How much can you harm the United States as its president in a time span of one week? Donald Trump had a lot of work to do, and he took us on a tour of diplomatic destructions, which was shocking, but not that much surprising as one is led to believe.
First of all, POTUS humiliated the NATO allies. He obviously has an issue to differentiate a friend from a foe and this behavior towards our long-time partners is inexplicable. Secondly, Trump met with the Russian President Vladimir Putin and missed the opportunity to criticize him for the involvement of Russian hackers in the US elections and thus defend the Constitution of the United States and do his job for once.
With performance at the NATO summit in Brussels, Belgium and his meeting with Putin in Helsinki, Finland, the US president showed the world that he no longer wants to wait in his deconstruction of the US foreign policy. And no matter what the others around him do, stopping the man at the helm of the most powerful country of the world from wreaking havoc is a mission impossible.
From the presidential election and the Trump’s inauguration, we could have assumed what lied in store for the American people. Trump’s presidency is a big stress test for everyone involved, especially the leadership of the country. So far, the US policy was to advance the American interests in a global environment in which the United States, together with its allies and like-minded nations could prosper. However, with the arrival of the new president, there has been a slight change of plans.
According to Trump, the system the United States has constructed, something that previous presidents worked on diligently, is harming the country itself. Now he wants to demolish the system he doesn’t like and create a new one which will be more beneficial to the US. However, what has guided his diplomacy up to this point are his unassailable faith in deal-making abilities and the admiration he has for himself. These are all ingredients for defeat.
Currently, US military cooperation with NATO is as robust as at any time since the Cold War ended. There still hasn’t been a meaningful diplomatic reconciliation with Russia which is under heavy sanctions. In fact, the US and NATO presence have been strengthened in Eastern Europe. Meanwhile, POTUS wanted to withdraw the US forces from Afghanistan and South Korea, but luckily, he has been dissuaded, at least temporarily. On top of that, as the time passes, Trump is more prone to making foolish decisions.
He keeps reverting to his instincts no matter what the issue is – from the Iran nuclear deal to trade tariffs. He tries to approach Russia whereas he constantly bashes the US allies, without even thinking how this could backfire. Furthermore, he is no longer relying on his aides as much as before and even Secretary of Defense James Mattis is out of favor, according to several reports.
But Trump criticizing his allies and praising the dictator of a county is not something that happens for the first time. Now it is the NATO and Putin, and POTUS also had a shameful display at the G-7 summit recently, after which he praised a tyrant Kim Jong-un, North Korean dictator. With this foreign policy, Donald Trump is slowly but surely burning down the bridges until America remains stranded. Sure, America First policy is an option and the path this administration chose to follow, which many people have nothing against, but the way things are handled gives us a reason to worry. The US foreign policy could endure four years under Trump, with repairs required after that. However, eight years of such policy would force the next president to go with America First (Only) approach. Eight years is a long time, but now, even 2021 seems out of reach.