In the recent months, the White House has made numerous statements condemning various countries around the globe for their actions but has yet to act in a decisive fashion to stop them.
The current administration’s foreign policy has left many experts scratching their heads. The constant back and forth, carrousel-like personnel changes, and complete lack of strategy has seen White House officials scrambling, desperately trying to guess which one of his numerous agendas President Trump will be pursuing on any given day.
The latest fiasco with Russian sanctions is just an illustration of how indecisive his leadership has been. The US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley stated that new sanctions will be imposed on Russia, only to be contradicted just hours later by the President’s chief economic advisor Larry Kudlow. The newly appointed Kudlow was quick to say that the Ambassador was just confused and no new sanctions are coming down the pipe. Ms. Haley coolly retorted “With all due respect, I don’t get confused.”
It would seem that President Trump okayed the new sanctions, that did a 180 and threw a tantrum when he saw Ms. Haley announcing the on TV. Add the rumors of her and Vice President Pence running on a ticket together in 2020, and you get a picture of how confusing it must be working in the White House at the moment.
Yet, despite Presidents utter disregard for diplomatic procedures, his knowledge gaps in many areas, and his insistence on running his personal foreign policy via Twitter, the damage could have been much worse and certainly is less than what his critics have repeatedly warned us about.
The North Korea situation is seemingly heading towards a negotiating table, where only a few months ago it seemed that both leaders had their fingers on nuclear launch codes. Whether is this a natural cycle of threats and negotiations for North Korea or Mr. Trump had a real decisive impact, it is still a preferable outcome.
The recent strikes against Syria’s Bashar al-Assad’s forces accused of using chemical weapons against civilian population have won POTUS some respect from his allies, although some claim that strikes have been largely inefficient in reducing Syrian’s regime ability to fight the war. In the light of Russian statements and their heavy presence in the region, perhaps such strike was needed in order to prevent escalation, even if it was inefficient as critics say.
Finally, President Trump has even managed to utter a statement resembling a critic of Vladimir Putin, accused of annexation Crimea, invasion of Ukraine and attack on Sergei Skripal’s poisoning, perpetrated on British soil.
He even managed to mend some fences within NATO, by forming a surprising, yet functional relationship with France’s President Emmanuel Macron.
Still, there are some worrying aspects of his foreign policy, mostly caused by his impulsive behavior, which puts most world leaders on guard when dealing with him, as they can’t predict his reactions, and represents a constant danger to the international stability. U.S. military budget is a record one, something heavily frowned upon even by America’s allies. Finally, his attitude towards Iran deal is potentially very dangerous development in a region that is already strained to its limits. It remains to be seen whether Mr. Trump will manage to avoid mistakes committed by his Republican predecessor President Bush.