From The Washington Post — Written by Daniel W. Drezner
It is worth remembering that after Donald Trump won the election last November, there was reason for America’s foreign policy community to engage in some introspection. After all, petition after petition of national security and foreign policy professionals had been issued warnings that Trump would be a foreign policy disaster.
Despite these warnings, Trump won — which suggested that maybe foreign policy professionals and experts needed to do some soul-searching.
That was then. Now, however, introspection is a thing of the past.
Let’s consider his team. Rex Tillerson has given zero indication that he knows how to run the State Department. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross made clueless comments about Saudi Arabia that left the impression of him as a doddering fool. As secretary of homeland security, John F. Kelly keeps saying things designed to scare the hell out of people rather than make them feel more secure. He seems to have fallen victim to the worst pathologies of the Bush administration — and at least 9/11 could explain the behavior of those officials. National security adviser H.R. McMaster and National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn seem to be focused far more on pleasing the president than offering cogent advice. Whatever influence they had over the national security team seems to be on the wane. Jared Kushner? Please. The rest of the White House staff is busy trying to be more absurd propagandists than Kim Jong Un’s flacks. So far, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley are the only foreign policy hands who have managed to retain their dignity, and that’s mostly because what they say contradicts Trump. And their assurances to allies do not seem to be working.
Then there’s the president himself. Just a glance at the decision-making process he used on withdrawing from the Paris climate change accord makes it clear how manifestly unfit he is to do his job.