Monday, June 18, 2018

America's crumbling diplomacy

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President Trump has developed a knack for creating confusion and causing irritation among the world's important leaders. With all his negative moves of taking his country out of nearly every international alignment, one of the latest being the trade war he has launched against his allies in Europe as also Canada and Japan, he has demonstrated a gross inability to understand the nature of global diplomacy.

Prior to his departure for Canada a couple of days ago to attend the G-7 summit, he created new consternation among the member-nations of the group by openly suggesting that Russia should be readmitted into the association.

It is quite understandable that the issue of Russia versus the other members of the G-7 club is important. But it is one that is connected to recent Russian actions in such spots as Crimea, moves which led to its expulsion from the group.

The expulsion may not have been the best way of handling a situation which called for sobriety of a necessary sort. But while all of that is true, one does not quite see the point in Trump's emphasis on Russian re-entry into the G-7, which used to be G-8 before Moscow was shown the door.

The suspicion is that with the Mueller investigation increasingly throwing up new information about the Trump presidential campaign links to Moscow --- quite a few of people close to the President have already been indicted and one of them has been charged with witness tampering --- Trump could have a vested interest in advocating Russian re-entry into the G-7 or G-8 as it might be if and when Moscow is back in.

The point, however, is not one which concerns Russia. It is one which reflects the Trump personality once more. Under his presidency, America's relations with the outside world have hit an unprecedented low. It is not only the enemies the Trump White House perceives in such places as Iran that have been infuriated by its lack of diplomatic finesse.

Even Washington's long-term allies have been angered by the President's rash decisions. At least two global leaders, French President Emmanuel Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, are clear in their opinion that the US President's actions are less than diplomatic.

It is a sad moment for America and the world. Trump has been undermining every value which Americans have held dear in the decades since the end of the Second World War. And he has been insulting the rest of the world by policies that clearly are no policies at all. One will wait to see what he makes of his upcoming summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

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