This post was edited by MichaelM at 2019-6-26 15:42|
Paul R. Pillar
Donald Trump, WorldEach of the administration’s failures to date can be explained in large part in terms of the details of the specific country and relationship involved. But some general shortcomings of the bullying approach to foreign relations are common to all the cases.Trump and The Art of the No Deal
Seemingly endless threats, insults, punishment, and attempts at coercion have been a leading feature of Donald Trump’s foreign policy. The pervasive bullying so far has not been matched by a comparable degree of positive results, as many have[color=rgb(25, 143, 255) !important]noticed. North Korea’s nuclear arsenal is no smaller than it was when Trump took office, it’s larger. The trade war with China is escalating rather than being resolved. Policy toward Iran is a multifaceted failure: Tehran hasn’t budged toward negotiation of any “better deal,” any claim that Iran’s behavior has improved is contradicted by the Trump administration’s other claims of new military threats from Iran, and now Iran is about to exceed nuclear limits that it had been scrupulously observing under a multilateral agreement that Trump has endeavored to destroy.
What has passed for success, mostly involving trade in North America, has followed the Trumpian model of starting a fire to claim credit for extinguishing it, and of claiming as a major breakthrough something that is barely different from a previous arrangement that Trump denounced as awful. Trump’s trade agreement with Canada and Mexico represents minor[color=rgb(25, 143, 255) !important]tweaks to the previous North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which Trump had[color=rgb(25, 143, 255) !important]assailed as “one of the worst trade deals ever made.”
Trump’s more recent threats of imposing tariffs on Mexico to get action on the unrelated matter of Central American migration have resulted in an understanding that involves measures Mexico was mostly[color=rgb(25, 143, 255) !important]taking already before the threats, including the promised deployment of a recently established paramilitary force that still mostly exists only on paper. The exact terms of the understanding remain unclear, as Mexico[color=rgb(25, 143, 255) !important]denies Trump’s claims of a “secret” agreement. But the major back down appears to have been on the U.S. side, including dropping insistence on moving directly to a “safe third country” treaty that would require Central American migrants to seek asylum in Mexico.