Trump 'normalizes' US foreign policy and makes it more effective
Donald Trump has not only normalised American foreign policy, he has arguably made it more effective.This is an unexpected analysis from the usually reliably liberal BBC. I question the alleged inconsistency between opposing gas attacks on civilians and not supporting more refugees from Syria. There is a logical consistency if one recognizes that the policy is to make Syria safer for Syrians.
With two high-profile, signal-sending bombing raids and a series of breathtaking policy reversals, President Trump has brought US foreign policy back in line with conventional thinking. But he has added to the equation a measure of force that gives Washington new clout.
When policy shifts so dramatically and with such little explanation, it can obviously shift again.
So we don't know how long the new positions will last. Nato could be back out of favour, Putin back in, simply with a couple of 140 character tweets.
But Donald Trump is a voracious consumer of cable television and the hunch is he will like the near-universal praise he's been getting on US talk shows this week.
There are clearly glaring inconsistencies in his new foreign policies - he bombs a Syrian air base because of the suffering of Syrian babies, but bans Syrian refugees from entering America.
His recent praise of Nato and rejection of Moscow immediately put this White House more in sync with European allies.
Europe has long believed that the real threat to global security comes from Russia, not China. That's not what millions of Mr Trump's voters believe. He will have to keep them in mind as he backs away from calling China a currency manipulator and slapping it with tariffs, as he had promised he would do in the campaign.
But the shifts do bring America back into the foreign policy mainstream.