“Senator John McCain liked to remind us that it is always darkest before it goes completely black. That may prove an apt metaphor for President Trump’s foreign policy. The past two years have been plenty dark, with a long list of self-inflicted wounds: tearing up the Iran nuclear deal, pulling out of the Paris climate accord, walking away from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, separating children from their parents at the border, insulting allies while embracing autocrats.

“But the administration has not faced an actual national security crisis that tests it and us in a profound way. There is no shortage of possible candidates — a major terrorist attack; a debilitating cyberattack; an infectious disease outbreak; an incident with North Korea, Iran, China or Russia that escalates into a broader conflict. Yet no administration in modern memory has been less prepared to deal with a true crisis than this one…”

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