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Foreign Policy Analysis
Keller @ Large: Trump’s Foreign Policy Style Often Overshadows Its Substance

Keller @ Large: Trump’s Foreign Policy Style Often Overshadows Its Substance


WELCOME BACK TO OUR CONVERSATION WITH FORMER GLOBE AND A.P. REPORTER GLEN JOHNSON. HIS MUST-READ NEW BOOK, WINDOW SEAT TO THE WORLD, MY TRAVELS OF THE WORLD WITH THE SECRETARY OF STATE THAT BEING JOHN KERRY. THERE WAS A HUGE STORY THIS WEEK WHEN THE BRITISH AMBASSADOR TO THE U.S. RESIGNED AFTER CONFIDENTIAL CABLES WERE LEAKED, AND HAD PRESIDENT TRUMP SAY I’M NOT WORKING WITH HIM ANYMORE. THE NEW YORK TIMES REPORTS MOST AMBASSADORS TO THE U.S. FEEL THE SAME WAY HE DOES. WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO THE INITIAL RELATIONS UNDER TRUMP, AND WHAT IS THE LONG-TERM SIGNIFICANCE OF THIS? WELL, FIRST OF ALL, I MEAN, STEP BACK AND REMEMBER THERE’S THE CONTROVERSY ABOUT WHAT THE BRITISH AMBASSADOR TO THE U.S. SAID, AND HIS OWN SECRETARY OF STATE. REX TILLERSON WAS PRETTY MUCH RUN OUT OF OFFICE QUOTED CALLING HIM A MORON. THAT’S FAR WORSE THAN WHAT THE BRITISH AMBASSADOR TO THE U.S. WAS SAYING. I THINK IT’S INDICATIVE OF THE WIDESPREAD FEELING ABOUT HOW THE ADMINISTRATION IS FEELING. IF YOU HAVE TO UNDERSTAND IF YOU LOOK AT THE POLICY. SOME OF THE POLICY THE ADMINISTRATION HAS PURSUED IS RIGHT ON SUBSTANCE. THE STYLE WITH WHICH THEY ARE PURSUED, AND THE WAY THE PRESIDENT TREATS THE ALLIES AND ADVERSARIES, AND IN SOME CASES SO REVERSED, THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE NORMALLY BEEN WITH US, HAVING OUR BACK THROUGH THICK AND THIN, NOW, FIRST OF ALL, DON’T KNOW WHAT OUR POLICY IS, AND SECOND OF ALL, OUR CONCERN THAT IF THEY GET TOO FAR OUT IN FRONT OF THE UNITED STATES, THEY ARE BE ABANDONED BY THE PRESIDENT BECAUSE THEY DON’T HAVE A CLEAR SENSE OF DIRECTION FOR WHERE THEY ARE GOING. THE POLITICS OF THIS ARE WELL KNOWN TO EVERYONE, AND THE ARGUMENT THAT MR. TRUMP MAKES AND ORRS DO, THAT, UNDER THE OBAMA YEARS, OBAMA WAS ON AN APOLOGY TOUR, AND WE PROJECTED WEAKNESS, AND NOW WE ARE PROJECTING STRENGTH, AND THESE ARE THE COUNTRIES THAT TRIED TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF US, AND ON AND ON AND ON, IS ANY OF THAT LEGIT, AND IS THAT LINE OF ARGUMENT A WAY OF DOING BUSINESS WITH THE HOPE OF SUCCESS? AS I SAID, I THINK ON SUBSTANCE, SOME OF THE THINGS THE PRESIDENT IS PURSUING, PRESIDENT OBAMA SAID BEFORE HE TOOK OFFICE, NORTH KOREA WOULD BE THE NUMBER ONE CHALLENGE, AND WE HAD THE INSANITY OF LITTLE ROCKET MAN, BUT HE GOT KIM JONG-UN TO THE TABLE. WHERE IT IS GOING TO GO, REMAINS TO BE SEEN. ALL CREDIT TO HIM, IF HE COULD GET PEACEFUL RESOLUTION THERE, THAT’S FAR BETTER THAN THE ALTERNATIVE. ELSEWHERE, YOU HAVE HAD RATCHETING BACK OF WHAT THE COALITION HAS ACHIEVED, AND THERE’S NOT BEEN MUCH ESTABLISHED. VENEZUELA, MIDDLE EAST, WITH NORTH KOREA, AND WHERE YOU CAN SEE THE MOST SUBSTANTIVE DIALOGUE, WITH PEOPLE WHO HAVE TRIED TO DO US WRONG, RUSSIA OR CHINA ECONOMICALLY. WE ARE ABOUT OUT OF TIME, BUT VERY BRIEFLY, YOU KNOW HIM WELL NOW, AND WILL WE EVER SEE JOHN KERRY AS A POLITICAL CANDIDATE AGAIN? WELL, HE HAS EVEN SAID HIMSELF, HE’S GOING TO WAIT TO SEE HOW THIS CAMPAIGN GOES, AND I KNOW, IN HIS HEART OF HEARTS, I’M SURE HE WOULD LIKE TO RUN AGAIN, BUT DOES HE FEEL THERE’S A GENERATIONAL SHIFT HERE? YOU KNOW, IF YOU LOOK AT HIS RECORD, WHETHER AS A SENATOR OR THEN AS A DIPLOMAT, HE HAS CERTAINLY HAD A VERY THICK RESUME TO BRING TO THE CONVERSATION. HE IS HOW OLD NOW? 73, I BELIEVE. WELL, IT WILL BE INTERESTING TO WATCH, AND GLEN, GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR BOOK. APPRECIATE IT. CHECK IT OUT. IT’S WINDOW SEAT ON THE WORLD, MY TRAVELS WITH THE SECRETARY OF STATE. THAT’S IT FOR US.

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