These are dangerous times. We have a president whose foreign policy careens all over the track like an out of control stock car at Daytona; it’s wheels spinning and smoking, the driver, a novice politician who just wants to win the race but doesn’t even know how to start the car. So we watch, nervously, hoping “Car USA” isn’t obliterated.
Our foreign policy is a mess. Decisions are made not in the national interest, but in Trump’s interest, and mostly without planning of participation by others in the White House. He campaigned on “America First,” but it’s becoming “Trump Alone.” From The Daily 202 and the Washington Post:
- — “America First” is turning out to be America Alone, as the United States isolates itself from the world in ways not seen since the 1930s. Trump has pulled out of the Iranian nuclear agreement, the Paris climate accord and the Trans-Pacific Partnership. In all three cases, the president promised he would negotiate a better deal for the United States. He has not yet done so.
- The president launched a “trade war” against China, which he said would be easy to win. Then he blinked, with no meaningful concessions from Beijing.
- Trump said last May that securing peace in the Middle East would be “frankly maybe not as difficult as people have thought.” Then he poisoned the well by moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, giving up a possible bargaining chip that could lubricate a bigger deal.
We read in Axios this morning that the United States was closer to war with North Korea that was previously known:
And now that same dangerous uncertainty is back.
- The White House is now sufficiently suspicious of the intentions of Kim Jong-un — “Little Rocket Man” to Trump only eight months ago — that Pyongyang would likely have to grovel to get the president to personally re-engage.
- H.R. McMaster, who was President Trump’s national security adviser at the time, thought there was a real chance the Pentagon would have to confront Kim Jong-un militarily
- The U.S. was preparing for military contingencies with enough specificity that spooked the South Koreans, who were worried enough that they brokered the conversations with the North that led to the summit offer.
David From in the Atlantic has a great read on Trump’s foreign policy with this lead line:
“Gradually and then suddenly.” That was how one of Ernest Hemingway’s characters described the process of going bankrupt. The phrase applies vividly to the accumulating failures of President Trump’s foreign-policy initiatives.
And now we hear this morning that the summit may be back on for June 12. But who knows? The car is out of control. Let’s hope none of the spectators get hurt.