Trump’s foreign policy has devolved into chaos

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Trump’s foreign policy has devolved into chaos

#1

Post by Addie » Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:38 pm

WaPo
Trump’s foreign policy has devolved into chaos

It sounds unlikely, but the record shows that the most effective foreign policy adviser to President Trump since his election has been Barack Obama.

In their sole meeting, on Nov. 10, 2016, Obama managed to focus Trump on the most critical national security problem then facing the country: North Korea’s race to develop nuclear weapons capable of striking the continental United States. Trump went on to begin his presidency with a relatively effective, if erratic, campaign to raise the pressure on Kim Jong Un’s regime, which eventually responded by suspending its nuclear and missile tests and offering to negotiate.

Unfortunately, an underprepared and overconfident Trump muffed his summit meeting with Kim, leading the dictator to believe the United States would make extraordinary unilateral concessions; when that didn’t happen, the process stalled. Kim now seeks another meeting with Trump, no doubt in the hope of extracting from that soft mark what he couldn’t get from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo or any other sensible U.S. negotiator.

In the meantime, the relative rationality that Obama managed to inspire — Trump’s concerted effort to address the most urgent international problem facing the United States — has disappeared. The administration’s foreign policy is now a scattershot mess of improvised initiatives, some aimed at real problems, some not. Big challenges that would preoccupy a normal White House — such as the historic refu­gee crisis in Latin America caused by Venezuela’s implosion, or the genocidal campaign by Myanmar’s army against its Rohingya minority — are all but ignored. Eccentric follies, such as the cold war with Canada, take center stage.


Democracy is a garden that has to be tended. -Barack Obama

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Re: Trump’s foreign policy has devolved into chaos

#2

Post by Addie » Tue Oct 02, 2018 12:19 pm

Foreign Policy
Putin and Xi Outrank Trump in Global Confidence Poll

Merkel and Macron come out far ahead in a new Pew Research survey.


Global opinion of U.S. President Donald Trump has sunk so low that the world now appears to have more confidence in the leadership of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping, according to a new Pew Research Center survey of some 26,000 people across 25 countries.

The survey showcases the sharp decline in America’s image and standing abroad since Trump took office nearly two years ago and began a series of unilateral trade wars and a campaign of harsh criticism of global institutions, including the United Nations.

When asked about their confidence in specific world leaders to “do the right thing regarding world affairs,” a median of 30 percent of respondents across the surveyed countries expressed confidence in Putin, compared to only 27 percent who had confidence in Trump.

Both Trump and Putin lagged behind Xi, who came in at 34 percent. And other prominent world leaders ranked far ahead of those three, among them French President Emmanuel Macron, who was rated favorably by a median of 46 percent of respondents, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, in whom 52 percent expressed confidence.

A median of 70 percent of respondents across the 25 countries surveyed said they have no confidence in Trump. Strikingly, however, that has not translated directly into a lack of support for the United States. A median of 63 percent among all countries preferred the United States as the world leader, while only 19 percent preferred China.

The poll comes as Trump nears his two-year mark in the Oval Office, an era defined by a U.S. retreat from multilateralism abroad and dramatic chaos within, from top advisors being indicted on criminal charges to Cabinet members being sacked on Twitter. As he grows more comfortable in the role of president, Trump also appears to be doubling down on controversial stances on trade and defense that have alienated some allies, as well as leaning more heavily on foreign-policy aides who reinforce his own instincts—such as National Security Advisor John Bolton and policy advisor Stephen Miller—rather than ones who put a check on them, namely former National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster and former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
Adding:
CNBC: Xi and Putin are more trusted than Trump in world affairs, global Pew survey shows



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Re: Trump’s foreign policy has devolved into chaos

#3

Post by Addie » Tue Oct 02, 2018 1:11 pm

WaPo
Poll: Americans worry U.S. is losing allies, support for global engagement rises

Americans reject key elements of President Trump’s “America First” agenda, expressing near-record support for global engagement amid widespread worries that the United States is losing allies around the world, according to a poll from the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

The newly released survey shows majorities offering positive attitudes about the value of international trade, the Paris climate accord and the Iran nuclear agreement. A majority also agrees the United States should make concessions to other U.N. countries in the conduct of foreign affairs. Notably, support for these views has increased since a similar poll taken a year ago, with several attitudes changing among Republicans and independents as well as Democrats. ...

The survey, conducted in July among 2,046 U.S. adults, found that 70 percent of Americans say it is best for the United States to take an active part in world affairs, up from 63 percent in 2017 and 58 percent in 2014. At the same time, 57 percent say that this country has been losing allies over the past year, while 56 percent say relations between the United States and other countries have been worsening in general.

On Monday, Trump touted Mexico and Canada’s agreement to modify the North American Free Trade Agreement, which he had labeled one of the worst trade deals in U.S. history. The survey found support for the original deal rising from 53 percent last year to 63 percent this summer, the highest level in Chicago Council surveys since 2004.



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Re: Trump’s foreign policy has devolved into chaos

#4

Post by Addie » Tue Oct 02, 2018 3:24 pm

WaPo - Paul Waldman
Trump has deeply damaged America’s global image. How much does it matter?

In the world that President Trump likes to portray, before he took office America was a dystopian nightmare where no one had jobs, crime was rampant, no one said “Merry Christmas” for fear of being beaten into submission by the Political Correctness Police, and life was generally an unending torture of misery and hopelessness.

Then when he was inaugurated, the clouds dispersed and the country experienced a new dawn of prosperity and joy. This contrast extends beyond our borders: Supposedly, America was laughed at and looked down on, but with him now at the helm, we are finally respected and admired again.

Trump says this a lot: Around the world, America is finally respected again. But in fact, the picture he paints is pretty much the opposite of the truth. We need to ask, however, how much that actually matters. ...

So he regularly questions our involvement in NATO, which has been a force for international stability for seven decades, because he somehow thinks we aren’t getting enough out of the deal. As far as Trump is concerned, if you aren’t screwing someone over, you’re the one getting screwed, whether it’s a negotiation over some gold-plated toilets for your apartment or maintaining peace in Europe. He views it like the old saying about the poker table: If you look around and you don’t know who the sucker is, that means you’re the sucker. And there are few things more important to Donald Trump than not being the sucker.

But what happens when everyone understands that that’s your guiding idea in approaching them? Trump is surely aware that when you make clear your desire to dominate and humiliate others, they may not be too happy about it. But he would also no doubt argue that that’s just too bad: We’re the biggest and the strongest, and so we should be able to dictate the terms of any relationship to our own benefit.



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Re: Trump’s foreign policy has devolved into chaos

#5

Post by Volkonski » Wed Oct 03, 2018 1:21 pm


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BOLTON: "We will commence a review of all international agreements that may still expose the US to purported binding jurisdiction dispute resolution in the International Court of Justice"

Bolton is basically announcing that the US is becoming a rogue state.


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Re: Trump’s foreign policy has devolved into chaos

#6

Post by Volkonski » Wed Oct 03, 2018 1:23 pm

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Earlier Wednesday, Sec. Pompeo announced that the US is terminating the treaty the 1955 Treaty of Amity with Iran after the UN's highest court ordered the US to lift some sanctions on Iran.

12:22 PM - 3 Oct 2018


Image“If everyone fought for their own convictions there would be no war.”
― Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace

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Re: Trump’s foreign policy has devolved into chaos

#7

Post by Addie » Mon Nov 05, 2018 12:20 pm

WaPo
Washington thinks voters hate foreign entanglements. The data says otherwise.

Americans consistently tell pollsters they favor alliances, NATO, trade and even the United Nations. ...


There’s only one problem with the notion that Americans want to retreat from the world: They don’t. They tell pollsters they favor a broad and active role for the United States, and they have done so for decades. If anything, public support for American leadership abroad has increased as voters have seen firsthand what “America First” means in practice.

The public’s increased appreciation for the old way of doing business — let’s call it internationalism — can be seen in the latest survey by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. The Council has been polling public attitudes on foreign policy since 1974, and its surveys offer some of the clearest insights into how views have and haven’t changed as the United States withdrew from Vietnam, won the Cold War, launched a war on terrorism, and shifted to putting America first.

Take the broad question of what role the United States should play in the world. Seventy percent of Americans want it to take an active role in world affairs. That is six percentage points higher than when Trump was elected. The only time that question recorded a higher level of support in the past 44 years came just after Sept. 11, 2001, when 71 percent favored an active U.S. role abroad.

The public’s preference for internationalism holds in specific circumstances. Ninety-one percent say that it is more effective for the United States to work with allies and other countries to achieve its foreign policy goals than to go it alone. Sixty-four percent say that the United States should be more willing to make decisions within the United Nations, and with its allies, even if that means Washington might have to adopt a policy that is not its first choice. That’s the highest support recorded for that question in a dozen years.

And Americans understand that having allies possibly means having to defend them. Asked what the United States should do if an ally is invaded or has its territory seized by another country, respectively 85 percent and 73 percent of Americans support sending in U.S. troops. Asked specifically about defending Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Japan and South Korea against invasion, strong majorities say the United States should fight.

Americans also like having allies and military bases overseas. Seventy-five percent believe the United States should maintain or increase its commitment to NATO, a level of support that has held steady for years. Six in 10 Americans also want to keep U.S. military bases in Germany, Japan and South Korea. Strikingly, support for overseas military bases in these three countries and elsewhere has risen by 10 percentage points or more over the past decade.

Nowhere is the support for internationalism more robust than on trade. Eighty-five percent of Americans say international trade is good for consumers like them; 82 percent say it is good for the U.S. economy; and, most surprising given Trump’s insistence that trade deals cost jobs, 67 percent say trade is good for creating jobs in the United States.



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Re: Trump’s foreign policy has devolved into chaos

#8

Post by Addie » Mon Nov 19, 2018 10:45 am

The Atlantic
The End of the American Order

At an international conference, allies grieved the loss of the United States they had believed in.


The Halifax Security Forum is designed to be a gathering of the world’s democratic countries, which are allied to protect each other. Hosted by the Canadian defense minister, the Forum’s signature is the brief videos that introduce the annual gathering. This year’s intro showed relay runners, mostly American, at the Olympics from Berlin in 1932 forward, ending in an uncertain baton handoff—a powerful metaphor for the Free World’s worries about American leadership in the age of Trump.

The Halifax Forum, occurring just after President Trump unleashed yet another petulant tirade against Germany and France that culminated in the unseemly taunt that Parisians were speaking German until the U.S. intervened in World Wars I and II, had a funereal feel this year. Allies are grieving the loss of an America they believed in, as it sinks in that they cannot rely on us any longer.

The U.S.’s senior military officer, General Joseph Dunford; the commandant of the Coast Guard, Admiral Karl Schultz; and the INDOPACOM commander, Admiral Philip Davidson, all participated and gave strong, sensible remarks. There was no policy representation from the civilian leadership of the Department of Defense; no senior diplomats or White House officials managed to make time for the country that took in American flights after September 11, or those nations that invoked NATO’s mutual-defense clause after we were attacked, or those countries struggling to become more democratic in our image. Experts on civil-military relations worried about the optics of only uniformed military personnel delivering American policy messages, but sorrowfully acknowledged that it was better to have the military provide forces of institutional stability than to leave allies completely adrift. ...

It’s not just that allies don’t believe the reassuring voices in the administration; they are tired of tuning into the malicious circus of American politics and policies. They’re exhausted with our solipsism and drama, disappointed with our indifference to anyone else’s problems and politics. They are resigning themselves to a world without American inspiration or partnership, to a post-American international order.



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Re: Trump’s foreign policy has devolved into chaos

#9

Post by Addie » Fri Nov 23, 2018 10:42 am

Foreign Policy
How One Top Diplomat Dissented on Trump’s Immigration Policies

The under secretary of state dissented on Trump’s decision to revoke temporary protected status to some immigrants but was overruled.


Tom Shannon, who was the State Department’s highest-ranking career diplomat until he retired in June, waged a quiet bureaucratic protest last year in an attempt to prevent the Trump administration from canceling a humanitarian program that affects hundreds of thousands of immigrants.

Shannon, who is widely respected in diplomatic circles though his name is not well-known outside Washington, added a personal note of dissent to a State Department memo sent to then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. His action spotlighted a relatively obscure but important feature of diplomacy in the United States: a formal dissent process that allows State Department employees to send objections to policies directly to the secretary without fear of retribution.

Shannon’s appeals went unheeded; last May, the administration announced it would revoke the temporary protection status for Salvadoran, Nicaraguan, Haitian, and Sudanese citizens, some of whom have lived in the United States for decades. The decisions potentially open more than 300,000 people to deportation.

But his story, which he shared with Foreign Policy, is an example of how some civil servants have voiced protest and tried to push back against Trump administration policies viewed as excessive or inhumane.

“One of my purposes was to ensure that the shame did not fall on the Foreign Service or the State Department,” said Shannon, who has largely avoided the limelight since leaving government. “[It’s] bad in terms of its human consequences, because it will lead to the largest forced removal of people in our history. But also, bad in terms of our foreign policy because it called into question our reliability as a partner with [these] countries … that are now part of a larger migration crisis.”



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Re: Trump’s foreign policy has devolved into chaos

#10

Post by Addie » Mon Dec 03, 2018 12:21 pm

WaPo - Jennifer Rubin
Trump’s not winning anything, anywhere ...

Our European and North American allies scorn and distrust Trump, revile his pullout from international agreements and his erratic trade threats, and rightly see him as unable to lead the West in an existential battle against illiberal regimes. ...

Let’s be blunt: The only significant foreign policy “achievements” Trump can claim are eviscerating our reputation as a reliable ally that defends human rights and giving autocrats the impression that they can get away with murder (and dismemberment and more) without paying any significant price.

This is an administration that can claim not a single substantial foreign policy achievement. We are arguably less influential and more isolated than we were when Trump took office. (The irony is that we presently mourn the death of President George H.W. Bush, who masterminded the transition from the Cold War, the reunification of Germany, the ouster of Panamanian thug Manuel Antonio Noriega and the construction of a broad coalition that achieved victory in a Middle East war without getting bogged down in a long-term occupation.) ...

This is what comes from nationalistic know-nothingism, from deploring the very institutions and relationships that have kept us from world war and spread prosperity since the end of the WWII. It’s what flows from a foreign policy that amounts to a series of discrete gestures to please his base (move the embassy to Jerusalem, get out of the JCPOA and Paris accord) but lacks an answer to the question that follows each of these moves: What next?

Trump doesn’t know or care. A vision of American leadership? A road map to combat threats from illiberal regimes? Please. All Trump has ever wanted is a red carpet and praise. And even the latter is in short supply these days outside Saudi Arabia and Israel.



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Re: Trump’s foreign policy has devolved into chaos

#11

Post by kate520 » Mon Dec 03, 2018 1:27 pm

Trump is a solo practitioner. He doesn’t care about anyone but himself and he can’t imagine a world in which nations care about a common weal outside their own nation. He doesn’t, therefore no one else does, either. They’re lying. No such thing as strategic alliances, don’t be stupid they’re just using us. smh.

I almost feel sorry for him these days. Can you imagine what it must be like to live in his head? :rotflmao: :rotflmao: :rotflmao:


DEFEND DEMOCRACY

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Re: Trump’s foreign policy has devolved into chaos

#12

Post by Notorial Dissent » Mon Dec 03, 2018 1:52 pm

kate520 wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 1:27 pm
Trump is a solo practitioner. He doesn’t care about anyone but himself and he can’t imagine a world in which nations care about a common weal outside their own nation. He doesn’t, therefore no one else does, either. They’re lying. No such thing as strategic alliances, don’t be stupid they’re just using us. smh.

I almost feel sorry for him these days. Can you imagine what it must be like to live in his head? :rotflmao: :rotflmao: :rotflmao:
Oh, thank you, that is a punishment I wouldn't even remotely want to ponder or consider. Some people have mind palaces, he has a madhouse of his own making.


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Re: Trump’s foreign policy has devolved into chaos

#13

Post by Chilidog » Mon Dec 03, 2018 2:46 pm

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Re: Trump’s foreign policy has devolved into chaos

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Post by Chilidog » Mon Dec 03, 2018 2:47 pm

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Re: Trump’s foreign policy has devolved into chaos

#15

Post by Jim » Mon Dec 03, 2018 3:18 pm

Off Topic
Which reminds me, the creator of Spongebob Squarepants passed away last week...

https://variety.com/2018/tv/news/sponge ... 203037362/

My daughter (24) was heartbroken.



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Re: Trump’s foreign policy has devolved into chaos

#16

Post by Addie » Wed Dec 05, 2018 9:56 am

WaPo
‘Chaos breeds chaos’: Trump’s erratic and false claims roil the globe. Again.

After his Argentine steak dinner last weekend with Chinese President Xi Jinping, President Trump announced that they had reached an “incredible deal” to temporarily suspend his trade war. But days later, Trump declared, “I am a Tariff man.”

Trump last week proposed stripping away electric-car subsidies from General Motors as punishment for the automotive giant moving to cease production at plants in the United States and Canada. But then his chief economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, said the White House would do no such thing. Targeting a single company, he explained, would be illegal.

Then there is the way Trump talks about how the economy works — imprecise at best, ignorant at worst. For instance, the president routinely says that China and other countries are paying billions of dollars to the United States because of his tariffs. But that is false. Tariffs are paid by companies, often U.S. firms, that import foreign-made products.

Once again this week, world leaders, U.S. lawmakers and jittery investors have been reminded that Trump’s words cannot always be trusted.

The whiplash nature of Trump’s economic policies and pronouncements bore tangible consequences on Tuesday, when U.S. stock markets cratered amid investor skepticism of Trump’s China talks. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 799 points, or 3.1 percent, while the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index fell 3.2 percent and the Nasdaq dropped 3.8 percent.



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Re: Trump’s foreign policy has devolved into chaos

#17

Post by Addie » Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:16 am

The Guardian: Trump's European diplomats tied in knots over rise of populism

The CEU in Hungary is the latest victim of the US’s mishandling of foreign policy



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Re: Trump’s foreign policy has devolved into chaos

#18

Post by Volkonski » Mon Dec 10, 2018 10:24 am

Trump admin looks to counter China, Russia's growing power in Africa with new strategy

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/nation ... d_nn_tw_ma
Trump's gaffes, travel bans and derogatory remarks about Africa have created friction with African governments. In January, Trump referred to Haiti and African states as "s---hole countries" and last year in a meeting with several African leaders, the president referred to Namibia as "Nambia."

:snippity:

It took more than a year for Trump to meet an African head of state and to fill key U.S. diplomatic posts for Africa, with some ambassadorships still vacant. African governments have interpreted the slow pace of appointments as a sign that the White House places little importance on Africa, experts and former U.S. diplomats said.

The planned Africa strategy does not call for devoting more funding for U.S. diplomacy, intelligence gathering or aid, but instead argues for using existing resources more effectively, an administration official and a defense official said.

Given that the White House has no plans to dramatically expand U.S. resources devoted to Africa, it's not clear how the administration will succeed in countering China, Russia or other adversaries, experts said.


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Re: Trump’s foreign policy has devolved into chaos

#19

Post by RTH10260 » Mon Dec 10, 2018 1:15 pm

Volkonski wrote:
Mon Dec 10, 2018 10:24 am
Trump admin looks to counter China, Russia's growing power in Africa with new strategy

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/nation ... d_nn_tw_ma
:snippity:
The planned Africa strategy does not call for devoting more funding for U.S. diplomacy, intelligence gathering or aid, but instead argues for using existing resources more effectively, an administration official and a defense official said.

Given that the White House has no plans to dramatically expand U.S. resources devoted to Africa, it's not clear how the administration will succeed in countering China, Russia or other adversaries, experts said.
Hadn't TRex already stripped down the diplomatic representation abroad as well as their contacts within the State Department ?



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Re: Trump’s foreign policy has devolved into chaos

#20

Post by Addie » Fri Dec 21, 2018 10:28 am

New York Times
America’s Allies Fear That Traditional Ties No Longer Matter Under Trump

BRUSSELS — America’s allies in Europe and Asia thought they had learned to digest and compensate for the instinctive unpredictability of President Trump. But the bitter resignation of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and the abrupt announcement of plans to withdraw troops from Syria and Afghanistan are being viewed as watershed moments for Washington’s relations with the world.

Many countries were already trying to recalibrate their relations with Mr. Trump, who views traditional allies as competitors. From South Korea to Japan, France to Germany and other countries in the NATO alliance, senior officials have been talking aloud about how to do more on their own and ways to be less reliant on a Washington focused on “America First.”

But they also had faith in Mr. Mattis, who presented himself as a man of continuity and of traditional alliances, and who worked to strengthen them considerably regardless of the views held in the White House. He was also regarded by traditional allies as their most sympathetic and effective conduit to Mr. Trump, and as the “adult” of last resort able to restrain, balance or ignore the whims of an unpredictable president.

This is “a morning of alarm in Europe,” Carl Bildt, a former prime minister of Sweden, said on Twitter on Friday. He added that Mr. Mattis was seen as the last “strong bond across the Atlantic in the Trump Administration,” since “all the others are fragile at best or broken at worst.”

For François Heisbourg, a former French defense official, it was a watershed moment of an American president under fire, in open opposition to his intelligence and military structures, acting with utter disregard for traditional American allies in his sudden decisions to pull troops out of Syria and Afghanistan.
Adding:
BBC News: Trump's erratic foreign policy course



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Re: Trump’s foreign policy has devolved into chaos

#21

Post by Volkonski » Wed Dec 26, 2018 3:34 pm

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In Iraq, President Trump says that he gave generals multiple time extensions to get out of Syria, but now, "you’ve had enough time."

The United States cannot continue to be the policeman of the world."
But if the US doesn't do it someone else will step into the void that we leave. :?


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Re: Trump’s foreign policy has devolved into chaos

#22

Post by RTH10260 » Wed Dec 26, 2018 7:04 pm

Volkonski wrote:
Wed Dec 26, 2018 3:34 pm
NBC News @NBCNews

In Iraq, President Trump says that he gave generals multiple time extensions to get out of Syria, but now, "you’ve had enough time."

The United States cannot continue to be the policeman of the world."
But if the US doesn't do it someone else will step into the void that we leave. :?
:doh: obviously a ignorant person who did not notice that economic relations will be with the entity that offers you protection (and he is said to be leaning with the mob). Obviously didn't connect the dots about his international business that worked so nicely cause the US was(?) the policeman of the world.



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Re: Trump’s foreign policy has devolved into chaos

#23

Post by Volkonski » Mon Jan 07, 2019 12:36 pm

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House Armed Services Chairman Adam Smith, speaking to @KateBolduan, on Trump's Syria policy: "He's changing course like a drunken sailor... All we have is the emotional rantings of a child. And he goes back-and-forth" based on the last conversation he had, which "undermines" U.S.

10:33 AM - 7 Jan 2019
Trump will probably not tweet approvingly about this Smith quote. ;)


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Re: Trump’s foreign policy has devolved into chaos

#24

Post by Volkonski » Mon Jan 07, 2019 4:44 pm

:roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: There aren't enough :roll: s in the world for this.
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Drafts of Pompeo's speech later this week in Cairo also have him praising the Saudis for their handling of the Khashoggi case & saying Iran should learn from Saudi Arabia on human rights & the rule of law.


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Re: Trump’s foreign policy has devolved into chaos

#25

Post by Slim Cognito » Mon Jan 07, 2019 5:36 pm

Volkonski wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 4:44 pm
:roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: There aren't enough :roll: s in the world for this.
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Drafts of Pompeo's speech later this week in Cairo also have him praising the Saudis for their handling of the Khashoggi case & saying Iran should learn from Saudi Arabia on human rights & the rule of law.
:sick: :sick: :sick: :bigvomit:


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