Trump's foreign policy is working to the consternation of Democrats and allies
Below I repost Uwe Parpart's Asia Times analysis of the Trump-Kim summit in Singapore. Liberal media is aghast at the president's rough handling of Canadian boy-band frontman Justin Trudeau, and his confrontational approach overall at the Group of Seven summit. When the dust settles, though, Trump may accomplish what eluded Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama: a stabler and safer world without the need for millions of American boots on the ground. He well may go down in history as one of our great foreign policy presidents. It's not in the bag, but it is within sight.The people who have screwed up so long are beside themselves with worry about what Trump is doing. They seem to think that war games on the DMZ are more important than denuclearizing in Korea. But the whole purpose of the war games is to prepare for an attack that would be a disaster for North Korea especially if it has no nukes. The left in the US is acting irrationally because they have been trying to accomplish this for decades and gotten nowhere.
North Korea and Iran are decisive issues: Will America and its allies be subject to blackmail by rogue nuclear states? There is a grand compromise that might work in the case of North Korea, and the president reportedly has already put it on the table: Formal diplomatic recognition of the Pyongyang regime in return for full de-nuclearization. In the case of Iran, the president's tough stance and close coordination with our ally Israel has already pushed Iran back in Syria and put the Islamist regime under extreme stress.
Of course, Trump can't please everybody. German Chancellor Angela Merkel complains that Trump is being too nice to Russia by suggesting that it rejoin the Group of Seven. Considering that Germany spends just 1.2% of GDP on defense and can't get more than four fighters in the air at any given moment, that's chutzpah. Merkel's policy is to talk tough about sanctions against Russia while rolling over for Putin when it comes to Germany's gas supplies, which will be supplied by the just-started Nord Stream II pipeline from Russia. Germany likes to wag a finger at Russia over its depredations in Ukraine, but only 18% of Germans say they will fight to defend their country. Trump's policy is to rebuild American strength and stand up to Russia, while looking for ways to strike agreements with Russia--on American terms. That's the difference between speak softly and carry a big stick, and declaim loudly while waving a bratwurst. If the Germans don't want to spend money on defense, let alone fight, that's their business, but they shouldn't lecture us about how to handle the competition.
Just what has the Group of Seven accomplished in the last dozen years? Who can remember a single line of a single communique? And what is the group worth without Russia? "We have a world to run," Trump said, and the effort requires having Russia at the table.
I'm guardedly hopeful about the Singapore summit. The foreign policy elite despises America's president, who is an amateur in international relations. But the elite knows that it has failed miserably since the end of the Cold War -- for example Prof. Michael Mandelbaum, whose 2016 book Mission Failure catalogs the collective blunders of the establishment since the end of the Cold War (see my notice at Claremont Review of Books).
Trump is doing much better than Clinton, Bush or Obama. And he has the chance to be one of the greats.