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Trump's foreign policy
#1
Is weakening the US internationally:
  • Stepping out of the Paris climate deal (joining only two other countries, Nicaragua and Syria!) leaves a void for China to fill
  • Stepping out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, China is filling the void
  • His public assault on NATO partners has Putin rejoicing
  • He is estranging Germany as a partner, Merkel argued (publicly, highly unusual) that the EU can't fully rely on the US anymore. Putin will rejoice.
  • Destroying the soft power of the US by criticizing democratic allies and smooching to nasty strongman like Putin, Duterte, the Saudi's, Sisi of Egypt. It's amazing to see he gets so much better along with these rather than with Merkel or Macron.
Quote:President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement caused anger and anxiety across the world, with one major exception: China. With the US stepping away from its role as a leader of the global fight against climate change, Beijing is already moving to fill the void, giving it a chance to benefit both diplomatically and economically. It isn’t the first time Trump — who spent the campaign demonizing China — will have wound up giving Beijing a major chance to expand its standing on the world stage.
Trump pulling out of the Paris climate agreement is great news … for China - Vox

Quote:After Trump withdrew the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, China inserted itself into trade talks among other nations disappointed by America’s reversal. As Canada and Mexico have felt spurned by Trump during the runup to renegotiating NAFTA, China has emerged as a more reliable trading prospect. This isn’t happening quietly behind the scenes: At China’s first appearance at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Chinese President Xi Jinping chided the West for its flirtation with protectionism, and painted a picture of his country as a paragon of free trade and an inviting place for foreign investment.
Trump pulling out of the Paris climate agreement is great news … for China - Vox
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#2
Putin will be thrilled! From Business Insider:

President Donald Trump drew backlash last month after he did not explicitly endorse Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's founding document during his summit with NATO allies in Brussels. And it appears his own national security team was blindsided by it. The article, known as the collective-defense clause, stipulates that an attack on any member is an attack on all. It was invoked for the first time in response to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Five sources told Politico on Monday that US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, national security adviser H.R. McMaster, and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson worked with Trump on the speech for weeks and pushed hard for the Article 5 language to be included after viewing later drafts in which it had been taken out.

Lower-level members of Trump's national security team, meanwhile, were blindsided, according to the report.
"There was a fully coordinated other speech everybody else had worked on" — and it wasn't the one Trump gave, a White House official told Politico. Another national security source told Politico that the team "didn't know it had been removed."

"It was only upon delivery," the person said.

Trump said in his speech that the US would "never forsake the friends that stood by our side" in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. But he did not explicitly endorse Article 5, as every US president since Harry S. Truman has when speaking outside NATO headquarters.
Instead, Trump used the speech largely to lecture representatives from nearly two dozen member countries for not meeting their "financial obligations" to increase defense spending to 2% of gross domestic product.

It is unclear whether Trump deleted the line of his own volition or whether advisers such as Steve Bannon or Stephen Miller — each of whom views NATO with deep skepticism — pressured him to take it out.

Trump's omission left current and former NATO officials reeling, with many speculating that Russian President Vladimir Putin would be overjoyed by it.

"Putin will be thrilled at Trump's refusal to endorse Article 5," Tom Wright, the director of the Center on the United States and Europe and a fellow in the Project on International Order and Strategy at the Brookings Institution, said at the time. "Unimaginable under any other president."
Nicholas Burns, the US ambassador to NATO under President George W. Bush, said in an interview last month that it was "a major mistake" for Trump to not "reaffirm publicly and explicitly" the US's Article 5 commitment to NATO.
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#3
All these threats will only let the guy cling on more to his nukes, according to experts.

Quote:The back-and-forth between the US and North Korea has devolved into a full blown tit-for-tat as Washington and Pyongyang issue escalating, and competing, warnings. Experts say Trump's rhetoric will likely prompt North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to double down further. One expert said the rhetoric might heighten North Korea's fears that it is in a 'use 'em or lose 'em" position with respect to its missiles.

Reid Pauly, a PhD candidate in political science at MIT and predoctoral fellow at Harvard who researches nuclear proliferation, nuclear strategy, deterrence and assurance theory, said the "credibility of American military threats was only one contributor to the peaceful conclusion" of the Cuban missile crisis. "The others were the Jupiter missile trade and, most importantly, an American pledge not to invade Cuba," Pauly explained.  

"Fast forward to today, American power in the Western Pacific is not in doubt in Pyongyang. What is in doubt is the credibility of American and allied pledges not to intervene in North Korea. Until that fundamental security assurance is made credible, expect Kim to hang on to his nuclear deterrent," he added.
Trump, North Korea trade verbal blows as tensions escalate - Business Insider

It could also easily lead to miscalculations. Not good, this..
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#4
Quote:Vocal supporters of President Donald Trump on the far right slammed his decision to deploy additional troops to Afghanistan and ramp up engagement in the US's longest war. Many of the president's longtime boosters criticized his about-face on Afghanistan, a war he repeatedly pilloried in the years leading up to the 2016 election. Breitbart News, the site led by recently ousted White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, had a front-page Monday evening full of stories lambasting Trump's decision, referring to it as "unlimited war," and comparing his strategy to that of former President Barack Obama. Its top story described the speech as a "disappointment to many who had supported his calls during the campaign to end expensive foreign intervention and nation-building."
Trump Afghanistan speech faces backlash from far-right supporters - Business Insider

All that it takes to induce Trump is a few girls in miniskirts, lol..

Quote:H.R. McMaster, the national security adviser who still serves as a lieutenant general in the US Army, showed Trump a black-and-white image from 1972 of Afghan women walking through Kabul in miniskirts, according to The Post. McMaster ostensibly used the image to convince Trump that Western norms could exist in the country.
H.R. McMaster Donald Trump Afghanistan war plan decision - Business Insider
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#5
Apparently those new Trump troops were already there..

Quote:The Pentagon has more than 12,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday – about 3,500 more than the agency acknowledges publicly. The Pentagon publicly acknowledges some 8,500 troops as being deployed in Afghanistan. But according to the Wall Street Journal, another 3,500 are there on temporary assignment or some other status.

The Pentagon has typically only disclosed those troops on longer deployments, but omits those who move in and out of the country on a temporary basis. The revelation that the U.S. currently maintains more than 12,000 troops in Afghanistan comes a day after President Trump announced a new broad strategy for the country – the site of the United States' longest war.
US maintains 12,000 troops in Afghanistan: report | TheHill
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#6
Quote:A distinguished U.S. diplomat who was seen as a rising star at the State Department resigned after writing a searing letter to Secretary Of State Rex Tillerson, accusing him of gutting the department and damaging America’s standing across the world. Elizabeth Shackelford, who served as a political officer based in Nairobi for the U.S. mission to Somalia, lamented in a Nov. 7 letter obtained by Foreign Policy the “stinging disrespect” President Donald Trump’s administration had shown the diplomatic corps and how it was “driving” the department’s most experienced staff away in growing numbers.

“The cost of this is visible every day in Mission Somalia, my current post, where State’s diplomatic influence, on the country and within our own interagency, is waning,” Shackelford wrote. She said she was “shocked” when Tillerson, who stepped down as ExxonMobil CEO to serve as Trump’s secretary of state, told department employees that advancing human rights across the globe “creates obstacles to our ability to advance our national security interests.“ If Tillerson is unable to “stem the bleeding” and preserve the department’s mission, she added, “I would humbly recommend you follow me out the door.”

Trump’s administration has been harshly criticized for downplaying human rights issues in countries like Russia, Turkey, and the Philippines. Democratic lawmakers and former ambassadors have also accused Tillerson of gutting the department’s budget and staff at a critical and dangerous time, as difficult foreign policy challenges persist in the Middle East and on the Korean peninsula.
Star U.S. Diplomat Quits With Fiery Letter To Rex Tillerson
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#7
If wrecking the State Department is a policy..

Quote:The fact that Trump’s State Department is in shambles is not, at this point, debatable. Recent data from the American Foreign Service Association (AFSA), the professional organization for America’s diplomatic corps, found that 60 percent of State’s highest-ranking career officers quit during Trump’s first year; the number of applications to join the foreign service dropped by half. Fewer than half of all top-level positions, political appointees nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate, have been filled.

The question that remains is who’s to blame. A new article by journalist Ronan Farrow, published in the New Yorker on Thursday morning, sheds light on the question. The piece is deeply reported, featuring a wide-ranging interview with Tillerson conducted while he was in office. Farrow paints a damning picture of a dysfunctional State Department, brought to the brink of ruin by Trump and Tillerson in equal parts.
The State Department’s collapse, as explained by Rex Tillerson - Vox
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