Monday, February 27, 2017

Krauthammer: Foreign Policy Of Good Cop Vs. Bad Cop


Charles Krauthammer offers his take on President Trump's foreign policy in a column published in the Philadelphia Inquirer.

At the heart of Donald Trump's foreign policy team lies a glaring contradiction.

On the one hand, it is composed of men of experience, judgment, and traditionalism. Meaning, they are all very much within the parameters of mainstream American internationalism as practiced since 1945. Practically every member of the team - the heads of State, Homeland Security, the CIA, and most especially Defense Secretary James Mattis and national security adviser H.R. McMaster - could fit in a cabinet put together by, say, Hillary Clinton.

The commander in chief, on the other hand, is quite the opposite - inexperienced, untraditional, unbounded. His pronouncements on everything from the "one China" policy to the two-state (Arab-Israeli) solution, from NATO obsolescence to the ravages of free trade, continue to confound and, as we say today, disrupt.

The obvious question is: Can this arrangement possibly work? The answer thus far, surprisingly, is: perhaps.

The sample size is tiny but take, for example, the German excursion. Trump dispatched his grown-ups - Vice President Pence, Defense Secretary Mattis, Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson - to various international confabs in Germany to reassure allies with the usual pieties about America's commitment to European security. They did drop a few hints to Trump's loud complaints about allied parasitism, in particular shirking their share of the defense burden.

Within days, Germany announced a 20,000-man expansion of its military. Smaller European countries are likely to take note of the new setup. It's classic good-cop, bad-cop: The secretaries represent foreign policy continuity but their boss preaches America First. Message: Shape up.

You can read the rest of the column via the below link:

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