he held his first campaign rally in Florida (Gold, 2017). It was probably the earliest reelection campaign in the US presidency history (Graham, 2017b). In response to questions about the timing, Trump was quoted stating that ‘life is a campaign’ (Miller, 2017). Furthermore, there is vast academic literature arguing that political survival is the key dimension in leaders’ decision-making process (Mintz, 2004; Solingen, 2007). In Trump’s case, it seems to strongly affect his decision-making process, becoming his non-compensatory dimension (Rowland, 2017). Political survival is apparently his main goal. Therefore, I assigned it the weight 10.
Constituency: The American public is more divided over Trump than any president before. After winning the election with 3 million votes less than Clinton, Trump faces the lowest approving rates in history. However, his 40% constituency keeps supporting him unconditionally. Trump strives to remain loyal to them in order to secure himself prospects for re-election in four years. Although most commentaries state that his voters are mostly white blue-collar workers, hard data proves differently: only a third of Trump’s voters were under the median wage.
Trump’s constituency was comprised of five groups, divided into the following percentiles (Ekins, 2017):
Staunch conservatives: loyal Republicans, solid fiscal conservatives, have traditional values and are politically aware (31%).
Free marketeers: free traders, favour smaller government, and have moderate-to-liberal views on immigration and race. Their vote was a vote against Clinton and they are loyal GOP-ers (25%).
American Preservationists: favour higher taxes on the rich, back the social safety net, believe the economic and political systems are rigged, and are sceptical of free trade. They are very skeptical about immigration (20%).
Anti – elites: lean to the progressive end of the economic spectrum and believe the economic and political systems are rigged. Views on immigration, race and American identity are relatively moderate (19%).
The disengaged: They don’t follow politics, they are distant from institutions and are skeptical of immigration. They support a temporary Muslim travel ban (5%).
Overall, there is not one kind of a Trump supporter. Some voted for him and others simply against Clinton. They hold a variety of opinions on pertinent issues. They are only distinguished by their stances on the economy, Muslims and illegal immigration. (Ekins, 2017).
It seems as if for Trump, maintaining his base will be mainly about preserving his image and sticking to his agenda regarding domestic issues, as foreign policy is not definable by his constituency.
I assigned this dimension the weight 7, as while on the surface his constituency is the key for his political survival, they are also somewhat a ‘captivated audience’. For many of them, Trump was sort of a protest vote, a symbol of their contempt for ‘Washington’. It seems as many of them will be pleased with Trump or at least support him in most cases. Therefore, he could afford himself to value other dimensions over his constituency occasionally.
Nationalist advisors: Trump’s administration and close advisors are comprised of two factions. The first are the nationalists that are led by chief strategist, Steve Bannon. Bannon is considered to be the orchestrator of the ‘America first’ strategy. He was the executive chair of ‘Breitbart news’, a website known as the platform for the ‘alt -right’. Bannon’s views are far right. This group also includes Jeff sessions (Attorney General), Sebastian Gorka (deputy assistant), Stephen Miller (senior policy advisor), Peter Navarro (director of trade and industrial policy), Wilbur Ross (secretary of commerce) etc. (Trubowitz, 2017).
I assigned this dimension the weight 5. Trump does not display much appreciation of others’ opinions. However, he was somewhat grateful for this component’s support of him during the candidacy, and he knows they represent the opinions of his hardcore supporters.
Globalist advisors: The other faction is the globalists, which include the majority of president’s Trump immediate circle of advisors. They try to lead the president in a more conservative direction, especially regarding foreign policy. These include: Jared Kushner (senior advisor & son in law), Ivanka Trump (advisor & daughter), James Mattis (secretary of defense), Rex Tillerson (secretary of state), H. R. McMaster (national security advisor), Gary Cohn (chief economic advisor) etc (Cassidy, 2017). I assigned this dimension the weight 5, as Trump demonstrated respect to the generals in it. In addition, his family members, which are his most important advisors are a part of it.
I hypothesize that Trump is using a poliheuristic decision code (Mintz, 2004), wherein the non-compensatory dimension upon which alternatives will be eliminated is Image/political survival. In addition, as Trump’s psychological attributes seem to be in control of his decision-making process, I believe that some biases will be discovered.
The decisions analyzed in this chapter are:
The withdrawal from TPP (23/01/2017).
Renegotiating NAFTA (23/01/2017).
The attack on Al Shayrat airport, Syria (06/04/2017).
The approach toward NATO (17/05/2017).
The Israeli–Palestinian peace process (15/02/2017).
The American embassy in Tel Aviv (01/06/2017).
The withdrawal from the Paris agreement (01/06/2017).
Analysis: Withdrawal from TPP
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a trade agreement between Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam. The agreement was signed on 2 April, 2016 in New Zealand, concluding seven years of negotiations. It is the largest trade agreement in history and contained measures to lower both non-tariff and tariff barriers to trade and establish an investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism.
As one of his first decisions in office, President Trump decided to withdraw from the agreement on January 23. The remaining members decided to continue the partnership without the United States.
President Trump had three alternatives with regard to the TPP:
Renegotiate the deal (thus, keeping the treaty alive).
Withdraw from the treaty altogether.
The decision to withdraw serves best Trump’s non-compensatory dimension, ‘image’. The decision code used is poliheuristic, as Trump eliminated the alternatives that negatively affected his image: re-negotiation and reaffirmation, leaving him with only one alternative – to withdraw. In order to minimize the damage to his agenda, Trump decided to renegotiate NAFTA, where he will address the trade principles that were revoked with the withdrawal from TPP.
This decision lines with Trump’s agenda, to cancel multilateral trade agreements and focus on bilateral agreements solely. During his campaign, Trump condemned the TPP with harsh words, describing it as a ‘rape of the country’ and a disaster that will ship more jobs overseas (Lima, 2016). He pledged to cancel the agreement when taking office (Chinyong Liow, 2017). When examining the United States Trade Representative (USTR) list of principles (digital trade, intellectual property rights, state-owned enterprises, etc.), it is noticeable that many of them were addressed in the TPP and agreed upon. As such, the TPP to some extent dovetails with Trump’s trade agenda. Furthermore, Wilbur Ross, proclaimed that the TPP could serve as a base for re-negotiating NAFTA (Levy, 2017).
This decision was made in the campaign trail already, and it is part of the ‘America First’ agenda that was set by Bannon and the nationalists. As it was one of Trump’s first decisions, an opposition in the administration by the globalists was not voiced publicly. The globalist faction was not yet formed, as at that point Kushner was still in tone with Bannon. Therefore, it was excluded from this scenario’s table.
A June 2016 public opinion poll states that 47% of Trump’s core supports were in favour of the TPP, while 58% of Republicans that supported other Republican nominees favoured it.
However, an overwhelming majority of Republican voters find the agreement detrimental for the American job market. These contradictory results are supported by a poll indicating that 70% are unfamiliar with the topic. As so, it is hard to determine the effect of Trump’s decision on his constituency (CCGA, 2016; Palmer, 2016).
With regard to Trump’s image, as Trump expressed strong disapproval of the agreement, any alternative chosen other than withdrawal would have been harmful for him. The harsh tone he used against the agreement presented him with a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate the presidency he wishes to have. The timing of the decision, making it one of his first executive orders, proves its meaning for him (Bradner, 2017).
Analysis: Re-negotiating NAFTA (23/01/2017)
The North American Free Trade Agreement (‘NAFTA’) was signed in 1994 between the United States, Canada and Mexico. It is a trilateral trade bloc, purposed to eliminate tariffs on goods and barriers on trade. Under the agreement was established an independent dispute settlement process.
Over the years, the agreement was considered to have negligible effects on the US economy, and suffered from many calls to alter it. Some argue that the deal increased trade, GDP and brought in higher paying jobs. Others state that as a result of the deal many blue-collar manufacturing jobs were lost.
During his campaign, Trump expressed his strong disapproval of the agreement on multiple occasions. He referred to it as the worst trade agreement ever signed and pledged to renegotiate it.
In the very first day of his presidency, Trump announced that after talks with the leaders of Mexico and Canada, he decided to renegotiate the deal. The discussions were to start on August 15.
President Trump had three alternatives:
Maintain the agreement as it is.
Renegotiate the agreement, under threat of termination.
Terminate the agreement altogether (Jagannathan, 2017).
Trump’s decision-making process in this situation was poliheuristic. After eliminating the alternative of reaffirmation, Trump was left with two alternatives that satisfied his non-compensatory dimension – renegotiate or withdraw. After terminating the TPP, which as stated above fit some of his principles, Trump needed to renegotiate NAFTA to support his agenda. The struggle and many shifts of approach as portrayed, is visible in the close ranking of both alternatives. Eventually, between the two alternatives left, Trump decided to take the rational choice and renegotiate.
During his campaign, Trump criticized the agreement forcefully. He referred to it as the worst trade agreement ever signed by the United States, and blamed many of the economic woes of the country on it (Gillespie, 2016). He pledged to renegotiate the deal or terminate it if discussions would not yield the desired results for the United States. According to his ‘America First’ agenda, multilateral trade agreements should be terminated as they hurt the economy and decrease jobs. Therefore, re-negotiating or terminating are the preferable alternatives.
His constituency seems to agree with that as only 30% of Republican voters believe that NAFTA is beneficial for the United States. His electoral base is known for its disapproval of trade agreements, and therefore revoking the agreement or re-negotiating it are both viable options, while maintaining it as it would antagonize his constituency (Stokes, 2017a).
This issue resulted in a deep cleavage between the nationalists and globalists. Steve Bannon urged the president to terminate the agreement in his very first days in office. However, Kushner managed to arrange a call between Trump and the Canadian prime minister, which convinced Trump to renegotiate. Later on in April, Bannon and Peter Navarro (Head of Trade Council) supposedly tried to influence Trump to cancel the agreement once again by drafting an executive order to terminate the deal (Gray, 2017a).
The globalists desired re-negotiation that will end in a new agreement, while the nationalists advocated for a withdrawal (Sheth, 2017).
Many presidential nominees have expressed their intention to renegotiate NAFTA, although none did. For Trump, it was a wonderful opportunity to prove that he keeps his word and is powerful enough to do what the former presidents did not, while supporting his base that dislike the agreement.
Analysis: The Attack on Al Shayrat Airport, Syria (06/04/2017)
On 2011, the civil war in Syria erupted, quickly stationing itself as the worst conflict of the decade. Around 500,000 casualties and 11 million refugees are the toll at the moment. In response to the atrocities committed there, President Obama set a red line in 2012, threatening the use of force against the Assad regime in case of a use of chemical weapons. The ultimatum did not impress Assad who repeated the attack, putting Obama on the spot. He dangled with the decision, eventually reneging from fulfilling his promise.
On 4 April, 2017, Assad’s army used chemical weapons against civilians in Khan Sheikhoun, killing around 100 citizens, among them children and women, and injuring some four hundred more. The emerging pictures shocked the world. The news of the attack caught President Trump while hosting some world leaders in Mar-a-Lago, his Florida Hotel. After consulting with his advisors, President Trump decided, on April 6, to launch a retaliation attack against Assad’s regime. The US army launched fifty-nine missiles at Al Shayrat airport, from which the chemical air strike was executed.
The alternatives facing Trump were:
Refrain from attacking.
Severe attack (Vitali, 2017).
|Dimensions/Alternatives||No Attack||Moderate Attack||Severe Attack||Weight|
President Trump made a poliheuristic choice. He eliminated the maximizing alternative – to refrain from attack – as it did not rank favourably on his non-compensatory dimension. Trump was given several options of attack; he determined it had to be aggressive but proportionate, so it would not risk escalation. Between the alternatives left, Trump chose the rational moderate attack which jeopardized his non-interventionist agenda the least. In addition, he notified the Russians in advance, giving them plenty of time to notify the Syrians to evacuate the base, minimizing the damage and avoiding a crisis with Russia (Merica, 2017).
In 2013, Trump urged Obama to restrain himself from attacking in Syria, claiming it will result poorly. In line with his ‘America First’ agenda, Trump claimed that Syria is not America’s problem. He also stated that the Assad regime is fighting ISIS, which is America’s enemy, and therefore it will be unreasonable to attack it (Bacon, 2017). Consequently, refraining from retaliation would have been better suited with regard to his non-interventionist agenda.
It was the first time Trump retracted his position in a significant manner in his presidency, and he referred to it by explaining that he considers himself to be a flexible man. Being in office, he stated, changed his mind, mentioning the responsibility he was tasked with, trying to position himself as a worthy commander-in-chief. He also proclaimed that the pictures emerging from Syria had a considerable influence on him. He attempted to portray himself as a humanitarian agonized by the cruelty inflicted on innocent people (Harding, 2017). Furthermore, Trump knew that the legality of his action is questionable as he once referred to the matter himself, warning Obama from attacking in Syria without congressional approval. His desire to brand himself as a strong leader, yet a humanitarian, allowed him to forgo his agenda for the first time. The decision’s timing is also of immense importance, as it was made during the visit of Xi Jinping. It allowed Trump to reveal his decision to the Chinese leader during dinner, an event that was later referred to by Wilbur Ross as an after-dinner entertainment. The abundance of references made by the Trump administration to the strike while the Chinese delegates were present, proves the key role that timing played in the decision made. Moreover, Trump’s aides advised him to postpone the attack in a day, yet he refused (Allen, 2017).
Another substantial factor in Trump’s decision is the globalists’ advice, especially his daughter Ivanka, which pressured him to retaliate due to her shock from the horrors of the chemical strike. It was described as an emotional appeal, which vanquished the nationalists’ agenda against international intervention (Relman, 2017).
With regard to his constituency, public opinion polls were unsupportive of intervention in Syria as only 22% of Republicans favored a strike in 2013 when Obama’s red line was crossed (Somin, 2013). Similar figures were polled in 2016 over the question of assisting the rebels against Assad (CCGA, 2016). Not attacking seems as a better alternative for Trump with regard to his constituency’s rejection of interventions in the Middle East after the woes of Iraq and Afghanistan.
Analysis: Approach toward NATO (17/05/2017)
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was founded in 1949, as an aftermath of World War II and the rise of the Soviet Union. It serves as a military alliance between the twenty-nine member nations, and at its core stands the mechanism of collective defense, which ensures military aid to any member nation under attack by a non-member nation (called ‘Article 5’). The United States is the main actor in this alliance, and accounts for most of its military force.
As part of his ‘America First’ agenda, candidate Trump attacked NATO throughout his campaign. He argued that the treaty was signed in a different era with different circumstances, and thus is irrelevant nowadays. He pointed out the massive share of the treaty’s budget allocated by the United States, and proclaimed that his country cannot afford it any longer. According to Trump, each member state is to allocate 2% of its GDP to the alliance, yet Trump states that the United States is the only one to meet the criteria. He described NATO as obsolete, arguing it must focus on counterterrorism (Friesleben, 2017). However, upon taking office, Trump moderated his rhetoric, proclaiming that he supports NATO, albeit his reservations remain the same.
These remarks caused great distress in the liberal world and especially Europe. On April 2017, President Trump reversed his stance, as he declared that NATO is not obsolete due to the supportive role it had played in the US strike in Syria.
In his speech in the new NATO headquarters (May 2017), President Trump reiterated his budgetary stance, arguing that the current situation is unfair for the American tax payer.
Trump did not reaffirm article 5 explicitly, a decision that resulted in worldwide criticism. However, he did promise that the United States will stand by any country who stood by it after 9/11.
Later on, in a speech given in July 2017, President Trump committed to article 5 and repeated his financial agenda regarding the treaty.
The scope of alternatives considered with regard to the NATO issue:
Withdraw from the organization.
Use hard diplomacy.
Use soft diplomacy (Glasser, 2017).
|Alternatives/Dimensions||Withdrawal||Hard Diplomacy||Soft Diplomacy||Weight|
Trump demonstrated a poliheuristic decision code. Implementing soft diplomacy or withdrawing from the agreement would not serve his imagery, and therefore he eliminated them both. As a result, he was left with one alternative – to use hard diplomacy.
As previously mentioned, Trump’s opinion on NATO caused worldwide distress. His speech in NATO’s headquarters was met with severe rebuke by German and French leaders. His decision to remain ambiguous on his commitment to article 5 was regarded as an abandonment of NATO, and world leadership. However, although Trump did not mention article 5 directly, his statement about supporting every member that supported the United States after 9/11 bears the same meaning. When the United States invoked article 5, all NATO members accepted it and therefore, his promise to stand by them reaffirmed article 5 without mentioning it (Bertand, 2017).
The decision whether to include the article in his speech or not was the centre of the debate between nationalists and globalists in the administration. The globalists were stunned by the decision to omit this statement, as the final draft of the speech (approved by McMaster) included reference to it. However, Bannon managed to change the president’s opinion in the last minute, securing a massive win for the nationalists in the administration (Glasser, 2017).
This decision correlates with Trump’s agenda toward NATO from day one. He described it as obsolete with regard to the treaty’s goals, and then retracted it when NATO supported his attack in Syria. According to his agenda, compelling the other members to pay their share is a main goal, as it will allow the United States to shift resources in other directions. Trump believes he will reach this through hard diplomacy.
A public opinion poll by Gallup supports Trump’s position as 69% of Republicans supported maintaining the treaty and so did 80% of the public in general (Smith, 2017), yet another survey by PEW states that only 48% of conservatives have a favourable view about it (Stokes, 2017b). It seems as though the Republican constituency, like Trump, does not appreciate several aspects of the treaty, yet understand its importance. Therefore, insisting on the economic agenda might benefit Trump with his constituency.
In order to sustain his image, Trump needed to emphasize his financial agenda and opinion on the direction the treaty should take. In addition, it was an opportunity to prove himself powerful in matters of national security in dealing with the nation’s greatest allies and some of the most prominent countries in the world. Using harsh diplomacy allowed him to do so while remaining within the boundaries of reason (Sokolsy & Miller, 2017). In order to minimize the possible damage to the globalist faction caused by modifying his speech without their knowledge, Trump later on committed to article 5, trying to control the flames his harsh diplomacy had created.
Analysis: The Israeli–Palestinian Peace Process (15/02/2017)
However, the American government has been involved in efforts to negotiate peace since the establishment of the state of Israel. The conception of the two-state solution was met with the unanimous support of US presidents, deeming it the only viable solution. The attention span given to the subject by the various American presidents shifted in accordance with their own priorities, regional circumstances and personal interest.
During his campaign, Donald Trump characterized himself as a staunch supporter of Israel although he had initially promised to be a neutral negotiator and supporter of the two-state solution, Trump gradually shifted his position. At some point, he explicitly stated that in this conflict – he is very pro-Israeli. Furthermore, he argued that his goal is peace, and the two-state solution is not necessarily the only path getting there, a position he maintains up to this point.
With regard to the Israeli–Palestinian peace process President Trump had several alternatives:
Support the two-state solution.
Take a step back from the process.
Support an undefined solution (Gray, 2017b).
|Dimensions/Alternatives||Two-State Solution||Pull Back||Undefined Solution||Weight|
President Trump made a poliheuristic decision: he first eliminated the alternative to pull back from the peace process, as its impact on his non-compensatory dimension is negative, although its overall ranking is better than the support of the two-state solution alternative. Afterwards, between the alternatives left, President Trump chose the rational alternative – to support an undefined solution, which also best serves his non compensatory dimension.
The ‘Arab Spring’ and its lash back changed the world’s approach toward the Middle East. Before these events, the peace process was under the spotlight worldwide and received substantial attention, from media and governments alike. However, the collapse of several Arab countries, combined with the rise of ISIS which led to massive immigration to Europe followed by a wave of terrorist attacks, changed the agenda. The conflict was demoted to the bottom of the agenda, and remains so. As a result, President Trump would not have suffered diplomacy-wise if he had decided to step back from the conflict, especially after Obama neglected it for some time. This would have served as a non-interventionist agenda perfectly.
However, the benefits from supporting the negotiations are immeasurable. If Trump were to accomplish a two-state solution, he would be able to alter his worldwide stance and brand himself a historical statesman. Merely reinstating the negotiations would benefit Trump in Western Europe (Gray, 2017b).
Even given the countless shifts in Trump’s stance with regard to Israel and the conflict, it is still possible to detect some key components: first, Trump declares himself as pro-Israeli with regard to the conflict. Second, he believes that no solution should be forced on both sides. He views the expansion of settlements as an obstacle for a solution, yet not as an obstacle for resuming negotiations. Third, he cast the blame for the previous, failed negotiations on the Palestinians. Regarding his advisors, it seems as if they are divided in two groups. The first is supposedly pro-Israeli and more aligned with the nationalists: Kushner, ambassador to Israel; David Friedman, special Representative for International Negotiations – Jason Greenblatt; and Steve Bannon. This group supports the undefined solution, arguing that the Israeli settlements in the West Bank are not an obstacle for peace. The other group is comprised of globalists: McMaster, Mattis and Tillerson – all support the two-state solution. Overall, it seems as though all aides (perhaps aside for McMaster) are pro-Israeli.
Public opinion polls in the United States demonstrate a much harsher tone toward the Palestinians: only 25% of Republicans are in favour of a Palestinian state. In addition, there is an overwhelming support (71%) for Israel within the American public (Newport & Ray, 2017). Moreover, Republican voters ranked the Israeli–Palestinian peace process as only the fifth most important issue for the American president to handle in the Middle East (Telhami, 2017). As far as his constituency goes, it seems that refraining from the peace process will be the alternative benefiting Trump the most, while the undefined solution gives him room for ambiguity; the two-state solution alternative is ill advised on that dimension.
During the campaign Trump portrayed himself as the master of deal making, leaning on his record as a businessman. Trump stated that he heard on multiple occasions that the conflict in the Middle East is beyond resolution. He referred to it as the ‘ultimate deal’, an expression that explains his desire to pursue this issue. It is contradictory to his non-interventionist approach, yet the utility in the end is remarkable: he would be able to prove his superiority as a deal maker and president, negotiating the deal that no one else could.
Trump sent his closest aides to the region and spent time on it, although it does not suit his non-interventionist agenda and contradicts his constituency’s opinions.
Therefore, Trump had decided to ignore his base and non-interventionist agenda in an attempt to discuss a deal, serving his non-compensatory dimension. Although the two-state solution is the only one acceptable in the eyes of the global community, Trump made the maximizing choice to pursue a non-defined agreement, in attempt to improve the odds of reaching a deal while not neglecting his base and agenda completely. It was a poliheurisitc decision process.
Analysis: Relocating the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem (01/06/2017)
The relocation of the American embassy in Israel to Jerusalem has been a never-ending saga in the US – Israel relations. Although the capital of Israel is Jerusalem, the embassy is historically located in Tel Aviv as the United States did not recognize Jerusalem as the capital de jure.
In 1995, the Jerusalem embassy act passed in Congress. This act requires that the United States relocate its Israel embassy to Jerusalem and recognize it as the capital of Israel. However, the act allows the president to postpone the decision due to national security concerns a right all presidents since have evoked.
During the presidential campaign, Trump pledged to move the embassy to Jerusalem, yet on 1 June 2017, President Trump signed waiver, postponing the move of the US embassy to Jerusalem.
President Trump’s alternatives were:
Postponing the decision for an additional six months.
Transfer the embassy to Jerusalem (Schallhorn, 2017).
President Trump made what could be deemed an irrational choice. Transferring the embassy would have produced a better utility for Trump. However, he eliminated this option in accordance with his non-compensatory dimension, therefore choosing to postpone the relocation of the embassy. During his campaign, Trump pledged to move the embassy to Jerusalem. Top aid Kellyanne Conway referred to it as a top priority for Trump as president. Postponing the transfer of the embassy would be conflicting with his agenda. However, Trump had minimized the effect by stating that the transfer is not a question of if but of when.
Among his constituency, the decision does not bear much effect. Polls indicate that most Americans do not have an opinion on the matter, and those who do are split (Newport, 2016). However, the evangelistic Christian organizations supporting Trump favour the move. Overall, the effect on his base is scarce.
This decision did not go undisputed among Trump’s advisors, as Bannon urged him to announce the move to Jerusalem during the president’s visit to Israel. Standing alongside him were David Friedman (ambassador to Israel) and Nikki Haley (UN ambassador). However, the globalists, led by Tillerson, Mattis and McMaster, managed to convince the president that this decision will jeopardize any attempt to negotiate a peace deal, as Jerusalem is in an epicentre of disagreement, and pronouncing it as the capital of Israel will be perceived as disregard of Muslim claim over it. Common knowledge in the foreign policy community dictates that such action would cause great distress in the Arab World and might lead to an outbreak of violence (Ravid & Tivon, 2017).
With regard to his image, reneging on his pledge is unlike Trump, yet the desire to reach the much longed-for deal triumphs it. It is quite unusual for him, yet the prize is too lucrative. Moving the embassy would have yielded positive outcome as well, standing by his agenda and pledge, and supporting Israel on the right. However, the possible utility of a deal is far greater, leading Trump to make an irrational decision in order to serve his non-compensatory dimension. Moving the embassy would have indirectly impacted his image as it would destroy his chances to advance the peace talks.
Analysis: The Withdrawal from the Paris Agreement (01/06/2017)
The Paris agreement was signed on April 2016 by 195 countries. Its aim is to address climate change, which according to scientific consensus poses a threat to the existence of mankind on planet Earth. The agreement set a goal to keep the global temperature rise this century well below two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius. However, a significant faction in the right wing, including Donald Trump, is sceptical of the implications of global warming (Davenoport & Lipton, 2017; Matthews, 2017).
The aforementioned agreement was signed during the Obama era, yet in June 2017 President Trump decided to withdraw the United States from it. He announced it in a speech focused mainly on the economic issue it had posed. President Trump argued against the details of the agreement. He suggested that it would damage the American economy due to shifting more jobs overseas. He emphasized the unfairness of the agreement toward the United States, describing it as demeaning. The president did not mention the issue of global warming in his speech, and whether he changed his mind regarding it after taking office. He left a door open for re-negotiating parts of the deal he found fitting (Ward, 2017). In response, world leaders expressed their disappointment and determined there is no room for re-negotiation (Connolly & Watts, 2017).
In wake of President Trump’s actions which demonstrated disbelief in the theory of global warming, three alternatives were considered within his close circle:
Renegotiate the agreement.
Reaffirm the agreement.
Withdraw from the agreement (Westwood & Antle, 2017).
Trump’s decision-making process was poliheurisitc: ithdrawing was the best alternative for his imagery dimension, which eliminated the other two alternatives that did not serve it at all.
Donald Trump is a long-time believer in climate change as a conspiracy theory. In 2012, he tweeted: ‘The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive’ (Cillizza, 2017). In 2015, he said in an interview: ‘I believe in clean air. Immaculate air […] But I don’t believe in climate change’ (Cillizza, 2017). As the Republican nominee, Trump pledged to cancel the Paris agreement (Marcin, 2017). He demonstrated a consistent agenda against the agreement. Therefore, revoking the agreement correlates with his agenda far more than any other alternative.
The speech made by President Trump, announcing the withdrawal, was aimed at the American workers. He proclaimed that they will benefit from the withdrawal, as the jobs at the local coal industry will survive. While blue collar workers are considered a vital part of Trump’s constituency, overall public opinions polls suggest that most republican voters (66%) prefer to stay in the agreement (Galston, 2017). However, more detailed research reveals that most of Republican voters do not view climate change as a major concern (In contrast with the economy). In addition, they do not believe that humanity is responsible for the change and therefore new environmental policies are not necessary. President Trump believes that by withdrawing, he will strengthen the conservative political base that brought him to the White House (Baker, 2017).
The decision to withdraw from the agreement was encouraged by the ‘nationalists’: Steve Bannon and Scott Pruitt, head of the EPA. It was reported that other presidential advisors from the globalist faction tried to revoke the decision. Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump and Rex Tillerson attempted to persuade the president to stay in the agreement, or at least renegotiate it from within, without success (Westwood & Antle, 2017).
During the presidential campaign, Trump pledged to withdraw from the agreement (Chemnick, 2016). After reneging on his promise to move the embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Trump could not afford another blow. Withdrawing would strengthen his image as a leader capable of making tough decisions, standing against the entire world for the American interest.
In order to minimize the cost of the chosen alternative with his constituency, Trump focused his withdrawal speech on the economy and not on the environmental issue. As most Republicans were in favor of the agreement, Trump wanted to strengthen the support of his voters that believe the agreement to be detrimental to the American economy and job market.
After reviewing the seven case studies, a few conclusions emerge:
The imagery dimension affected all seven decisions, as it led to the rejection of non-compensatory alternatives. In all the decisions analyzed, the evidence of psychological effects on Trump’s decision-making process are overwhelming. Trump’s concern with image and imagery is far greater than with other dimensions. In addition, Trump cited a personal desire to strike a deal in the Middle East peace process as the reason for his support of the venture.
As a result, President Trump demonstrated a poliheuristic decision code. He eliminated alternatives that did not serve his non-compensatory dimension, and then chose rationally between the alternatives left.
Trump’s decision-making process, at the first phase, is mostly intuitive. As demonstrated, he is being led by psychological tendencies. This is noticeable mostly by the relationship between him and his advisors.
Overall, it seems that Trump suffers from a ‘recency bias’, which is the tendency to weigh the latest information more heavily than older information, as demonstrated in the decisions regarding NAFTA, the attack in Syria, and NATO.
Consequently, the battle over his heart between the nationalists and globalists reflected a Polythink syndrome (Mintz &Wayne, 2016) in the decision-making group surrounding President Trump that is shaping the nature of his presidency: The struggles between the factions effect Trump’s decision-making process greatly. While the first support separatism, the latter push toward the continuation of the role the United States served in the world in the past century. This struggle is sometimes displayed in the incoherency noticeable in Trump’s decisions.
Allen (2017) Allen, N. (2017). How Donald Trump kept the show going at dinner with Xi Jinping as the missiles flew. The Telegraph. Retrieved from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/04/07/donald-trump-kept-show-going-dinner-xi-jinping-missiles-flew/
Bacon (2017) Bacon, P. (2017). The Syria strike is trump’s first big break from his campaign rhetoric. Five thirty-eight. Retrieved from https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-syria-strike-is-trumps-first-big-break-from-his-campaign-rhetoric/. Accessed on April 7, 2017.
Baker (2017) Baker, P. (2017). In rejecting the popular Paris accord, Trump bets on his base. The New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/01/climate/paris-accord-trump-conservative-base.html. Accessed on June 1, 2017.
Bertand (2017) Bertand, N. (2017). ‘They didn’t know it had been removed’: Trump’s big NATO speech reportedly blindsided his own national security team. Business Insider. Retrieved from http://www.businessinsider.com/trump-nato-speech-article-5–2017-6. Accessed on June 5, 2017.
Bradner (2017) Bradner, E. (2017). Trump’s TPP withdrawal: 5 things to know. CNN. Retrieved from http://edition.cnn.com/2017/01/23/politics/trump-tpp-things-to-know/index.html. Accessed on January 23, 2017.
Cassidy (2017) Cassidy, J. (2017). Steve Bannon is losing to the globalists. The New Yorker. Retrieved from https://www.newyorker.com/news/john-cassidy/steve-bannon-is-losing-to-the-globalists
CCGA (2016) CCGA . (2016). Poll: Majorities of Americans support TPP, say trade good for US economy. Retrieved from https://www.thechicagocouncil.org/press-release/poll-majorities-americans-support-tpp-say-trade-good-us-economy. Accessed on September 7, 2016.
Cillizza (2017) Cillizza, C. (2017). Donald Trump doesn’t think much of climate change, in 20 quotes. CNN, August 8. Retrieved from https://www.cnn.com/2017/08/08/politics/trump-global-warming/index.html
Chandran (2017) Chandran, N. (2017). Why Trump’s next big policy reversal could be on the TPP. CNBC. Retrieved from https://www.cnbc.com/2017/04/18/trump-policy-reversals-tpp-the-trans-pacific-partnership-may-be-next.html. Accessed on April 18, 2017.
Chemnick (2016) Chemnick, J. (2016). Could Trump simply withdraw U.S. from Paris climate agreement? Scientific American. Retrieved from https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/could-trump-simply-withdraw-u-s-from-paris-climate-agreement/
Collins (2016) Collins, E. (2016). 70 FOR 70: Memorable Donald Trump quotes on his big birthday. USATODAY. Retrieved from https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2016/06/14/donald-trump-70-birthday-quotes/85619552/
Connolly & Watts (2017) Connolly, K. , & Watts, J. (2017). World leaders react after Trump rejects Paris climate deal. The Guardian, June 1. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jun/01/trump-withdraw-paris-climate-deal-world-leaders-react
Davenoport & Lipton (2017) Davenoport, C. , & Lipton, E. (2017). How the GOP leaders came to view climate change as fake science. NY TIMES. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/03/us/politics/republican-leaders-climate-change.html
Ekins (2017) Ekins, E. (2017). The five types of Trump voters: Who they are and what they believe. The democracy fund voter study group. Retrieved from https://www.voterstudygroup.org/publication/the-five-types-trump-voters
Friesleben (2017) Friesleben, S. (2017). A guide to Trump’s past comments about NATO. CBS NEWS. Retrieved from https://www.cbsnews.com/news/trump-nato-past-comments/
Funk & Kennedy (2017) Funk, C. , & Kennedy, B. (2017). The politics of climate. Pew Research Center. Retrieved from http://www.pewinternet.org/2016/10/04/the-politics-of-climate/. Accessed on October 4, 2017.
Galston (2017) Galston, W. (2017). Paris agreement enjoys more support than Donald Trump. Brookings. Retrieved from https://www.brookings.edu/blog/fixgov/2017/05/31/paris-agreement-enjoys-more-support-than-trump/. Accessed on May 31, 2017.
Gillespie (2016) Gillespie, P. (2016). Trump hammers America’s ‘worst trade deal’. CNN. Retrieved from https://money.cnn.com/2016/09/27/news/economy/donald-trump-nafta-hillary-clinton-debate/
Glasser (2017) Glasser, S. (2017). Trump’s national security team blindsided by NATO speech. POLITICO. Retrieved from http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/06/05/trump-nato-speech-national-security-team-215227. Accessed on June 5, 2017.
Gold (2017) Gold, M. (2017). President Trump tells the FEC he qualifies as a candidate for 2020. The Washington Post, January 20. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/2017/live-updates/politics/live-coverage-of-trumps-inauguration/president-trump-tells-the-fec-he-qualifies-as-a-candidate-for-2020/?utm_term=.f59c503e0a31
Glover, Reston, & Williams (2016) Glover, S. , Reston, M. , & Williams, B. (2016). How Trump sees himself. CNN, April 1. Retrieved from https://www.cnn.com/2016/04/01/politics/how-donald-trump-sees-himself/index.html
Glueck (2016) Glueck, K. (2016). Donald Trump’s man on Israel. Politico. Retrieved from http://www.politico.com/story/2016/08/donald-trump-israel-jason-greenblatt-226651. Accessed on April 6, 2016.
Graham (2017a) Graham, D. (2017a). The many North Korea policies of the Trump administration. The Atlantic, February 25. Retrieved from https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2017/04/the-many-north-korea-policies-of-rex-w-tillerson/524736/
Graham (2017b) Graham, D. (2017b). Trump kicks off his 2020 reelection campaign on Saturday. The Atlantic, February 15. Retrieved from https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/02/trump-kicks-off-his-2020-reelection-campaign-on-saturday/516909/
Gray (2017a) Gray, R. (2017a). Trump’s backs away from terminating NAFTA. The Atlantic. Retrieved from https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/04/is-this-the-end-of-nafta/524460/. Accessed on April 26, 2017.
Gray (2017b) Gray, R. (2017b). Trump goes after the ‘ultimate deal’. The Atlantic. Retrieved from https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2017/05/trump-israeli-palestinian-peace-process/527649/. Accessed on May 22, 2017.
Harding (2017) Harding, L. (2017). ‘It had a big impact on me’ – story behind Trump’s whirlwind missile response. The Guardian. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/apr/07/how-pictures-of-syrias-dead-babies-made-trump-do-unthinkable
Jagannathan (2017) Jagannathan, M. (2017). Here are all the terrible things President Trump has said about NAFTA — before deciding to stick with it. Dailynews. Retrieved from http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/terrible-president-trump-nafta-article-1.3107104. Accessed on April 27, 2017.
Johnston (2017) Johnston, A. (2017). Three contradictions in Trump’s China policy (Thus Far). Fairbank center blog, January 18. Retrieved from https://medium.com/fairbank-center/three-contradictions-in-trumps-china-policy-thus-far-c34e8288cca6
Kilgore (2017) Kilgore, E. (2017). Conservative are losing their base to Trump. NYMag. Retrieved from http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/02/conservatives-are-losing-their-base-to-trump.html. Accessed on February 2, 2017.
Langer (2017) Langer, G. (2017). President Trump at 100 days: No honeymoon but no regrets (poll). ABCNEWS. Retrieved from http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/president-trump-100-days-honeymoon-regrets-poll/story?id=46943338. Accessed on April 23, 2017.
Lee & Lee (2017) Lee, C. , & Lee, S.-H. (2017). Trump’s Asia trip: Inconsistent US foreign policy? (No. 217). RSIS Commentaries. Singapore: Nanyang Technological University.
Levy (2017) Levy, P. (2017). Trump’s NAFTA choice: Rapid or radical? Forbes. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/phillevy/2017/05/19/trumps-nafta-choice-rapid-or-radical/#1c6b991d135c. Accessed on May 19, 2017.
Lima (2016) Lima, C. (2016). Trump calls trade deal ‘a rape of our country’. Politico. Retrieved from http://www.politico.com/story/2016/06/donald-trump-trans-pacific-partnership-224916. Accessed on June 28, 2016.
Liow (2017) Liow, J. C. (2017). The rise of Trump and its global implications: Trump’s Asia policy, two months on. RSIS Commentaries (No. 049). Singapore: Nanyang Technological University.
Marcin (2017) Marcin, T. (2017). What has Trump said about global warming? Eight quotes on climate changes as he announces Paris agreement decision. Newsweek. Retrieved from http://www.newsweek.com/what-has-trump-said-about-global-warming-quotes-climate-change-paris-agreement-618898
Matthews (2017) Matthews, D. (2017). Donald Trump has tweeted climate change skepticism 115 times. Here’s all of it. Vox. Retrieved from https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/6/1/15726472/trump-tweets-global-warming-paris-climate-agreement
Merica (2017) Merica, D. (2017). Trump, Xi talked Syria strike over ‘beautiful’ chocolate cake. CNN. Retrieved from http://edition.cnn.com/2017/04/12/politics/donald-trump-xi-jingping-syria-chocolate-cake/index.html
Miller (2017) Miller, Z. (2017). President Trump held a re-election rally after just a month on the job. TIME. Retrieved from https://time.com/4676011/donald-trump-melbourne-florida-rally/
Mintz (2004) Mintz, A. (2004). How do leaders make decisions? A poliheuristic perspective. Journal of Conflict Resolution, 48(1), 3–13.
Mintz (2005) Mintz, A. (2005). Applied decision analysis: Utilizing poliheuristic theory to explain and predict foreign policy and national security decisions. International Studies Perspectives, 6(1), 94–98.
Mintz & DeRouen (2010) Mintz, A. , & DeRouen, K. Jr. (2010). Understanding foreign policy decision making. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Mintz & Wayne (2016) Mintz, A. , & Wayne, C. (2016). The polythink syndrome: U.S. foreign policy decisions on 9/11, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Syria, and ISIS. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
Morgan (2016) Morgan, N. (2016). Why Trump won the election. Forbes. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/nickmorgan/2016/11/15/why-trump-won-the-election/#219be5df4615. Accessed on November 15, 2016.
Newport (2016) Newport, F. (2016). Jerusalem, Jews and the presidential candidates. Gallup. Retrieved from http://www.gallup.com/opinion/polling-matters/190283/jerusalem-jews-presidential-candidates.aspx. Accessed on March 24, 2016.
Newport (2017) Newport, F. (2017). Americans say Trump keeps promises, strong leader. Gallup. Retrieved from http://www.gallup.com/poll/203915/americans-say-trump-keeps-promises-strong-leader.aspx. Accessed on February 13, 2017.
Newport & Ray (2017) Newport, F. , & Ray, J. (2017). Public Opinion Context: Trump’s Trip to Middle East and Europe. Gallup. Retrieved from http://www.gallup.com/opinion/polling-matters/210872/public-opinion-context-trump-trip-middle-east-europe.aspx. Accessed on May 17, 2017.
Palmer (2016) Palmer, D. (2016). Politico – Harvard poll: Americans say: TPP who? Politico. Retrieved from http://www.politico.com/story/2016/09/americans-say-tpp-who-228598. Accessed on September 23, 2016.
Pew research center (2017) Pew research center . (2017). In Trump era, what partisans want from the congressional leaders. Pew research center. Retrieved from http://www.people-press.org/2017/02/22/in-trump-era-what-partisans-want-from-their-congressional-leaders/. Accessed on February 22, 2017.
Ravid & Tivon (2017) Ravid, B. , & Tivon, A. (2017). Behind the scenes of the Trump administration’s tug-of-war over the Israel embassy move. Haaretz. Retrieved from http://www.haaretz.com/us-news/.premium-1.790291?=&ts=_1503157595427. Accessed on May 22, 2017.
Relman (2017) Relman, E. (2017). Eric Trump says his ‘heartbroken and outraged’ sister Ivanka helped persuade their father to strike Syria. Business insider. Retrieved from http://www.businessinsider.com/ivanka-trump-helped-convince-her-father-to-strike-syria-eric-trump-says-2017-4. Accessed on April 11, 2017.
Riley (2017) Riley, C. (2017). Trump’s decision to kill TPP leaves door open for China. CNN. Retrieved from http://money.cnn.com/2017/01/23/news/economy/tpp-trump-china/index.html. Accessed on January 24, 2017.
Schallhorn (2017) Schallhorn, K. (2017). Why Trump’s promise to move the US embassy to Jerusalem is so controversial. Fox news. Retrieved from http://www.foxnews.com/world/2017/06/01/why-trumps-promise-to-move-us-embassy-to-jerusalem-is-so-controversial.html. Accessed on May 14, 2017.
Sheth (2017) Sheth, S. (2017). Canada says Trump’s advisers urged Trudeau to convince Trump not to tear up NAFTA — but the White House says otherwise. Business insider. Retrieved from http://www.businessinsider.com/kushner-was-reportedly-key-between-the-us-and-canada-for-nafta-talks-2017-5. Accessed on May 9, 2017.
Smith (2017) Smith, M. (2017). Most Americans support NATO alliance. Gallup. Retrieved from http://www.gallup.com/poll/204071/americans-support-nato-alliance.aspx. Accessed on February 17, 2017.
Sokolsy & Miller (2017) Sokolsy, R. , & Miller, A. (2017). Why Trump’s foreign policy can’t be stopped. Carnegie. Retrieved from http://carnegieendowment.org/2017/06/20/why-trump-s-foreign-policy-can-t-be-stopped-pub-71330. Accessed on June 20, 2017.
Solingen (2007) Solingen, E. (2007). Nuclear Logics: Contrasting paths in East Asia and the Middle East. Princeton University Press. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt7s0kp
Somin (2013) Somin, I. (2013). Partisan bias and public opinion on Trump’s Syria strike. The Washington Post. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2017/04/13/48229/?utm_term=.b60ff0b59a02. Accessed on April 13, 2017.
Stokes (2017a) Stokes, B. (2017a). Views of NAFTA less positive – and more partisan in U.S than in Canada and Mexico. PEW Research. Retrieved from http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/05/09/views-of-nafta-less-positive-and-more-partisan-in-u-s-than-in-canada-and-mexico/. Accessed on May 9, 2017.
Stokes (2017b) Stokes, B. (2017b). NATO’s image improves on both sides of the Atlantic. Pew research center. Retrieved from http://www.pewglobal.org/2017/05/23/natos-image-improves-on-both-sides-of-atlantic/. Accessed on May 23, 2017.
Telhami (2017) Telhami, S. (2017). Here is what Americans want Trump to do in the Middle East. Politico. Retrieved from http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/05/23/heres-what-americans-want-trump-to-do-in-the-middle-east-215182. Accessed on May 23, 2017.
Trubowitz (2017) Trubowitz, P. (2017). Trump is redefining America’s terms of international engagement. USApp – American politics and policy blog. Retrieved from http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/69365/. Accessed on January 11, 2017.
Vitali (2017) Vitali, A. (2017). The first 72 hours: How Trump decided on Syria missile strike. NBCnews. Retrieved from https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/white-house/first-72-hours-how-trump-decided-syria-missile-strikes-n743916. Accessed on April 7, 2017.
Ward (2017) Ward, B. (2017). President Trump’s speech on the Paris Agreement was full of confusion and bogus claims. London School of Economics and Political Science. Retrieved from http://www.lse.ac.uk/GranthamInstitute/news/president-trumps-speech-on-the-paris-agreement-was-full-of-confusion-and-bogus-claims/
Westwood & Antle (2017) Westwood, S. , & Antle, J. (2017). Steve Bannon and Scott Pruitt beat Kushner, Tillerson and Ivanka on Paris agreement. Washington examiner. Retrieved from http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/steve-bannon-and-scott-pruitt-beat-kushner-tillerson-and-ivanka-on-paris-agreement/article/2624758. Accessed on June 2, 2017.
White House (2017) White House . (2017). Foreign policy. Retrieved from https://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/foreign-policy/
- Introduction: How Do Leaders Make Decisions? An Applied Decision Analysis Account
- The Decision Calculus of Donald Trump
- Barack Obama’s Foreign Policy Decision Calculus
- The Decision Calculus of Benjamin Netanyahu
- The Decision Calculus of Winston Churchill
- Leaders’ Decision Calculi on Nuclear Armament and Disarmament
- The Influence of Military Background on Israeli Leaders’ National Security Decision-making