Trump at One

The First Year of an "America First" Agenda

Donald Trump gestures to supporters as he departs a campaign rally in Clive, Iowa, U.S., September 13, 2016. Mike Segar / Reuters

President Donald Trump came into office promising to overthrow longstanding tenets of U.S. foreign policy. Since then, he has scorned allies, lauded enemies, and engaged in unrestrained Twitter battles with volatile world leaders. At Foreign Affairs we've covered it all and, more importantly, explained what it meansfor the United States, for its relations with other nations, and for the world as a whole. Here is a collection of some of our best analysis on the many key moments of Trump's turbulent first year as 45th president of the United States.

January 20, 2017: An "America First" Inaugural

In his brief address, Trump paints a bleak picture of the country, of one filled with "carnage" and littered with the "tombstones" of defunct factories. He declares, "From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land. From this moment on, it’s going to be America First." Read Walter Russell Mead's assessment of Trump's unprecedented election in "The Jacksonian Revolt."

January 23, 2017: Withdrawal From the Trans-Pacific Partnership

Within days of taking office, Trump pulls the United States out of the 12-nation trade deal. Read Salvatore Babones on why this move is a "gift to China." For an opposing view, read Jeffrey Kucik and Rajan Menon on why, perhaps, "China Will Miss the TPP."

January 27, 2017: A Hasty Travel Ban

As part of an effort to keep out what he calls "radical Islamic terrorists," Trump signs an executive order imposing a 90-day entry ban on citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries. Read Alex Nowrasteh's take on the "deplorable ban" and why it is ultimately "an expensive order that won't work." (Also read our explainer on why the term "radical Islamic terrorism" is problematic.)

March 6, 2017: Scrapping Obamacare

The Republicans introduce their proposal for repealing and replacing Obamacare, which would reduce the deficit by $119 billion over a decade but likely leave 23 million uninsured. Read Peter R. Orszag's response on why the plan is a "poor replacement."

April 7-8, 2017: A Summit With Xi Jinping

The president welcomes Chinese President Xi Jinping to his Palm Beach estate for a two-day summit. Read Graham Webster on the meaning of the Mar-a-Lago meeting.

April 7, 2017: A Bold Strike On Syria

After learning of President Bashar al-Assad's use of chemical weapons, Trump orders a missile strike on one of the Syrian regime's air bases. Read Dianne Pfundstein Chamberlain's evaluation of the strike and whether or not it will change Assad's behavior

May 20-21, 2017: The Saudi Summit

During his first international tour abroad, Trump stops by Riyadh to attend a two-day summit with over 50 Arab and Muslim-majority nations. Read Bilal Y. Saab's advice on how to make the talks a success and Madawi al-Rasheed on rethinking the relationship with Riyadh.

June 1, 2017: Stepping Away From the Paris Climate Accord

Speaking from the White House Rose Garden, Trump announces that he is withdrawing the United States from the landmark agreement, which was signed a year before by 195 nations. Read Robert N. Stavins' somber look at the consequences of abandoning the pact. For a more optimistic forecast, read Brian Deese's "Why the Climate Agreement Will Survive Trump."

June 16, 2017: Rolling Back Rapprochement With Cuba

During a trip to Little Havana, Miami, Trump announces his intentions of halting an Obama-era plan to ease relations with Cuba. Read Michael Bustamente's piece, in which he observes, "Perhaps the saddest reality of Trump’s half-measures is that they are not about Cuba at all."

July 4, 2017: North Korea Fires an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile

As an independence day "gift," North Korean leader Kim Jong Un test launches a missile that he claims can reach the U.S. mainland. Read Michael Fuchs's analysis on why diplomacy is the most realistic option for dealing with the trigger-happy rogue state. Read Abraham M. Denmark to understand the risks of a limited strike on North Korea. For more on the origins of the crisis, read our ebook, North Korea and the Bomb.

July 7, 2017: Trump's Long-Awaited Meeting With Putin

On the sidelines of the G-20 meeting in Germany, Trump has his first face-to-face with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Read more on U.S.-Russian relations, and why the tensions between the two can never be resolved—only managed—in this analysis by Eugene B. Rumer, Richard Sokolsky, and Andrew S. Weiss. Robert D. Blackwill and Philip H. Gordon, on the other hand, argue that relations can't be fixed and that it's time to hit Russia where it hurts. Read why in "Containing Russia, Again."

August 21, 2017: A New Surge in Afghanistan

Despite his promise for a U.S. retreat from Afghanistan, Trump approves the deployment of several thousand more American troops. Read Daniel Byman and Steven Simon's explanation of why Washington just can't seem to end this war.

October 13, 2017: Revisiting the Iran Nuclear Deal

Although not pulling out of the deal altogether, Trump refuses to certify it and threatens to abandon it if its terms aren't amended. Read Payam Mohseni and Sahar Nowrouzzadeh on how the decision sets the U.S. on a path toward isolation and confrontation.

October 17, 2017: The Fall of Raqqa

U.S.-backed forces deal a huge blow to the Islamic State (ISIS) by capturing its de facto capital. With Mosul retaken in July, ISIS has now lost significant swaths of its territory. Read Benjamin Bahney and Patrick B. Johnston's "Why ISIS Could Rise Again" for an account of how the group has used, in the past, a "tried-and-true playbook for bringing itself back from near death."

November 8, 2017: First Visit to China

During his five-day Asia tour, Trump visits Xi Jinping in Beijing. Read Mira Rapp-Hoopers' take on the encounter in "What China Wants From Trump."

December 6, 2017: Recognition of Jerusalem

Breaking with 70 years of U.S. policy, Trump announces the United States' recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Read Ghaith al-Omari's explanation of how this will affect Palestinian politics.

December 20, 2017: A Sweeping Tax Overhaul Moves Forward

The Republicans give Trump his first legislative victory, passing an unpopular tax bill quietly in the night. Read Alex Raskolnikov's criticisms of the tax plan and why, despite Trump's promises, its provisions offer no guarantee of growth.

January 21, 2017-Present: Trump's Alternative Facts

From his first full day as president to the present day, Trump has made a string of false claims. He's said that his inauguration crowd was over a million, that mainstream media is "fake news," that Hillary Clinton benefited financially from the nuclear deal, and that the United States is the "most-taxed nation in the world," among many many others. Read Keren Yarhi-Milo who points out that Trump's lies hurt America's credibility.

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