No matter if in China, Iran or North Korea: Donald Trump has so far had little success on the international stage. That just makes him more dangerous.
A secret of Donald Trump’s electoral success was that he had particularly simple and handy answers in the election campaign for the highly complex global problems of the time.
Trade with China, immigration, the rise of new nuclear powers such as Iran or North Korea – Trump promised a suitable solution for every issue. He predicted his predecessors to be fools. The motto was: “I alone can fix it” – “Only I can solve it.”
There was a combination of megalomania and ignorance, and the result was predictable. As president, Trump has so far failed because of the complexity of these tasks. His great promises collapse like a cold soufflé. He no longer has capable advisers who could stop him from doing stupid things. People like Secretary of Defense James Mattis or economist Gary Cohn have either fired or lured Trump.
Obviously, not only has the US president made too much of an effort, but he also repeatedly misjudges the intelligence, cunning and harshness of his opponents. The results are: chaos and an escalation of crises.
Take China for example: Instead of creating new jobs in the US, Trump is increasingly burdening the global economy with its trade dispute with Beijing. US consumers are also suffering: They are paying a good deal of the punitive tariffs that Trump has imposed on Chinese products. The President may still hope for the big “deal” with China, which above all makes him the winner. However, if he believes that the Chinese will make concessions without consideration from the US, he will not only deceive himself, but also his constituents. The US has long been too weak and China is too strong.
Take Iran, for example: Tehran does not even think of yielding to new US sanctions under pressure. Nor is the government impressed by the demonstration of power by the American navy in the Persian Gulf. Instead, those hardliners are gaining the upper hand there, who have always believed that the US can not be trusted anyway. After the unilateral termination of the nuclear agreement by Trump threatens the resumption of the Iranian nuclear program. Israel is getting more and more nervous. The danger of war in the region is growing.
Example North Korea: Dictator Kim Jong Un has clearly led Donald Trump by the nose. The US President did not move forward with his idea of persuading the North Koreans to abandon their nuclear weapons with a charm offensive. Instead, Kim provokes with new missile tests.
Example Venezuela: The attempt by Trump’s government to push the autocrat Nicolás Maduro out of office, is stuck. Russia and also China have negotiated, they support Maduro, so that Venezuela can remain their ally and does not migrate under a new government in the US camp.
Of course, even Trump now suspects that he can not handle the many different crises on the fly. But the big question is: Do your voters recognize it?
Trump is pretty good at concealing his failure. If he is stuck at one end, he fuses at another end to distract. Now, when warships hit the Persian Gulf, they are not primarily defending America’s safety, but rather Trump’s reputation as a strong man.
It sounds paradoxical, but the unfinished policy, the insecurity, the many crises that he himself has caused – all this must not automatically be a disadvantage for Trump politically. In the coming year, for example, he will again be able to stand before his constituents in the presidential election and ask for another four years at the White House to complete his “work”.
It would be better, however, most Americans would soon recognize the sad reality. The populist is convicted. They do not exist, the promised simple solutions.
Trump’s foreign policy with the crowbar has failed.