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TheBrokenChessboard.jpg Trumpist mal-pensants are now justifying their leader’s insulting behaviour before, during and after the G7 as a brilliant strategic attempt to send a “message” about “toughness” to North Korea on the eve of the summit with Kim.

I think most folks would agree that America’s fundamental goal at this meeting is less to disarm an eccentric, bankrupt, pissant dictator than to woo North Korea away from the influence of China, NoKo’s protector, sponsor, and the hand inside the sock for half a century. Trump has hinted with all the subtlety of a Florida condo vendor that America will take over as guarantor of North Korea’s security and shower the country with investment if they just agree to give up their nuclear program.

In light of that goal, then, what strategic messages did Trump actually send through his G7 performance? Well, I can decrypt three.

  • That America is an unreliable ally, and will turn publicly and unpredictably on its oldest diplomatic, trade and military allies at the whim of a temperamental President;
  • That Trump, who has unilaterally walked away from the Paris Climate Accord, the TPP, and the Iran Agreement, and has threatened to strangle NAFTA and extricate the US from NATO, can’t be trusted to honour any American treaties or agreements;
  • That Trump will disregard the advice of his allies, his partners, his advisors, his State Department, state governors, and anyone else, in pursuit of some unfathomable and ever-shifting vision of the world, distilled from Fox and Breitbart and excreted in Twitter-sized pellets.

That seems like a strange way to convince Kim to abandon his own nuclear defenses and the military, economic and diplomatic shelter of China. However, we’ve been told before that Trump’s foreign policy is opaque to lesser mortals because the man is actually playing four dimensional chess. That is possible, I suppose.

Friar Occam suggests another possibility.

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This page contains a single entry by Balbulican published on June 11, 2018 6:42 AM.

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