We enter into our third week of thew Trump presidency….and the area that I was most concerned with, foreign policy, is making news….lots of news.
To begin with we have a new SecState……
The Republican-led Senate has confirmed Rex Tillerson as President Trump’s secretary of state, the AP reports. Senators voted 56-43 largely along party lines to approve Tillerson’s nomination to be the nation’s chief diplomat. Most Senate Democrats opposed Tillerson’s nomination, angering Republicans who considered the former Exxon Mobil CEO to be highly qualified for the post.
That was the only thing that could inaccurately be called “good news”…..
Then the president spent some time on the phone with PM of Australia and the president of Mexico……
For decades, Australia and the U.S. have enjoyed the coziest of relationships, collaborating on everything from military and intelligence to diplomacy and trade. Yet an irritable tweet President Donald Trump fired off about Australia and a dramatic report of an angry phone call between the nations’ leaders proves that the new U.S. commander in chief has changed the playing field for even America’s staunchest allies.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was left scrambling to defend his country’s allegiance to the U.S. after The Washington Post published a report on Thursday detailing a tense exchange that allegedly took place during the Australian leader’s first telephone call with Trump since he became president. During the call, the Post reported, Trump ranted about an agreement struck with the Obama administration that would allow a group of mostly Muslim refugees rejected by Australia to be resettled in the United States. The newspaper said Trump dubbed it “the worst deal ever” and accused Turnbull of seeking to export the “next Boston bombers” — a reference to Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, U.S. citizens born in Kyrgyzstan who set off explosives at the 2013 Boston marathon.
Next up was a threat to the Mexican president…..
President Trump threatened in a phone call with his Mexican counterpart to send US troops to stop “bad hombres down there” unless the Mexican military does more to control them, according to an excerpt of a transcript of the conversation obtained by the AP. The excerpt of the call did not make clear who exactly Trump considered “bad hombres”—drug cartels, immigrants, or both—or the tone and context of the remark, made in a Friday morning phone call between the leaders. It also did not contain Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto’s response. Still, the excerpt offers a rare and striking look at how the new president is conducting diplomacy behind closed doors. Trump’s remark suggest he is using the same tough and blunt talk with world leaders that he used to rally crowds on the campaign trail.
“You have a bunch of bad hombres down there,” Trump told Pena Nieto. “You aren’t doing enough to stop them. I think your military is scared. Our military isn’t, so I just might send them down to take care of it.”
And now for the chest thumping toward Iran…….
President Trump’s national security adviser said the US is “officially putting Iran on notice,” without specifying exactly what that means, Reuters reports. According to NBC News, Michael Flynn made the remark during a “surprise appearance” at a White House press briefing Wednesday. It was spurred by a recent Iranian missile test that Flynn characterized as “destabilizing activity.” While Flynn didn’t offer specifics on how the US may respond, three senior administration officials tell CNN they are “considering a whole range of options,” including everything from economic sanctions to military action.
If these situations are true then I would say that we are off to a rough 4 years internationally….