This op-ed was originally published on TomDispatch.com on July 24, 2018.
The pundits and politicians generally take it for granted that President Trump lacks a coherent foreign policy. They believe that he acts solely out of spite, caprice, and political opportunism—lashing out at U.S. allies like Germany’s Angela Merkel and England’s Theresa May only to embrace authoritarian rulers like Russia’s Vladimir Putin and North Korea’s Kim Jong-un. His instinctive rancor and impulsiveness seemed on full display during his recent trip to Europe, where he lambasted Merkel, undercut May, and then, in an extraordinary meeting with Putin, dismissed any concerns over Russian meddling in the 2016 American presidential election (before half-walking his own comments back).
“Nobody knows when Trump is doing international diplomacy and when he is doing election campaigning in Montana,” commented Danish defense minister Claus Hjort Frederiksen following the summit. “It is difficult to decode what policy the American president is promoting. There is a complete unpredictability in this.”
Read the full op-ed on TomDispatch.com, July 24, 2018.