|A picture worth a thousand words: How'd this guy even happen?|
Simply put, Donald Trump is very, very bad at diplomacy. This lack of skill in a vital aspect of political life is quite evenly spread among his staff. Sean Spicer, for instance, blew a hole in our "special relationship" with the UK by suggesting their top spy agency helped bad (or sick) guy Barack Obama "tapp" Trump's wires.
Next, Trump used his notorious Twitter finger to insult Germany a mere handful of hours after Chancellor Angela Merkel finished up her dutiful trip to the Trump White House. Not surprisingly, the twin tweets, in which Trump claimed Germany owed NATO and the U.S. "vast sums," was utter nonsense:
Security experts quickly attacked the flaws in Trump’s logic. On Twitter, former U.S. ambassador to NATO Ivo Daalder wrote that increased defense budgets by Germany aren’t transferred to the United States. He also pointed out that NATO decided to make the 2 percent requirement mandatory just a couple of years ago. The alliance gave all member states until 2024 to reach that goal, and Germany is on track.
“Trump’s comments misrepresent the way NATO functions,” Daalder told us. “The President keeps saying that we need to be paid by the Europeans for the fact that we have troops in Europe or provide defense there. But that’s not how it works.”Naturally Trump would be ignorant -- or simply dense -- of how we structure our defensive posture. Japan and Germany, who lost bigly in WWII, have built up a very small defense force as a grand statement of their permanent goal to settle disputes by peaceful means. This approach has stood the world in good stead for over seventy years. They remain non-violent and give us land to host military bases that expand our reach conveniently and inexpensively near our traditional rivals.
Now, with Trump's election, bull, meet china shop.
As for Japan, he's more than suggested that it should develop nuclear weapons, ostensibly to hold off China and North Korea. Smart!
And as for the UK, the rift about the wiretapping no doubt will heal -- mostly -- but the one serious effect will be that intelligence services across the world cannot trust Trump, who may not realize (what does he realize?) that we depend on international surveillance cooperation for our own national security.
Someone should tell him, someone who's not afraid to intimate that he's a fucking idiot, a dangerous one at that.