Stimson in the News

Free Falling, Cont. by Michael Krepon

in Program

Lo, the standing of the United States continues to fall. Allies and friends make the United States stronger. Donald Trump treats them as dispensable. As Washington retreats, allies squabble. Witness what’s happening between Japan and South Korea. Presidents can go astray championing or devaluing freedom and democracy abroad, but it’s another distinguishing feature of Washington’s reach. Donald Trump has a unique profile in this regard: he devalues freedom and democracy at home as well as abroad.

Trump’s bully pulpit is twitter. Friends and adversaries have come to the conclusion that he blusters but is deeply reluctant to use force, as is now dramatically evident after Saudi oil production has been temporarily halved. Trump’s only consistency is opportunism. Every foreign leader except Putin is tired of his act but can’t get him off the stage. For Moscow, Trump is the gift that keeps on giving.

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