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9/20/2017

Trump ends Barack Obama’s U.N. Rule

Trump ends Barack Obama’s U.N. Rule

President Obama ended his first speech to the United Nations with a call to respect universal rights and the U.N. itself, saying all nations owed an obligation to the international body.

Eight years later, President Trump took a sledgehammer to that framework, saying Tuesday that it is the United Nations that needs to be reformed and declaring that sovereignty of individual nations must be a guiding principle.

The approaches of the two presidents, analysts and lawmakers said after Mr. Trump’s address, could not be more different. Mr. Trump’s remarks broke with his predecessor on style and substance, and he effectively ended an eight-year policy of apology for American actions — torture, Guantanamo Bay and general arrogance — and offer olive branches to bitter U.S. enemies.

Analysts say the 44th and 45th presidents simply view the world in far different terms. One argues that international institutions and cooperation are the keys to global order, and the other contends that America must come first in his decision-making and that multilateral groups too often cause more problems than they solve.

“There are not two presidents who represent the two poles of that more than Obama and Trump,” said James Carafano, vice president of foreign policy at the conservative Heritage Foundation. “Obama, at the end of the day, is a structuralism who believes that if you can get everybody into these international organizations and multilateral institutions that will promulgate norms of behavior that will condition states and prevent the need for conflict. Trump is exactly the opposite. In both of their U.N. speeches, you see that stark philosophical difference.”

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