President Trump was elected while criticizing almost every feature of foreign-policy orthodoxy. His own staff and generals reacted to this by giving him a condescending lecture on the rules-based international order that they intend to defend whatever the American president or the people electing him have to say about it.
Trump took a step toward a saner foreign policy merely by refusing to believe the myths used to prop up the failing status quo. But he failed to take the next step after that one, which would be to hire new personnel committed to restraint. He also fails to control his moods, and semi-regularly slips into a more-volcanic, Jacksonian mode of wanting to “bomb the sh** out of” some troublesome spot on the map.
But what has Warren offered to do differently, or better? She’s made no notable break with the class of experts who run our failing foreign policy. Unlike Bernie Sanders, and like Trump or Obama, she hasn’t hired a foreign-policy staff committed to a different vision. And so her promise to turn war powers back to Congress should be considered as empty as Obama’s promise to do the same. Her promise to bring troops home would turn out to be as meaningless as a Trump tweet saying the same.