First, Trump’s priorities have changed. Until now, his comparative ignorance of international affairs has been reflexive and easy. He has been running for President and has had little political motivation to read up. Many of his supporters didn’t care about his global knowledge.
But now that dynamic has flipped. Trump knows that the weight of the free world will soon rest on his shoulders. And he knows that if he fails in office, he’ll be forever stained in the history books. In this sense, Trump’s self-obsession is actually a positive. For himself as much as for the world, he has good reason to get knowledgeable quickly. And as he gets knowledgeable, he will crave stability.
Because there’s a second issue at play here.
After all, Trump is about to get a lantern-guided tour of the foreign policy shadows — namely, highly sensitive intelligence briefings. Although Trump was briefed by the US intelligence community upon becoming the Republican nominee, it’s only now that he’ll receive the really deep-dive briefings. Just as President George W. Bush did for Sen. Barack Obama, President Obama will ensure that Trump gets fully up to speed before he enters the Oval Office.