What is the Tunnel Wall?

.........................A timely collection of conservative articles about liberal influences on politics and culture in America ......................



Friday, February 24, 2017

Trump’s ‘Madman Theory’ Diplomacy

The president’s perceived volatility could help make his foreign policy a success.

Charles Krauthammer  "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 regarding Trump’s loud complaints about allied parasitism, in particular NATO members 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." . . .

Yet sometimes an off-center comment can have its uses. Take Trump’s casual dismissal of a U.S. commitment to a two-state solution in the Middle East. The next day, U.S. policy was brought back in line by his own U.N. ambassador. But this diversion might prove salutary. It’s a message to the Palestinians that their decades of rejectionism may not continue to pay off with an inexorable march toward statehood — that there may actually be a price to pay for making no concessions and simply waiting for the U.S. to deliver them a Palestinian state.


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