Daily Archives: May 29, 2018

“[I]t is not even clear that the president himself knows what that strategy is.”

The Washington Post Opinions: Trump’s actions on North Korea have consequences. Here’s a list of them. By Anne Applebaum, columnist. Published May 25, 2018.

“Remember, Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal didn’t automatically return the Middle East to where it was before the pact was signed in 2015: It returned us to a worse place. We’re now unable to reimpose sanctions on Iran because the coalition that enforced them is broken. Trump’s withdrawal from the Kim summit doesn’t return the Korean Peninsula to status quo ante either. Even if he returns to the negotiating table next month, we do not live in the same world that we lived in on March 7, the day before a plan for the now-canceled summit was announced. Actions have consequences. Here’s a list of them.

We don’t have the credibility that we had before. This is the most important consequence of Trump’s impulsive decisions, first to agree to a summit with no warning, and then to cancel the summit with no warning. The one “card” the United States has always held on the Korean Peninsula was its military presence, coupled with the presumption that, if provoked or attacked, U.S. forces would respond. Now that it’s clear how eager Trump was for a summit, how much he wanted the Nobel Peace Prize that Fox News promised him, and how rapidly he pivoted from calling Kim “Rocket Man” and “maniac” to “very open” and “very honorable,” any further bluster from the president will just sound ludicrous.

A U.S. president’s ignorance has been on naked display. I was with apolitical Polish friends in Warsaw just after the summit cancellation was announced. Normally they don’t pay much attention to North Korea, but this time they were filled with questions: Doesn’t Trump have any advisers?”