Loose Canons Trump-Style Diplomacy



Jed Babbin, American Spectator, December 5, 2016

It may not matter who he chooses for Secretary of State — though what if it’s Dana Rohrabacher?

For all the maneuvering, scheming, pleading, and plotting to influence who president-elect Trump names as our next secretary of state, it’s probably not going to matter much. The simple reason for that is that Trump is his own messenger, and whoever he chooses to be our chief diplomat may not be much more than a harried note-carrier.

Trump has been contacting other nations’ leaders since before he was elected. He diplomatic style is reminiscent of what Winston Churchill said of John Foster Dulles: “He is the only bull who brings his own china shop with him.” That’s not necessarily bad, because American diplomacy has for eight long years been a disaster that shunned our allies, embraced our enemies, and reduced us from a superpower to a France-like also-ran.

Trump’s international relations are styled just as his campaign was. He seems to be breaking every taboo and, for the most part, getting it right. But what he’s getting wrong may come back to bite him.

In August, Mexican President Peña Nieto invited both Trump and Clinton to visit. Only Trump went. Both Trump and Peña Nieto had mild reactions to the meeting, which apparently was cordial. The border wall was mentioned, but apparently there was no agreement who’d pay for it.


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