President Donald Trump, just off a whirlwind tour of international diplomacy — to Canada for the G-7 meeting and then to Singapore for the summit on North Korea — still has not moved from the tactical to the strategic as regards U.S. foreign policy.
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The president has an unbelievable ability to garner press and make folks respond, but there seems little long-term thinking in what he says and does.
And giving Trump some genius level of strategic credit because everyone is focused on him, and is responding to him, is a bit like giving credit to the teenager who got the keys to his parents car and drove erratically on the highway, because all the other cars on the road and pedestrians had to react to him.
Let us not confuse stream of consciousness actions with strategic planning and foresight.
In the span of just a few days Trump managed to do the following:
1. Help Kim Jong Un achieve a tremendous propaganda victory by standing shoulder-to-shoulder with him on the world stage, and letting Kim wrap his flag of dictatorship with the American flag of democracy. This enhanced Kim’s status among other nations and gave him both a domestic advantage in North Korea and an international platform to engage from. This is something he, his father, and other leaders of North Korea have only dreamed of over the last 70 years.