On Iran and anti-extremism, Trump strikes different note from his predecessors

May 22, 2017  |  PBS Newshour

Dickey Center Director Daniel Benjamin talked to the PBS Newshour about whether President Trump is making a shift in foreign policy after his trip to Saudi Arabia and the tone of the language he used there.

"He’s gone all in, in terms of standing with them [Sunni Arabs] and with the Israelis against Iran. I think that brings with it some challenges.

I think it’s also noteworthy that he pushed the Saudis and others to do more against terrorism themselves, but it was quite interesting that the way that he described terrorism, it was really kind of flat. It was in very good vs. evil terms, but no larger discussion of what the drivers of terrorism are, no discussion about bad governance, about economic stagnation, about any repression.

And, as a result, it leaves the impression that this is going to be purely about military law enforcement, and not anything else, which is really at odds with the policy we had, which was that you can’t shoot your way out of this."

Benjamin spoke with the Newshours's Judy Woodruff, along with Eliott Abrams at the Council on Foreign Relations, and Robin Wright at the U.S. Institute of Peace. 

Read the entire transcript of the interview at the PBS Newshour online

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