Australian news, and some related international items

Donald Trump’s failures in international negotiations bring America’s reputation into disrepute, and lead the world towards war

Trump’s nuclear failures from Iran to North Korea
In just over a year, Donald Trump has managed to nudge the world closer to conflict on both ends of the Asian continent.
Aljazeera, by Richard Javad Heydarian, 25 May 18 

After months of exhilarating anticipation, US President Donald Trump abruptly ditched a scheduled summit with his North Korean counterpart, Kim Jung-un.

The American president vaguely cited North Korea’s “open hostility” and “trail of broken promises” as a pretext for calling off the historic meeting. Not short of bluster, he warned the North Korean regime against committing any “foolish or reckless acts”.

Trump has placed the American military on alert, signalling its readiness to engage in another round of brinkmanship with nuclear-capable North Korea.

And just like that, both protagonists are now back to square one. If anything, the American president may have snuffed the life out of an unprecedented opportunity to end the Korean conflict.

Just weeks earlier, the US unilaterally withdrew from the Iranian nuclear deal – a binding international agreement supported by all major powers, except Trump. To careful observers, both decisions were shocking, yet far from surprising.

The Trump administration simply lacks the basic strategic understanding and diplomatic finesse to cope with perplexing foreign policy challenges. When confronted with difficult geopolitical realities, Trump seems to prefer turning things into reality show episodes.

An unreliable superpower

Trump’s announcement was met by a melange of puzzlement, outrage and profound anxiety across the world. South Korea responded in total confusion, struggling to find a way out of the latest plot twist in the Trump-Kim saga.

South Korean presidential spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom admitted, “We are attempting to make sense of what, precisely, President Trump means.”

The visibly flustered South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who played an instrumental role in facilitating the summit, was confessedly perplexed. He described Trump’s decision as deeply “regrettable”.

……. Moon staked his presidency on unlocking the Korean conflict. In an event of actual war, Seoul, which lies within the range of North Korean artilleries, would likely be the first and biggest victim.

…..frustration is running high among allies. In recent days, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the de facto leader of the “free world”, went so far as stating that Europe can no longer rely on the US as a source of protection.

One by one, the US’ most important allies have openly questioned the Trump administration’s capacity for global leadership. For them, Washington is an increasingly unreliable superpower, which is beginning to threaten the existing international order with “Trump-style” leadership.

Edging towards conflict

Interestingly, North Korea responded with uncharacteristic restraint, expressing its continued “willingness to sit at any time, in any way to resolve issues”. All of a sudden, Pyongyang looked like the adult in the room.

Yet, it’s hard to imagine that the regime would maintain its equanimity for long………..

The upshot is that both Iran and North Korea now feel betrayed and increasingly outraged. And they will likely up the ante in response to Trump’s perfunctory decisions.

A year into power, the controversial American president has nudged the world closer to two potential conflicts on the opposite ends of the Asian continent.

More fundamentally, countries around the world, both friends and foes, are wondering whether the US is a country that can be negotiated with at all.

May 25, 2018 - Posted by | General News

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: