Trump

“Foreign policy analysts largely celebrated this concentration of power in the executive branch, and prior to Trump, their logic seemed solid. They pointed to the public’s ignorance of and Congress’lack of interest in international relations. As political gridlock and polarization took hold, elected Democrats and Republicans viewed foreign policy as merely a plaything for the next election. And so most foreign policy elites viewed the president as the last adult in the room.

What they failed to plan for was the election of a president who displays the emotional and intellectual maturity of a toddler. As a candidate, Trump gloried in beating up on foreign policy experts, asserting that he could get better results by relying on his gut. As president, he has governed mostly by tantrum. He has insulted and bullied U.S. allies. He has launched trade wars that have accomplished little beyond hurting the U.S. economy. He has said that he trusts Russian President Vladimir Putin more than his own intelligence briefers. His administration has withdrawn from an array of multilateral agreements and badmouthed the institutions that remain. The repeated attacks on the EU and NATO represent a bigger strategic mistake than the invasion of Iraq. In multiple instances, his handpicked foreign policy advisers have attempted to lock in decisions before the president can sabotage them with an impulsive tweet. Even when his administration has had the germ of a valid idea, Trump has executed the resulting policy shifts in the most ham-handed manner imaginable.”

– Daniel W. Drezner, “This Time Is Different- Why US Foreign Policy Will Never Recover”. Published in ‘Foreign Affairs’ May/June 2019 Edition.

Looking through Brexit tinted spectacles.

“If all of this sounds like [it is] confusing and opaque, that’s because it is. And if it sounds irresponsible and risky, please be reminded that as things stand, Brexit happens in 10 days.

Finally, don’t forget that this is just act one. If the Withdrawal Agreement is eventually approved, or if Britain tumbles out of the EU without an agreement being reached, what comes next promises to be even more intractable and more bitterly fought than anything we’ve seen so far. As one well-placed EU source said of the Brexit talks to date: “This was supposed to be the easy bit.”

(Via CNN News App

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