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The Art of the Deal
Reading Trump’s Foreign Policy Shifts
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  • D4x

    Prioritizing North Korea makes sense because, legally, the USA is still at war. The “rest of time” for Kim Jong-Un’s ‘gun-pointing’ is Feb. 9, 2018. He can not risk NorKs seeing the richness of South Korea as they host the 2018 Peyongchang Winter Olympics. He needs a pre-emptive strike to disrupt South Korea’s Olympics, which was not so rich in 1988. No more kicking the can year after year with North Korea.

    I would like to note that the Mar-a-Lago meet with Xi was flawless protocol for a state visit, with China.

    • Isaiah601

      Agree with you on Mar-a-Lago. Among many friends I’ve collected along the way is one extremely successful Chinese guy. He got his education in America, collecting every degree under the sun, the works. He is the son of a bureaucrat of local importance so I always ask him how events in the US are perceived in China. Last week I asked him about Mar-a-Lago visit. He said that the perception in China is that what it was a show of mutual respect between two very powerful countries who have much to talk about. That perception is YUUUUUUUUUUGE! This was as much of a homer as you can possible hope for.

      • D4x

        Bigly! better than being a lame-DCDuck snubbed on the tarmac in China.

    • Sam McGowan

      Not really. The Korean Conflict ended in a truce. So did The Great War. Of course, The Great War resumed in 1939 and in some respects continues today. North Korea is actually isolated and even if they do have nuclear weapons, so what?

      • D4x

        A truce is not a peace treaty, but a frozen conflict. The Great War did result in a peace treaty, which is how the German, Austria-Hungary, and Ottoman Empires ceased to exist, broken into nations, with a lot of map re-drawing. ( I do agree that subsequent German reactions make it seems as though that ‘peace’ was a 20 year pause.)

        Korea? “The 1950-53 Korean War ended in an armistice, with neither side able to claim outright victory. Decades on, the truce is still all that technically prevents North Korea and the US – along with its ally South Korea – resuming the war, as no peace treaty has ever been signed. …”

        http://www.bbc.com/news/10165796

        “…Several times, North Korea has stated that it no longer recognizes the armistice, in 1994, 1996, 2003, 2006, 2009, and 2013. …” [full text of actual Armistice agreement follows]
        http://www.cfr.org/north-korea/korean-war-armistice-agreement/p22481

        Kim Jong-Un’s opinion on the armistice is not worth the risk of a nuclear launch on US troops stationed in South Korea. I suppose fewer would care if his target is the UN in Manhattan, which bears responsibility for the armistice.

      • Ken moss

        Will you say that if they have US capable ICBMs? That is their goal or do you think they want a nuke as a coffee table?

      • ——————————

        “So what?”

        Nukes can be launched, and they also give the regime a tool for negotiating for things they don’t deserve…hardly a ‘so what’….

  • Anthony

    Reading Trump’s foreign policy shifts brings to mind WRM that there’s a constraint theory (of which you’re undoubtedly aware). The theory posits that limitations exist in the real world and will ultimately force a leader or a country to behave in a particular way. The president (and his administration) is obviously encountering said reality constraints. So, what appears to be a shifting policy (or no policy foundation) is actually a reordering – like any other president, Trump is succumbing to the constraints surrounding him (the potential North Korean threat forces a Trump rapprochement with Xi [China]).

    “The popular understanding of the role of the president in forming policy can be misleading. Understanding the process – and the limitations of the president – is important in mapping out the future of US foreign policy.” info.geopoliticalfutures.com/trump-the-presidency-and-policy-making?_hssc=193251442.1492184819217&_hstc=193251442.52e59b8d84c3c6a24136d8

    • Angel Martin

      “there’s a constraint theory (of which you’re undoubtedly aware). The theory posits that limitations exist in the real world…”

      The existence of constraints imposing limits on action is not a “theory”, it is a reality of life.

      Hey Anthony, have you heard of “finiteness theory”? It posits that finite things are… finite.

      • Anthony

        Phishing others again for….

        • Fred

          Are you kidding me? You’re the poster boy for Kruger/Dunning. Using nonsensical and unnecessarily circuitous locutions to express basically nothing. Using ad hominem attacks (like labeling people victims of Kruger/Dunning) to hide the fact that you’re utterly incapable of constructing an argument. Paraphrasing OPs in obscurantist “Anthony-ese” to make yourself believe you have two brain cells to rub together. Yes, Mr. Pot, meet Mr. Kettle.

    • Mike

      “The theory posits that limitations exist in the real world and will ultimately force a leader or a country to behave in a particular way”

      Any such theory is built on the assumption that countries and their leaders react rationally to changing circumstances. This assumption is inapplicable to countries led by ignorant morons with ultra-short attention span.

      • Anthony

        Subjectively interpreted, that very well may be sound. Nevertheless, the theory has been engaged by rigorous examiners of real world behavior (sans personal characteristics and attributions) via policy outcomes.

        • Mike

          Any theory amounts to a logical construction of the type “if A is true then B”. A theory is correct if “then” here has been proven beyond doubts. In this case I am quite comfortable with ‘then’, but I have a problem with A being true. Yes, it seems to be self-evident that rational people act rationally most of the time. But it is also self-evident that irrational people sometimes act rationally. Time will tell which one we are dealing with. A single flip-flop means nothing.

          • Anthony

            At TAI, Mike, it’s assumed understanding of Theory among targeted audience is a given. People must conclude as they will, thanks.

  • Kenny A

    China’s “stern warnings” to the US and DPRK don’t sound much like the result of a Mar-a-Lago entente. Of course, the Chinese could be addressing their client and their frenemy equally as a way of saving face, while siding with the one over the other behind the scenes. More likely, though, the Chinese are entirely sincere in worrying about a Zweikaiserkrieg in their backyard.

    • f1b0nacc1

      Or perhaps simply their own Zugzwang?

      • Kenny A

        Possibly, yes.

      • rene591

        or maybe their TOTALER KRIEG – KÜRZESTER KRIEG

  • rwisrael

    Trump’s foreign policy shift on NATO was the result of successful meetings with European leaders who agreed to take on additional economic and military responsibility for NATO. His original argument with NATO was that we were carrying too much of the load. Argument resolved, policy amended. Not a flip flop, but a successful resolution. Criticize what?

    • rene591

      and we will see the increase in budgets when?

      • rwisrael

        NATO member defense budgets? Are you privy to them, I’m not. Commitments were at least made, recognizing responsibility. Perhaps they’ll send you receipts.

        • rene591

          know how many are at or over 2% ? 6 including us. know the number of nations in NATO? 28. We are suckers and it is not going to change, American tax payers take in on the chin again

          • Sherlocktoo

            We are working frantically on a cure for the disease of liberalism/progressivism. The first 4 years of President Trump will help many realize how wrong they have been, while other liberal/progressive people will scream, whine, loot, and burn as they become the minorities they have always taken advantage or during election season. And an active VP Pence will follow an 8 year Trump presidency with 8 of his own. That is 16 years and we still won’t have all the problems solved that Obama created. Making america great again takes time, especially after extreme liberalism/progressivism.

        • rene591
          • rwisrael

            Do you read dates on articles you post. This one was 2015.

          • rene591

            way back in ancient history of 2015? Wow. and you really believe it has changed much Trumpers?

          • rwisrael

            It shows that Trump’s policy towards NATO not meeting its commitments was correct, and that recent meetings with European leaders to change the status quo were needed.

          • rene591

            Oh the Europeans have been sucking at the tit of the American tax payers for decades. Whether the current occupant in the White House had any effect on that or whether it is the big bad Putin remains to be seen. Guess how many tanks Germany has? 147. not enough for 1 armor division. that does not flip in a year.

          • rwisrael

            Are you arguing that I am not in favor of European Nations increasing their NATO contributions? Or that Trump asking for greater participation is the wrong policy. Or merely that you are skeptical that Trump will succeed in increasing NATO participation? If you are arguing that NATO has not lived up to its commitments in the past, you shouldn’t be arguing with me. If you just don’t like Trump, wait four years and try again.

          • rene591

            2 years and he will resign. his 71 years and other activities will tell

          • Ken moss

            When will you fools understand HE IS THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES ! He ain’t leaving and will coast to a 2020 massive victory BECAUSE he and we are WINNING.

          • rwisrael

            You want magic. The past is gone .

        • rene591

          I was wrong. 5

  • rene591

    you actually have to have one before you can shift. and 8 weeks does not make a Trump strategy or a Trump over arching goal. We watch the buffoon at our peril. This has shown the world what happens when you elect a moron and a man child with delusions of grandeur in the most powerful executive position on the planet.

  • Fat_Man

    See my previous comment http://disq.us/p/1hurj62 to the thread “Chinese Trade with North Korea Is Increasing”

    • rene591

      a record year for turnips and dung movement for both China and NK. the people cheer

  • longlance

    What “foreign policy”? Trump is tossing bombs around to get the media, CIA, Congress, & neocons off his case. It is strictly about domestic policy & diversion.

  • Jerome Ogden

    Oxymoronically speaking, our policies toward foreign friend and foe are shaped almost totally by domestic political pressures. That makes “foreign policy” almost certainly an oxymoron like “social science,” which focuses on truly false Washington labels like the “federal budget” and “Department of Defense.” It’s a sure bet that the systematic chaos of Trump’s evolving foreign policy is incredibly common among first-term presidents.

  • Ken moss

    Trump WILL NOT allow ICBMs for NK ! So either China stops the NK or it is inevitable that Trump will. So likely China will, as usual play for time and slow or temporarily stop NK from proceeding. If they “just say no” to us we will strike NK, no doubt. So likely NK slows as China insists. But sooner or later in the Trump admin I think we will be forced to strike their ICBM and nuke infrastructure. If Trump can bring China along as a cooperating co partner on denuding them all will just continue but assume we strike NK has very few options if China is allied with us. Like Syria they can’t hit back but only lick wounds or commit leadership suicide because step 2 after infrastructure is leadership annihilation! An unlikely choice for even madmen!

  • Mike

    “Trump seemed to hope that he could dramatically simplify America’s complex Middle East dilemmas by peeling Russia away from Assad and Iran.”

    There is no evidence that Trump was aware that Russia is in cahoots with Assad and Iran.

  • rheddles

    Question being debated in Pyongyang:

    How many MOABS does it take to eliminate all artillery within range of Seoul?

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