I have been a critic of the foreign policy of this country for decades……and now is NO different except it has gotten worse with each passing day since January.
I recently made the observation….”our foreign policy sucks”……
After Bush then Obama and Clinton some were hoping for a new role for the US in global leadership…….
Jake Sullivan, a former senior foreign policy adviser to Hillary Clinton, is the Lowy Institute’s 2017 Distinguished International Fellow. This article is based on a lecture delivered at the National Gallery of Victoria, Australia on 15 June.
Three basic premises that formed the foundation of American foreign policy since 1945 are now in doubt.
First, the premise that our alliances are a strategic asset, and not a liability, for the US. Second, the premise that values as well as interests matter in the conduct of our foreign policy. Third, and most important, the premise that American foreign policy should operate on the positive-sum logic that we are safer, stronger, and more prosperous when we contribute to making others safer, stronger, and more prosperous.
I do not see a leadership role with the team that Trump has installed to run our foreign policy establishment…..
The SecState, Tillerson, show moments of clarity but then he slips back into the “yes man” status that Trump needs for his ego….he is witnessing the lessening of the US in the diplomatic field allowing the Pentagon to act mas a de facto State Department……
Defending his boss recently against charges that he’s heading up an incredible shrinking State Department, strategic adviser R.C. Hammond opined that the Secretary Rex Tillerson is thinking like a cowboy. Comparing words to bullets, he said “You carry a revolver with only six shots, and you don’t waste your bullets.”
Fair enough. Successful secretaries of State husband their resources and invest in issues that are strategic and strike at the right time. But five months in, and based on our long tenures at the State Department under both Republican and Democratic administrations, it seems pretty clear that at least in five cases, Tillerson’s gun jammed or the rounds he fired went wide of their mark. Presumably he has yet to use the sixth bullet — a frank conversation with the president about his presumed aspirations to be a consequential secretary of State. Will he?
Now it appears the the UN ambassador, Nikki Haley, is trying to act like a surrogate SecState……she needs to remember that she works for the State Department and not herself…….
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson doesn’t seem to enjoy being America’s top diplomat. He finds himself isolated in Foggy Bottom and not getting much love or cooperation from the White House. President Donald Trump often contradicts Tillerson’s statements on major issues, like the dustup between the Saudis and Qatar, in such a way as to indicate that Tillerson doesn’t have much influence over U.S. policy. Trump’s choice for the far less important post of ambassador to the United Nations seems to be having a much better time. Nikki Haley is speaking out frequently on issues such as human rights, Israel, Iran, and Syria in ways that make it clear that, like some of her predecessors, she understands that the U.N. post is the ideal bully pulpit. In an administration in which the country’s putative top diplomat is struggling to manage his department rather than advocating for U.S. values, Haley has become a kind of alternative secretary of state.
With the horrible decisions that Trump is making on the international stage is doing nothing to make the US appear strong….
Donald Trump does not travel well. At his first major summit, he was too tired to walk through the Sicilian streets with the other G7 leaders, and took to his golf cart. He literally pushed aside the prime minister of a small European country to stand at the head of the pack. He found himself in a minority of one over the Paris climate accord, rejecting arguments that he was ceding world leadership to China. And he was irritated by all the tough-guy talk from France’s president, Emmanuel Macron, who boasted to a French newspaper that his white-knuckle handshake with Trump was “a moment of truth”.
When he returned home, Trump’s response was to embrace his isolation. “I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris,” he declared as he pulled out of the Paris agreement, barely a month ago.
In short it will be a very long 4 years for American prestige and foreign policy…..the question should be will it ever reclaim it’s place internationally?
My thought….Not at this rate of decline.