Trump's Foreign Policy Magic Act Is Delivering Results
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Trump’s flying halfway around the world to play golf with the conservative prime minister of Japan, just weeks before he flew back to Japan to attend the G-20, may have sent another message. It was no accident that Trump almost simultaneously suggested that he might withdraw some of the U.S. military forces defending Japan.
What did all that mean? Was it elegant Kabuki theater starring Trump and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe? Well, many think that when Trump finally “releases the Kraken” it means national security adviser John Bolton. But in geopolitics, the real Kraken may be Japan.
One possible scenario is that Trump’s golf course conversation led to the suggested withdrawal of U.S. power from Japan, which, combined with additional provocative actions in Asia by North Korea (firing missiles at Japan) and China (more aggressive posture in the South China Sea) might prompt conservative Japanese leadership to expand its already formidable military and perhaps even move toward nuclear weapons as a defensive measure (weapons that would both work and hit their targets).
That is the nightmare scenario for China and North Korea. The implied threat of such a dramatic change in the Asian balance of power certainly makes the conversations between Trump and China’s Xi Jinping much more interesting.
The other move, of course, was hosting the Polish president at the White House and offering increased U.S. military force in Poland — a message to Russia’s Vladimir Putin to cool it with the hypersonic weapons threats, the energy blackmail of Europe, and the nuclear testing, or risk facing a bigger NATO threat up close.
The U.S. has not exercised such a multidimensional strategy in decades. It is baffling to the foreign policy “establishment” sipping cocktails in Martha’s Vineyard. It is vexing to the Chinese, who think their Sun Tzu/Warring-States asymmetric warfare tactics of deception, espionage and slow constriction of resources is a subtle and winning long game. It is plain English to Russians trying to expand their brute force. It is a friendly reminder to mercantilist European allies doing deals with devils such as Iran and Russia.
During his business career, Trump has had to deal directly with New York real estate competitors, building contractors, labor unions, government bureaucrats, the mob, TV producers, steel manufacturers, global banks, and every other species of cutthroat on the planet. And he has won — the proof is in his buildings.
Perhaps that’s why he talks the language of the Chinese, Russians, North Koreans and Iranians and has become a much more formidable foe to America’s enemies than the last generation of U.S. presidents.
Original content can be located at THE HILL