The twenty-three simple words that just escaped from Donald Trump's mouth are enough to make libertarians cheer and neoconservatives cry. "I do not see a role in Libya," he explained. "I think the United States has, right now, enough roles. We're in a role everywhere."
Overstated and a bit vague, the statement was classic Trump. It was also the clearest statement of the president's evolving foreign policy since he took office.
After hurling Tomahawk missiles at Syria and rattling sabers at North Korea, it's clear Trump isn't prepared to retreat from the world stage altogether. At the same time, his most recent statement shows that an isolationist spark still burns inside the president's populist soul. He's also not prepared to return the United States to the war footing set by his two predecessors.
The current Trump doctrine amounts to carrying a big stick, tweeting loudly, and warning foreign actors not to cause too much trouble.
That's not the news Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni hoped for. In the last decade, Roman legions have stood shoulder to shoulder with American troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. Now Italy's looking for help putting Libya back together again after the fall of Muammar Gaddafi.
"I do see a role in getting rid of ISIS, we're very effective in that regard," Trump said referring to the terrorist group that has gained a footing in the region. "I see that as a primary role and that's what we're going to do, whether it's in Iraq, or Libya or anywhere else."
But for now, Trump doesn't seem interested in further intervention.
Philip Wegmann is a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner.