59 Missiles Don’t Equal a Foreign Policy

the public performance of President Trump and his team throughout this tragic episode hardly inspires confidence. On the contrary, the administration demonstrated a dangerous degree of incoherence and inconsistency.

.. Despite a brutal six-year civil war in which Mr. Assad’s forces have been responsible for the deaths of about 200,000 civilians, and despite near universal opposition to his rule by leaders of the civilized world

.. Ms. Haley thought it was the right time to send a signal to Mr. Assad and his allies, Russia and Iran, that the new American president’s priority “is no longer to sit there and focus on getting Assad out.”

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson confirmed this new view, which Sean Spicer, the White House spokesman, described as a simple recognition of “political reality.”

.. For months they have suggested that “America First” meant that the country should not become mired in the region’s civil wars and violent upheavals.

.. public reversal

  1. .. Mr. Trump raised doubts about the longstanding “one China” policy, only to endorse it weeks later.
  2. .. contradictory statements about NATO
  3. .. There had been talk of scrapping the Iran nuclear accord

.. Where the administration stands on any number of major issues can depend on the day of the week.

.. inability or refusal to articulate — or even formulate — an overarching foreign policy beyond Mr. Trump’s nationalistic slogan “America First”

.. disconnect between Nikki Haley .. and the White House

.. give heart to dictators who view inconsistency as weakness.

.. Mr. Trump has allowed, or perhaps encouraged, the creation of confusing lines of authority and alternative centers of power within the White House

.. Jared Kushner, Mr. Trump’s son-in-law, has emerged as the president’s foreign policy troubleshooter, playing a prominent role in the administration’s talks with China, visiting Iraq

.. These are jobs traditionally given to seasoned diplomats, something Mr. Kushner is not.

.. Fixing this problem is a straightforward matter of political power, will and discipline.

.. he has put down America’s moral leadership in the world while talking up dictators and strongmen

Trump, Changing Course on Taiwan, Gives China an Upper Hand

By backing down in a telephone call with China’s president on his promise to review the status of Taiwan, President Trump may have averted a confrontation with America’s most powerful rival.

But in doing so, he handed China a victory and sullied his reputation with its leader, Xi Jinping, as a tough negotiator who ought to be feared, analysts said.

“Trump lost his first fight with Xi and he will be looked at as a paper tiger,” said Shi Yinhong

.. Even though many other world leaders had spoken to the new American president by phone since his inauguration on Jan. 20, Mr. Xi had refused to talk to Mr. Trump until he was sure that the American president would give what turned out to be a concession — an affirmation of the One China policy, Mr. Shi said.

.. The tough statements were intended to recall the time in 1995 when China tested missiles near Taiwan, prompting President Bill Clinton to dispatch an aircraft carrier through the Taiwan Strait, near China’s coast.